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What’s Happening Now?
It’s a good time to be a “+.”
From Discovery+ to Disney+ to Paramount+, streaming services are slowly but surely taking over, and the younger generation, in particular, is all about it. Cutting the cord is more popular than ever before — and the movement is only growing.
According to No Cable, in 2018 90.3 million US households subscribed to some form of cable or satellite TV. That number was forecasted to drop to 82.9 million households in 2020, and the trend has carried over in the opposite direction when looking at streaming services, which have grown at a similar rate.
With fewer people than ever tuning in to traditional TV and more ad inventory available than ever before on streaming and digital platforms, marketers are switching gears quickly to meet their audiences in these new arenas. But how they are distributing content to different platforms in order to reach target audiences effectively is a challenge. That’s where Stephanie Geno comes in.
Geno is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Innovid, an online advertising technology company that offers distribution and management of digital ads, and more and more marketers are taking advantage of the service because they recognize the opportunities digital platforms bring to the table.
“When you think about what’s possible in this new digitized version of TV, and when you think about the fact that more and more consumers are cutting the cord,it allows you to secure more reach than ever has been available before through connected television and online video inventory, but it allows you to be more specific and targeted in how you buy that connected inventory,” Geno said.
These platforms open the door to even more opportunities to dig into personalization and hyper-targeting, which are two ideas that marketers have been bullish on for some time. And there are legitimate reasons to be excited.
“Personalization creates greater relevance, but it also creates greater agility in terms of your ability to manage and optimize your messages,” Geno explained. “This became really critical, and it became a more important part of the strategy for many brands in the height of COVID.”
As marketers lean in and invest in these tools and methods, they will continue to become optimized, but Geno cautioned that there are still downfalls to personalization that should be taken into account and guarded against. The early days of personalization have seen overreaches and overcomplications, and marketers trying too hard. This is what Geno believes needs to be solved for moving forward.
“When the idea of one-to-one personalization entered the market, it set off this chain reaction of just overly complicated strategies,” Geno said. “Marketers were scrambling to map out the perfect combination of message, data and strategy to create these hyper relevant experiences at the individual level.
“How do you create a universal metric that allows you to have a baseline of comparison across all of these disparate systems? As an advertiser [you have] to think about macro effectiveness and macro efficiency across your buys and optimize accordingly because we still live in a universe where dollars and budgets are finite.”
As streaming services continue to rise in popularity and more of them come into the market, finding a way to optimize the advertising strategy on those platforms will be one of the biggest things to watch.
What’s To Come?
With so much of our world in a constant state of flux, brands often feel the need to change with the times. In some cases, that is appropriate. And in fact, it is necessary for brands to update their messaging, policies, and even products to meet the needs of the rising generations. While brands go through that process, though, sometimes they fall into traps that Chris Thomas wants to help them avoid. Thomas is the Founder of Yonder Agencies, and he wants to make sure that the brands he works with stay focused on what really matters in a business sense.
Thomas explained that when a small business believes it needs to reposition and work on its brand, what marketers need to be stressing is for them to go back to the basics of the business. They should examine their website and SEO practices, and educate their customers on who they are. Once those business fundamentals have been addressed and results follow, then it’s appropriate to n refocus your efforts on the brand.
“You don’t need a fancy brand — and people are going to shoot me for saying that,” Thomas said. “When a small business comes to us and says [I need to spend all this money], actually what you need is a good website and you need to educate people on who you are. Brand can come later when you have a good healthy budget, or you become pretty known in your space, but you have to get your information out there first before you can even think about a brand.”
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