Marketers want their advertising campaigns to reach consumers when they’re in the best frame of mind to receive messages about a brand or offer. The media context for an ad always has been important, but was overshadowed as advertisers relied on other data signals from tracking cookies and device identifiers to improve their digital ad targeting.

The gradual disappearance of third-party cookies from Google’s popular Chrome browser and the end of Apple’s identifier for advertisers (IDFA) are among the reasons that contextual signals are regaining their importance. Real estate agency franchisor Century 21, a unit of Realogy Holdings, has developed a strategy to handle these changes.

“Knowing your audience is important, like what they stand for, their belief system, understanding their shared values. However, knowing the kind of conversations that are happening within that audience is equally important,” Enrique Carlos, senior director of digital marketing at Century 21, said in this Beet.TV interview with Sr. Editor Rob Williams.

Cultural Sensitivities

Century 21 uses a “test and learn” strategy to identify the best ways to connect with consumers. Its advertising appears in paid search and websites, or “drivers and destinations,” as Carlos describes them.

“In the real estate space specifically, we’re starting to see a shift in how people are searching for homes online using different languages,” Carlos said. “The language is really important, so that means taking a deeper look into the tone and manner of language, how we’re saying things, versus what we’re saying.”

The company created a Spanish-language website,, that is mindful of the nuances of appealing to Hispanic homebuyers. The goal is to connect with consumers while avoiding a patronizing demeanor.

“The tone, the imagery, it’s a fully immersive in-culture experience as opposed to just a translated website,” Carlos said. “It’s not simply a machine translation, but you actually really get into the heart of what matters most and that’s connecting people with our relentless Century 21 agents.”

Testing Response to Ad Creative

Ad creative that helps to elicit a response from consumers is an essential part of Century 21’s approach to personalization and targeting.

“The best execution of creative is when the audience actually locks in with your message and then does something about it,” Carlos said. “Creative needs to drive action.”

The future of digital advertising will be depending on the ability to rapidly deploy contextually relevant messages, he said. Marketers need to develop different versions of their advertising, and test how the ad creative and context drives results.

“Whether it’s watching a video in its entirety or introducing a new product or navigating to another part of a web page, our jobs become much more meaningful because we’re engaging with people in taking the next step in their digital journey,” he said.

You are watching “Gaining Consumer Attention in a Shifting Media Landscape,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series presented by GumGum. To learn more about GumGum and the Mindset Matrix, please visit this page