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Every Customer Journey Starts with Awareness

by Amobee, August 01, 2016

This is the first post in a series on the customer journey, the ever-evolving model of how people are using technology today. See more here.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Blue Apron. The company, which ships cooking ingredients and recipes to time-crunched gourmands, has been covered extensively in the media and has sponsored podcasts such as Marc Maron’s “WTF.”

What’s remarkable about Blue Apron is that Blue Apron is far from a household name. It doesn’t have nearly the brand awareness of, say, Walmart. However it’s known among just the sort of people who might be in the market for such services.

Years ago, achieving such brand awareness within a short time would’ve been a lot harder. While targeting publications like The New Yorker, The Atlantic and upscale cooking titles like Bon Appétit might’ve helped, it probably would also have required an expensive TV campaign that would’ve wasted millions targeting people with no interest in the service.

These days, thanks to data-based targeting, lookalike audiences and online video, it’s possible to reach a market niche effectively, quickly and in a scalable way.

Data-Based Targeting

Analog marketing relied on demographics and instances in which consumers declared an affinity by consuming certain forms of niche media (like cooking magazines). Digital media offers a much more precise approach. For instance, a major German automaker recently ran a campaign for its crossovers and sedans. Before launching any ads, the automaker looked at attributes related to crossover buyers compared to sedan buyers. Not surprisingly, the brand found that sedan drivers were younger while hybrids drew older consumers with families.

In another case, research revealed that SUV owners were much more likely to own skis than the general market. That prompted a wintry theme in ad messages. Another time, data illustrated that three times as many sedan owners used Androids by a ratio of 3 to 1 versus iPhone owners. That explained why ad messaging about iPhone capability was failing to connect with customers. The ad team then switched to relevant messaging.

In each case, learning more about the potential audience meant crafting an awareness campaign aimed at a fairly narrow audience. Just like Blue Apron didn’t waste time advertising to ardent DIYers who would be unlikely to use its services, the automaker scrupulously avoided crafting campaign messages to people who were likely not in the market for the model they were selling.  

Video as an Awareness Tool

One method of creating awareness is employing video, which has shown to be as much as twice as effective as banner ads.

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. In a 2014 Forrester Research study of brand managers in North America, 39% of respondents said that digital video ads are better at communicating advertising messages than other forms of media. Analyzing 300 video campaigns on Facebook, Nielsen found that 73% had a significant lift in ad recall. That applied even to ads that consumers saw for less than three seconds. Another group of marketers surveyed by Trusted Media Brands and Advertiser Perceptions found that 47% said that increasing brand awareness is the leading benefit of mobile-based video ads.  

There are a few reasons why. Video can also convey new or complex information better than static ads, and videos are much better at eliciting emotion, leaving an indelible impression on a viewer that leads to better recall. Case in point: Google’s mega-viral “Friends Forever” video from 2015 made consumers four times happier than the average branded video and became the most-shared ad of all time.

Recipe for Success

A modern, effective awareness campaign then hinges on finding the right audience, learning about their needs, interests and pain points and then crafting a message designed to meet them on an emotional level, using video.

Ideally, as in the case of Blue Apron, such activity creates some buzz and excitement among the target audience, which results in brand building. Unfortunately, doing so is a lot harder than following a recipe, but at least now we know the basic ingredients. 

For more, see the second post in our customer journey series, the buy stage


About Amobee

Founded in 2005, Amobee is an advertising platform that understands how people consume content. Our goal is to optimize outcomes for advertisers and media companies, while providing a better consumer experience. Through our platform, we help customers further their audience development, optimize their cross channel performance across all TV, connected TV, and digital media, and drive new customer growth through detailed analytics and reporting. Amobee is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tremor International, a collection of brands built to unite creativity, data and technology across the open internet.

If you’re curious to learn more, watch the on-demand demo or take a deep dive into our Research & Insights section where you can find recent webinars on-demand, media plan insights & activation templates, and more data-driven content. If you’re ready to take the next step into a sustainable, consumer-first advertising future, contact us today.

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