Having clear, defined knowledge of a video’s effectiveness gives marketers control over all their marketing activities across media channels, enabling them to integrate and standardize all marketing activities in order to analyze and refine them in minutes. A YouTube video or other video ad may outperform expectations. Companies want to make the best use of high-performing videos and otherwise respond to audience responses they didn’t anticipate.
So executives have sought to purchase video advertisements on YouTube and other media channels in much the same way as they have always purchased television ads, so that they can make unified buys. Pursuing the unified buying goal, some marketing executives have turned to programmatic video, programmatic TV platforms or similar solutions. Yet these technologies by themselves don’t provide the insights into viewership that would enable a marketer to determine a video’s true reach and effectiveness.
YouTube’s introduction of True View a few years ago provided marketers with a means to measure advertising effectiveness based on the user’s choice to actually watch the entire advertisement.
Other video platforms such as video DSPs have built on this model and have introduced concepts such as cost per completed view or cost per completed unique view. These newer metrics, which help bridge the gap between the online impression (with all of the ways it is currently challenged with viewability -- and traditional television’s target rating point (TRP), are seen as the keys to providing marketers with confidence in their online video buys as well as helping them to account for the impact of a unified buy.
The new measurement technologies do signify progress toward a picture of a video ad’s actual viewership, but for insight into a video ad’s effectiveness and reach, marketing executives need to expand further. Simply measuring viewership – even if that includes knowing how many watched the entire video, how many turned it off after a few seconds and how many stopped somewhere in in the middle -- is not enough.
To determine a video’s true effectiveness, marketers need to know which prospects are being reached. Is a mortgage company reaching mostly teenagers? Is a mobile app firm primarily reaching the elderly? Such viewers may watch an entire video because it’s engaging. But that speaks to the quality or entertainment value of the video, not its effectiveness; these aren’t the prospects most likely to purchase the product or service. Or a video may be on with no one watching -- another example where showing that an ad has run in its entirety tells us little about its effectiveness.
And that’s the crucial question: How can we reliably determine how many real people are watching, and who they are? Some platforms, such as Facebook and Google, have unique identification capabilities that can achieve this to some extent, but it’s harder for most DSPs. Until DSPs can catch up, it’s left to advertisers to decide which audience measurement tool provides the most accurate results.
TV marketers will feel even more comfortable with video content when they are able to separate premium content from everything else. There are initial indications that these efforts are gaining traction. YouTube recently announced that it would use the same commercial model for the second consecutive year. Maturity and stability in the commercial models of premium content is a huge step toward making digital video attractive to traditional television marketers.