Imagine that a consumer is currently in the market for a new speed boat and is viewing a recognized informational Web site to learn more about the latest in speed boats. If you were a salesperson in a traditional bricks-and-mortar store and a consumer wandered into your department, you would approach the consumer as if he or she were already semi-engaged in the sale, just trying to figure out what to buy. In a similar way, the latest advancement in contextual advertising enables you to reach those same consumers, but in the online marketplace.
To further illustrate the example, assume that you are that same consumer on the informational Web site and you are viewing a page of content that provides information on speed boats only. Accompanying the content on this page is a
listing of ads for online retailers that are promoting speed boat packages for sale online. Because the ads relate directly to your area of interest, you click on a link, are directed to a Web site, and ultimately purchase the speed boat of your choice from the online retailer.
Similar to the way a Web surfer searches for information using a major search engine and is presented with PPC ads, contextual ads enable advertisers to promote their ad listings on content sites that relate to specific information (for example, speed boats). Contextual advertising provides advertisers with yet another opportunity to target specific customer segments with targeted advertisements. Both AdWords and Yahoo! Advertising currently offer advertisers the ability to take advantage of contextual advertising opportunities by promoting their ad listings on related content sites within their respective advertising networks.