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Is TV Still King of Branding?

by Amobee, May 30, 2017

In the wake of Upfronts season, it’s important to take a step back and understand what role video content and channels play in your overall marketing strategy.

NBCUniversal’s head of ad sales Linda Yaccarino declared, “TV is the most effective advertising medium ever,” at this year’s Upfronts. The assumption here is that she’s talking about TV being the most effective at achieving massive reach, which implies awareness. And while TV is definitely the king of driving reach, a powerful and fraud-free branding vehicle, in this world of short attention span, multi-device, multi-taskers, effective is often subjective.

Furthermore, how effective is the reach generated from a TV ad campaign at achieving branding and business goals? The industry is still trying to figure that out. This is where digital video and a powerful platform can help answer these questions, and develop insights that can inform TV planning. TV programming has traditionally served as a proxy for audience, with popular shows garnering the most reach. With digital video, advertisers have access to more metrics for both planning and reporting purposes, allowing for more of an emphasis on audience targeting with an agnostic view of content vs. the more traditional content or context-first approach of TV buying. Digital video is an effective way to understand the right balance between content and audience. You don’t have to abandon traditional TV to consider the learning opportunity that digital provides. Here’s how to get started.

For brands that want to get started in digital video, the natural progression is to mimic the content-first approach of traditional TV by allocating budget to the digital properties of the broadcast networks publishers. The assumption is that this approach will extend the reach of the TV plan because it will reach cord-cutters and more millennials. Nielsen DAR or comScore vCE tags can be applied to verify how much of the target demographic was reached. This is considered the baseline.

For the next campaign, we would recommend setting up a test to determine the right balance between audience-first tactics and the current content-first approach. The first tactic maintains the previous strategy of selecting specific publishers (via private marketplace or direct deals). The second, new tactic is pure audience targeting (agnostic of publishers), leveraging our integration with Nielsen DAR to algorithmically identify the target demographic across all video publishers. As a result, you can compare which tactic drove more targeted reach, or perhaps you want to understand which tactic compelled people to go to your site to learn more about the featured product. It’s even possible to segment results to discover how the off-target impressions contributed to the campaign goals. It’s an opportunity to learn more about your audience and continually optimize each campaign.

Digital video advertising spend came to a total of $9.1 billion last year, a 53% year-over-year increase from 2015, according to IAB research. And with an average of $9.4 million spent on digital video ads by marketing and agency professionals, a transparent view of ROI is more important than ever. We know that TV is an important piece of the media plan, but its royal status is still up for debate. Working with an omni-channel platform like Turn can help you get an understanding of which tactics, media channels or devices are working or not working, to achieve both your campaign and your brand goals.

For more, see our research report on how age factors into agency execs’ opinions on digital video, “Different Generations, Different Standards.”

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