When many of the world’s leading marketers met at the 2022 ANA Masters of Marketing conference, video was high on the agenda. Here are their five ‘must-do’ items for marketers in the year ahead.
The most important thing for marketers in the coming year will be how audiences feel about their brand. That means understanding your customers and what drives their connection with you, and then enhancing that connection to grow both your brand and your business.
This was the message from WWE chairwoman and co-chief exec Stephanie McMahon, closing her session at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference, and it summed up one of the major themes of the event. Technology is giving marketers unprecedented ability to reach consumers. The challenge is to understand those consumers’ behaviors so that you can use technology not just to reach them, but to engage with them and win them over.
Throughout the four days of the conference, in sessions featuring some of the world’s leading marketers, five key trends emerged. To succeed in 2023, marketers must:
1. Recognize the increasingly important role of video
Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing & communications officer at Mastercard talked about how video is a critical component of his business’s marketing mix.
“It’s where you’re able to evoke the right emotions,” he said. “You’re able to connect with consumers to tell the story the right way, and to impress upon them the message you’re trying to convey. Video is front and center in whatever we do.”
Twitter’s director, client services – retail & travel, Alex Kennedy, agreed: “Video is core to any good strategic marketing plan. Whether your objective is awareness, consideration, or even priming consumers for lower-funnel objectives like conversion, there is a role for video. And the reason is because consumers are consistently watching more video, specifically online digital video.”
Kennedy also stressed the importance of understanding both the customer and their viewing context to get the most out of video. “You have to reach your consumer where they are and how they’re watching,” she explained. “That means you have to create bespoke content for the environment. That’s what’s going to be key.”
2. Make the most of the data mix, utilizing both first- and third-party data
The level of understanding Kennedy described requires a data strategy that recognizes the role all the different types of data have to play. This point was picked up by Sean Popen, executive vice-president, outcome navigator at Interpublic’s activation intelligence company Matterkind.
“A tactic that we’re seeing working is using a combination of first, second- and third-party data, which allows brands to tap in and get that additional reach,” he said.
This view was echoed by Dawn Williamson, senior vice-president, head of sales development at Comcast’s advertising sales division, Effectv, who stressed the importance of using data to target audiences: “It’s going to be less about ‘I want to be in this show’ and more about ‘Where’s my audience, and where are they consuming content?’ because, as an advertiser, that’s where I want to be.”
3. Overcome the challenges of a fragmented viewing audience
According to Dave Pajeau, executive director of programmatic/advanced TV for Effectv, video advertising will only continue to get more fragmented as more providers come in. For him, the key will be to integrate the traditional and streaming experiences, enabling measurement and targeting against the two together.
“There’s a tremendous amount of viewership that still exists through traditional linear channels, and that now co-exists with new viewership through streaming platforms,” he said. “They work best together, but you have to know the right allocation for your brand and audience. So in 2023 we’ll start moving towards true cross-screen delivery, audience delivery and measurement.”
4. Understand how the consumption of advertising has evolved
Brian Wallach is head of revenue for programmatic TV sales platform AudienceXpress. In his view, successful advertisers are those who understand there’s no longer one single consumer journey, no matter what the brand or sector.
“Successful advertisers are consumers themselves, and oftentimes they admit they watch content in different ways,” he explained. “So now their planning and execution of media is adapting so that, if their desired audience isn’t all coming from traditional linear TV, they’re able to optimize and adapt and run media against other channels. We call these fluidity deals in the industry, where it’s less about whether it’s linear TV or digital, and more about reaching the right audience in quality programming.”
For Effectv’s Williamson, it once again comes back to understanding your customers.
“Clients and advertisers are really focusing on consumer behavior, and they’re studying where ad consumption is happening. So it’s less about connected TV or video-on-demand (VOD), and more about looking at the entire TV ecosystem to ensure they’re targeting the right audiences as they’re looking to get their message out there.”
5. Value a ‘one viewer’ solution
Being able to track and measure viewing behavior across multiple platforms is the crucial piece of the puzzle. It will improve brands’ understanding of their customers, solve ad frequency problems and allow sequential messaging. It will also allow more accurate attribution, improving media planning and increasing efficiency. That’s why Elizabeth Luciano, senior vice-president, marketing & brand strategy at broadcaster A+E Networks, is keen to encourage everyone in the video advertising space to work together to make the ‘one viewer’ solution happen.
“It’s going to be so important,” she said. “We want to deliver content when and where people want to watch it. In order to do that, we need to see how they travel across platforms.”
Learn from your experiences
Perhaps the final word goes to Soyoung Kang, chief marketing officer at beauty brand eos. As marketers start to think about the trends that will define their 2023, she urged them to also remember the lessons of the last few years.
“As we try to understand how to navigate this macroeconomic climate, it’s really important for us as marketers to continue to push forward,” she said. “We have to stay agile. We’ve built all of these muscles during the pandemic where we needed to be able to shift investments as circumstances changed. It’s time to exercise those muscles again.”