As we adapt to new ways of working and living, brands can redefine their relationships with their customers by showing humanity and offering support. This is a pivotal moment to re-examine marketing and media plans to emphasize building long-term brand value.
As consumers are staying home, TV viewership is up nearly 60%, according to Nielsen. OTT streaming has increased significantly in recent weeks. Between March 1 through March 16, streaming hours via connected TVs (CTV) are up 24% compared to a year ago, and hours streamed using a streaming box or stick are up 16%, per Comscore.
In these unprecedented times, more consumers are embracing ad-supported streaming TV options. Also, for some brands, such as D2C, ecommerce, online food delivery, online education, home fitness and wellness, this is a timely opportunity to drive short-term business and build long-term brand awareness.
While some advertisers may go dark during this time, Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer projects that a six-month absence from TV advertising will result in an estimated 39% reduction in total brand communication awareness. However, it’s crucial for advertisers to strike the right chord in delivering a message that’s focused on serving the well-being of the consumer.
According to Forrester’s Consumer Energy Index, this is the time to build trust and the “insular lifestyles of this moment are stimulating consumers’ appetite for entertainment, learning, or adventure to fill the social void.”
Here are three advertiser priorities in these dynamic times:
Bring Comfort With Relevant Creative
Our world and lives have changed significantly in just a few short weeks, resetting consumer habits, attitudes and values. It’s imperative we reevaluate all existing creative concepts and messaging. The first step is to ask: Is the theme, tone and corresponding imagery still relevant today?
In challenging times, brands have the opportunity and responsibility to inform, offer reassurance and help consumers find comfort. For instance, Hyundai’s “Unpredictable” spot conveys the offer to cover up to six months of car payments, while Nike’s campaign encourages consumers to stay home and stay active via its apps. With dynamic ad insertions in CTV, advertisers can easily swap out creative to ensure that the advertising experience is personalized, relevant and timely.
Re-evaluate Media Plans With Informed Data-Driven Insights
In re-assessing media plans, it’s important to consider whether you have the right media mix for your brand in this current environment. As more viewers tune into their local newscasts, they’re more receptive to watching local ads, which makes the power of local TV more appealing. With the surge in stay-at-home viewing, consider OTT as a cost-effective way to reach this engaged audience. The addressability in CTV/OTT allows advertisers to zero in on specific audience segments on a home-by-home basis.
Now more than ever, marketers are focused on spend efficacy and ROI to ensure that they are reaching homebound consumers eager for timely information, engagement and entertainment. One way to dig deeper is to understand the technology capabilities among OTT providers for connecting data for audience targeting, such as the source of data, viewer profile accuracy, and how often the data is refreshed.
To further optimize OTT campaign spending, advertisers can glean audience insights, such as content, channel and ad placement data, to better understand what viewers are watching and what’s triggering their purchase decisions.
Proving Outcomes For Ecommerce Businesses
In the near-term, with brick-and-mortar stores temporarily closed, many brands are focused on their ecommerce capabilities and readiness to serve their customers, such as communicating how they’re supporting their local communities, waiving delivery fees, and offering curbside and contact-less delivery options.
The ability to track how many consumers visited a website after viewing an OTT ad is the most desirable metric for advertisers – to show conversion rates. This is achieved through OTT attribution to prove to advertisers whether their campaign performance drove business outcomes. Today, website attribution measurement can be done through placing a pixel in a campaign creative that analyzes the IP address correlation of viewers served an OTT ad with website visitors who took action.
Brands have the opportunity to connect and build greater trust with their intended audiences by demonstrating they bring value and help during turbulent times. We need to lean in and work together as trusted partners to empower advertisers to connect with the right audiences, improve media spend efficiencies, reduce wasted impressions — and become a more resilient brand when we return to a new normalcy.