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New Year’s Resolutions for the Media Industry

December 10th, 2019   ||    by Gary Milner

During 2019 I have had the pleasure to mix with agencies, brands, media and tech providers at events who all have views on where our media market is headed. Reflecting on this, below are the key things that need to be considered between brands and agencies, heading into 2020.

  • Move to Total Video Planning – The growth of digital video, inclusive of OTT, requires a different way to approach planning, buying and measuring alongside traditional TV planning and buying.
  • End Siloed Media Management – Consumers are exposed to messages across channels and devices from the top of the funnel to the bottom. Organizational models need to adapt to cater for dynamic execution. Money needs to quickly move to where the performance is; fragmenting ad dollars across channels and departments is a recipe for sub-optimization in an all digital world.
  • Complete Integrated Media Dashboards – Too often metrics are siloed. I have seen many organizations needing new dashboards or in some cases, ones that have none. Optimizing within a channel to a specific KPI and across channels simultaneously is needed to drive the total campaign KPI.
  • Consider Going In-House – It’s important to understand what this means to your organization as it’s not for everyone. There is a scale of what in housing means to a marketer.
  • Understand Context Management – Viewability and fraud have been well covered the last few years and more attention is turning to the context of where your ads are running. With the demise of the cookie for targetting this will become more important going forward, for planning and measurement.
  • Understand Privacy Compliance – The world of online privacy is a tumultuous subject as California and potentially other states release their rules. Noncompliance could be very expensive with company level fines and individual recovery incidents. New management tools and non-cookie-based targeting is the future.
  • Strategic and Tactical Agency Advice – Ensure that your advisor is acting strategically and tactically, placing you where consumers are moving to. Don’t allow the existing agency to protect some of its existing practices based on current spend and organization models. Siloed media management needs to be removed in agencies and clients.
  • Look at Brand Verification in OTT – For years the ANA, as well as brands and agencies have pursued brand verification and transparency. Connected TV and OTT needs the same attention. Don’t assume it’s all okay and adopt the emergent brand safety solutions. Otherwise you may just find that big screen campaign only ran on a cellphone.
  • Simplify DSP and Ad Platforms Choice – Move as much video and OTT media buying and execution to one platform. This makes supply path optimization (SPO), audience and reach and frequency measurement more precise.

Now, let’s dig deeper into video planning — a hot topic given the changes in the TV business.

The era of having TV planning and buying separated from online video buying and OTT/Connected TV is at an end. Pay TV is declining. We are at the start of a new era in streaming TV (ad and non-ad supported), leading to fragmentation of audiences. Advertisers wanting audience reach and frequency will increasingly find this more difficult to achieve through a low CPM, high reach TV buy.

These are the things that need to start to happen in 2020:

  • Move the discussion on OTT/Connected TV buying from reach to targeting. If you try and make it look like your existing TV buy, then you will likely not do it at all. Audiences are different on connected TV and should be viewed as a complement to traditional TV, not a competitor.
  • Understand incremental reach/frequency of your online video/OTT/Addressable TV buy, pre and post campaign vs. traditional TV buy. Leverage tools like Nielsen TAR to track this.
  • Utilize your SSP to help manage the cross-campaign video activity, planning to execution (OTT/addressable and online video). They can typically see more inventory than your DSP as they are serving the content.
  • Put digital expertise in the TV team or create a parallel person/team responsible for digital video end to end. Top down linear reach/frequency planning should be complemented and integrated with bottoms up digital video planning, including OTT.
  • OTT/connected TV execution cannot be lazy. Don’t just buy the inventory with settings like your video campaign. Applying viewability settings to OTT media that doesn’t apply will break the campaign.
  • Fraud and bots are moving into connected TV execution, meaning you must understand the issues and work with partners such as IAS to mitigate against this.

As we pass into 2020, never has media been as complicated yet exciting with opportunities in abundance. Happy New year!

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