Research: 88 percent of marketers don’t use a key brand safety tool

From Instagram to The New York Times, images and videos populate every corner of today’s digital landscape. That visual clutter has left marketers wandering in the dark, struggling to match their content to the right environment – and avoid a social firestorm from an unlucky alignment.

One new tool that’s emerged to help marketers take control of their visual strategy: computer vision (also known as image recognition), a technology that processes and understands visual information.

Digiday surveyed more than 300 industry pros from agencies, brands and publishers and conducted a series of interviews with marketing and technology experts to reveal the strategies and struggles of executing a media strategy in a visual world. Eighty percent of them said visual content is either “very” or “somewhat” important to their marketing strategy.

Literally no one said it wasn’t important at all.

Yet many marketers are sticking to their owned platforms and social media accounts, avoiding publishers’ sites. In fact, only 19 percent of marketers told us they use images or videos in display ads. This means they’re missing out on the ability to expand brand awareness beyond an inner circle of core devotees.

Computer vision can enable safer contextual targeting, opening up publishers sites and the wider web to marketers’ most relevant images and videos. It can also recognize brand-unsafe content and the logos and signage of brands’ competitors, helping them deploy while avoiding unforeseen and unprofitable adjacencies. Here’s a glimpse into what else we found. Of the respondents who already use computer vision

  • 59 percent said they use it to detect brand-unsafe content
  • 44 percent said they use it to determine the reach or value of their own visual branding

And yet only 12 percent of marketers already use image recognition in their marketing efforts. Discover why adoption has been so slow —  and why that needs to change — by downloading the full report.

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