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Connecting Brand Awareness to Campaign Success: The Case for Digital Video

May 31, 2018

Most advertising professionals agree that the marketing funnel (while one of the most elementary concepts) is still a relevant tool for campaign success today. By creating brand awareness that is eventually fostered by engagement strategies, the consumer is encouraged to take action. Yet, if you ask most advertising clients what their primary goal is, they’ll say revenue – and rightfully so.  Of course, advertisers should be laser-focused on revenue, but when it causes the funnel to flip it creates a serious problem. By ignoring the importance of the top of the funnel (TOFU), and over investing in the portion of the funnel at the bottom (BOFU) the funnel is inverted. The result: impressions are restricted out of the gate, limiting reach and hitting non-engaged consumers—who could find your messaging pushy and irrelevant as they are not ready to take action.  Still, there is a continuous focus on what we know in the industry as direct response (DR) advertising. DR is an idea that is easily defended, and in theory is very practical and efficient, but the problem with this approach is that it’s not very realistic.  Today’s consumers are very technologically and industry savvy - they know they’re being advertised to, and they’re less willing to spend their money at the first point of contact.

Current data trends indicate that modern consumers respond more positively to increased frequency and awareness - not to a strong DR approach. Additionally, consumers are more likely to take action after multiple exposures.  So strategically, the best way to increase intent is to invest in awareness driving channels.  For example, by reaching 10+ exposures, your intent lifts almost 18x.  That’s because brand awareness and brand trust have grown with the consumer.  Since the consumer knows who the brand is and what their mission statement is, they can likely recall key campaign messaging and information. Most importantly, audiences not only remember the advertising and branding, but they believe it.  Knowing that today’s consumers require substantial awareness to grow their intent, you can’t be living at the bottom of the funnel hoping specifically for DR Return on Investment (ROI), you have to plan so that your ROI initially comes from converting consumers into brand advocates.

So the question becomes: in this era of growing digital advertising, how do I get consumers to trust my brand without feeling like I’m trying to sell them something?  The answer may be found by looking at awareness sources that can increase intent while taking advantage of channels that are widely under-utilized in the industry. In 2017, social network ad spend (including Facebook) made up over 38% of total spend, but the average consumer was using social media less than 20% of the time.  This leads to increased competition and CPMs.  Meanwhile, digital video was being used 21% of the time by consumers, but only 15% of advertising dollars were spent there. 

The available, premium, long-form inventory that immediately creates strong levels of brand awareness is there for the taking.  Advertisers are fighting for social presence and first-party data, when the advances in digital technology have allowed other channels to tap into other strong data sources with long-form advertising, competitive CPMs, and far less competition.  The anecdotal evidence of seeing the same digital video ad over and over online has almost become a joke in industry circles when in reality it should be a rallying cry for more advertisers to leverage the medium.

To see the true strength and reach of digital video, let’s look at one of the most important audience groups that advertisers are going after today: Millennials.  Millennials have been ‘cutting the cord’ more and more every year, with over 60% of millennials citing streaming services or digital video as their main source of watching TV in 2017.  Millennial parents are also spending large amounts of time watching digital video with their children. When asked, a resounding 72% of parents said they spend millennials or even a more focused group like millennial parents, digital video should be the first channel that comes to mind.  

The inventory availability and competitive CPMs available in digital video and connected TV are waiting for advertisers to take advantage. The argument that DR strategy can be efficient and straightforward will always hold true and can be easily implemented to achieve success.  But seeing the strength and under-utilization of channels like digital video, marketers should consider changing up their strategies.  These growing technologies are a way to create a more fully formed advertising campaign that uses information, optimizations, and a full mix of channels and strategies to achieve the greatest success possible.

With every campaign we manage, MBuy uses this knowledge to form the best possible campaigns for their clients.  The strategies utilized by MBuy are designed to achieve the client’s goals with minimal waste and a strong media mix.  Let us show you how we can use digital video, and other fast-growing, and emerging technologies to help increase brand awareness, trust, and intent.  Visit our success stories page, or click here to reach us.

Kyle Hampton

Media Supervisor, MBuy