Integral Ad Science Brings Together Contextual Targeting and Measurement

Integral Ad Science announced this morning Control Panel, a suite of tools that will allow advertisers to plan, measure, and optimize contextual targeting campaigns in one place.

IAS described said its Control Panel will offer the following tools:

  • Context Control Segment Catalog: Provides easy discovery of all 400+ Context Control Avoidance & Targeting off-the-shelf segments in one place
  • Contextual Segment Reach Calculator: Advises on the prospective reach of IAS contextual targeting segments to appropriately plan campaigns 
  • Contextual Targeting Reporting: Offers insights into targeting segment performance, specifically focusing on viewability, reach, and programmatic dimensions
  • Contextual Targeting Profiles: Enables clients to bundle all of their desired targeting segments into one profile with a single segment ID for easy activation in their DSP

The product announcement conforms with the trend of adtech firms increasingly bringing targeting and measurement together. The move is potentially highly convenient for marketers who need simple ways to calibrate campaigns.

But others have argued that centralizing targeting and measurement under one platform is problematic. If companies make money selling or targeted ads, the argument goes, one might question their objectivity when it comes to measuring the impact of their media buying and targeting solutions.

The announcement also joins a tidal wave of investment in contextual advertising, which allows marketers to target consumers based on the content of their online experiences, not their personal information. Marketers have been embracing contextual as anti-tracking changes challenge the data required to orchestrate behavioral, advertising which has ruled the day for a decade.

Ultimately, the extent to which contextual advertising complements or supplants behavioral will be a question of how effective it proves, especially in relation to the latter. To that end, the Control Panel is a natural response to marketers who might be saying, “I’d love to build a personal data-independent ad targeting practice, but I can only do that if it remains as effective as behavioral targeting.”

With Control Panel, advertisers may just find that out.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015 and regularly consults with companies in the space on content and communications. You can contact him at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.