Agencies Speak About Video Advertising Needs

Last month my company surveyed 150 video advertising media buyers about their needs, new opportunities and the future of online video advertising. After cutting through buzz-worthy sound bites about pricing (yes, it's going down) and spending (yes, it's going up), we found some very interesting topics come up.

In particular, video advertising buyers were explicit about needs in a few key areas: efficiency, targeting and research.

Efficiency is generally a subjective term, but survey results provided some hard numbers to digest. The most important form of efficiency for advertisers today is price, with 46% of video advertisers buying with this metric in mind. Campaign execution efficiencies, including encoding, trafficking and managing publishers, continues to be important for 28% of respondents. Content and delivery speed are less important, for 12% and 3% respectively.

In many ways, targeting is the "elephant in the room" in video advertising, with 31% of agencies believing targeting is the main factor limiting online video advertising's growth today, and 28% of agencies claiming targeting is the aspect of online video that their clients are most concerned about. Digging a layer deeper, agencies are looking for better targeting technologies for behavioral (38% of respondents) contextual (27%) and demographic (17%) targeting.

I was shocked to learn that 87% of agencies had never done research into the efficacy of video advertising -- yet 56% of respondents would be more inclined to spend money if research existed. However, agency buyers were clear that if they were to do research, they would be most interested in understanding video's impact on offline purchase behavior (39% of respondents), changes in purchase intent or brand lift (36%) and the performance of online video vs. television advertising (25%).

Overall, agencies were quite clear: they want to buy video more efficiently, with better targeting and more measurement into the effectiveness of their spend. Everyone in the video advertising industry should commit resources to solving these problems, as those who do solve them will likely aggregate the majority of ad dollars moving forward.

5 comments about "Agencies Speak About Video Advertising Needs".
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  1. Eric Steckel from Turnpike Digital, May 11, 2009 at 1:16 p.m.

    I am frequently amazed at the number of agencies and internal marketing departments that do not track the effectiveness of the creative that we make for them. It seems to be a no-brainer. My company is looking into finding a way to provide that type of data as a value added service. If the buyers and the internal marketers could make a case for the effectiveness of their campaign, they would be more likely to partner on an on-going campaign. Those clients that have this type of data seem to fit that category.

  2. Scott Smith from Chesapeake Media Partners, May 11, 2009 at 3:15 p.m.

    It's the future, no doubt - how do we monetize it today? Media Buyers are (often) not tech-heads, therefore, demanding a varifiable CPI w/o understanding the analytics that are put before them and how they came to be. Education of clients or prospects is tuff w/o revieling company secrets or saas?

  3. Martin Russ from Freelance Technical Author, May 12, 2009 at 6:04 a.m.

    Tracking the metrics of a video ad campaign is crucial to measuring its' success. It makes sense that advertisers would be more inclined to increase their video ad spending if they better understood how it translates into an increase in purchase intent, sales and/or brand awareness. Through our clients, we've seen really great success in video advertising campaigns.

  4. Jim Burnette from, May 12, 2009 at 1:29 p.m.

    Tod, thanks for the study. Very helpful for the video marketplace. The Content measurement based on importance seems very low on the totem pole @ 12%. In my last four years of selling video, Content has always been the #1 issue. UGV was a hard sell 2 years ago and still is, otherwise You Tube would be raking in the dollars. CPM will always be the final measurement for an agency spreadsheet, but you will not make the spreadsheet if your video Content is suspect. The three mains bullets I hear in all my sales meetings with agencies & clients: Content, Transparency & Scalability. You must clear those first 3 hurdles before their is any discussion about CPM & efficiency. Professional Content vs. UGV Content will undoubtedly determine your CPM range of efficiency.

    Best, Jim Burnette

  5. Peter Contardo from Endavo Media, May 13, 2009 at 6:05 p.m.

    Interesting findings. I think that until we start to see some standardization in terms of formats and metrics, agencies will continue to struggle with adoption. (Just left a presentation at Streaming Media East where a panel of ad platform/network providers all said we're at least 3 years away.) The beauty of online video is in bringing together people who are very passionate about content and their experience with it. Finding that audience and connecting an appropriate brand with that content should be the primary focus of an online video ad campaign.

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