Life Beyond The View: It’s Time For Advertisers To Rethink Measurement
Phil Townend is Unruly’s Chief Commercial Officer, APAC
The explosion of branded video content and native marketing in all its various forms defines a new chapter in the story of advertising.
As the platforms and tech become increasingly sophisticated, we have access to more data than ever before, but we need to be planning and managing our media in new ways.
This wealth of data allows us to make decisions about content type, distribution channel and post-viewing action, yet even in the most sophisticated ad markets we are still relying on blunt metrics to judge campaign success—views, reach, impressions. These metrics served us well in the days of traditional media or web 1.0, but they are just the tip of the iceberg. In a digital environment we have the ability to measure everything!
If digital video content is to reach its full potential in terms of share of budget, we need to be able to prove to stakeholders just how effective these new channels are—to demonstrate the commercial impact of content.
Clever marketers are now starting to understand video for what it really is: an opportunity to create a deep emotional connection using moving pictures to get consumers to then do something you want them to. The question we should be asking before even deciding on the creative idea should be: What is the role of this video?
All too often, advertisers are asking the wrong questions; How many views did we get? Did we beat the last video? Does our video have more views than competitor X? Did we get it cheaper than last time?
Rather than focussing on the inputs, we should be asking questions based on outputs. How long did the user spend with our brand? What was the cost of getting an average user to the point in the video at which our brand is revealed? What is our cost-per-second spent with brand? What impact did this time spent with brand have on metrics like favourability? Do we have more leads? Are we selling more products? Have we a model to connect these content initiatives to commerce?
The metrics we use need to be those that demonstrate ROI and impact top line growth and profitability—this is what really matters to shareholders.
The view is not the end, but the means to an end. It’s not the million views that drive top line sales but what those consumers do after they watch the video. We have the opportunity for the first time to think beyond vanity metrics like views and judge campaign success by more meaningful metrics, ones that have a direct commercial impact.
As advertisers increasingly understand the importance of measuring the effectiveness of their content, pre-distribution and post-view studies are a great place to start.
Measuring the emotional intensity of a campaign can be a good indicator of success. Various studies, such as those by Binet and Field and Nielsen Consumer Science, confirm that a strong emotional response to content drives memorability, engagement and commercial benefits: purchase intent and sales, earned media and advocacy.
With mobile data connections becoming more accessible across Asia, consumers truly are always on and they have almost infinite choice. The “give me what I want, when I want it” mindset represents an opportunity for advertisers. We now have the means to build functionality right into the campaign that allows us to measure performance and ascertain purchase intent in real time.
Will 2017 finally be the year that we start taking advantage of the developments in consumer technology, sophistication and ad tech to measure video and content marketing in ways that matter to shareholders? Will we finally learn to look at life beyond the view?