OTT, digital TV, streaming -- whatever you call it, the options for delivering a targeted message are strong. There’s also some new and interesting media formats to help break through the clutter.
I recently started using AT&T TV, and though I find the service itself to be spotty as it would be with any app-based delivery, the ad units on AT&T TV are very interesting. I’ve long wondered why carriers didn’t make better use of the pause screen for on-demand or recorded video. AT&T TV does it very well with full screen, auto-play video that allows the advertiser to place a beautiful piece of content on loop and deliver a message to the audience.
I have not spoken to anyone at AT&T TV, but I would assume that now or somewhere down the line it’s able to deliver that unit on a targeted basis based on their profile of the customers in the household.
Television has long been the centerpiece of an advertiser’s go-to-market. It delivers the most traditionally impactful ad units. In the past, it delivered total reach.
Reach is important when building a brand. These days, targetability is as important because you can develop your brand in phases, radiating outwards from target to target by leveraging OTT and streaming. Advertisers can start with their most important audiences first and generate waves of brand development from there. This is a potentially cost-effective way of delivering growth, allowing you to manage that growth without the massive out-of-pocket costs for nationwide broadcast TV right out of the box.
If you accept that the definition of TV is different now than it was 10 years ago, you’re on board with this strategy. If you don’t, then you are hanging on to a memory.
Video is the most important element of your go-to-market. It can be immersive. It can tell a story. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but video is a novel. Video is delivered across a multitude of platforms now, and many of these have marketing and advertising opportunities built into them.
Video is your centerpiece, and traditional television no longer has the same reach that it once did. I am not saying TV is dead or dying. I am saying the playing field has leveled out, and TV is not the same as it used to be.
You can build a brand without broadcast television. You can build a brand using only digital forms of media. That is the “inconvenient truth” for many, and a convenient one for many others. You can effectively build a brand without spending a dollar on traditional broadcast TV. Of course, working that into your media plan, along with outdoor and other vehicles, can work better.
Your customers are splitting their time across dozens of media formats and platforms every day. Your job is to understand that the journey from prospect to customer is not a linear journey. You need to identify the most opportunities to see and touch your brand, and construct messaging consistent and successive across them all, no matter what order or path the customer takes.
You are the architect of a journey you cannot control or predict, but you have to be proactive no matter what. Doing that requires a new paradigm of belief: Digital is your core channel. Video is the anchor in that channel. Video is the best way to tell a story and you surround it with other ways to generate more touches and extend that story in a way that hooks the attention of your targets and drives them to engage with you directly, on your terms, in a way that pushes them towards becoming a true customer.
That is how you build a brand in 2021 – a strategy different from what you might choose in in 2019. That’s why I love this space, and what keeps it interesting.