In a recent article, Dan Rayburn concluded that targeting (or the lack thereof, to be precise) is hindering the success of online video advertising . As an industry stakeholder, I was both surprised and concerned by this perception. The targeting capabilities of online video ads are what give the medium so much potential. I know it gets referenced a lot, but I thought this would be a good forum to explore the targeting capabilities by providing some suggestions on how some top verticals can maximize their online video advertising campaigns with available targeting capabilities.
I honestly can't think of a category in more need of eliminating wasteful advertising, while continuing to reach highly qualified prospective buyers in certain geographic regions. A shotgun approach is unnecessary online as not everyone is in the market for a car. Automotive advertisers should consider leveraging their existing search campaigns and web site traffic to retarget already identified prospective buyers with high impact video ads. Further, automotive marketers should leverage behavioral data to target those looking for specific makes and models. It may not save the auto industry from its current ills, but it could have a big impact on its ability to sell more cars at a lower marketing cost.
Targeting used: Retargeting, behavioral targeting, and geotargeting.
With the future of the economy still unclear, casual dining establishments such as T.G.I. Friday's, Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays, etc. have lost customers to lower-priced, fast-food alternatives. More consumers are also cooking and eating meals at home to save money. Casual dining establishments should run special video promotions, targeted on the weekends when consumers are still spending.
They should also consider marketing to areas where consumers are less than five to 10 miles from a restaurant location. And, these video ads should offer an online coupon not only as a call-to-action, but to allow them to measure the effectiveness of the ads.
Targeting used: Demographic (age, gender),
day-of-week, and geotargeting.
Saturdays and Sundays are still the most trafficked food shopping days. Large food companies like Kraft, Tyson, and General Mills should pump out online video advertising right before and during the weekend to reinforce strong brands and introduce new items. To reach the working parent, companies like Pizza Hut and Dominos have used the key 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. timeframe to influence this demographic to just "order in" with strong results. Those companies can get even stronger results by targeting their online video in the same way.
Targeting used: Demographic (age, gender), day-of-week, daypart.
For the quick-serve market, Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks are great examples for dayparting. We can count on hunger and caffeine pangs in the morning. Both companies could save some coin by working with a video ad network and doing a run of network ad buy from the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the weekday. Ads can be adjusted geographically to reach consumers who are in proximity to store locations.
Targeting used: Day-of-week, daypart, geo-targeting, run of network (when ad buy is done through an ad network).
There's no sense in an airline like Jet Blue or Spirit Air spending $450K on a spot on the television show "Lost," or trying to string together a complicated schedule of regional TV spots when they can air the same TV commercials only in the cities that the airline serves. Better yet, most airlines can combine regional targeting with day of week targeting to fill las- minute seats on particular routes or promote high margin international flights in competitive markets.
Airlines should also invest heavily in retargeting to maintain a continuous dialogue with previous site visitors by delivering tailored video ads. My wife wondered why she saw so many Hawaiian Airlines ads for an entire month after searching for tickets to Hawaii on a number of travel sites. Guess where we're going in January?
Targeting used: Retargeting, behavioral targeting, day-of-week, and geotargeting.
How would Jaguar or Gucci like to advertise to cities, towns and municipalities whose household income is $150,000+? Pre-rolls can be targeted by using existing census data, as direct mail did so effectively. These companies can target affluent consumers in a range of cities and municipalities, like Coronado, Calf. whose average household income is over $435K to a more moderate $262K household income found in Manhasset, NY. A longer buying cycle generally exists with higher priced goods, so so use a scalable video ad network that offers retargeting and behavioral targeting to make sure ads are routinely served to interested consumers.
Targeting used: Demographic (income-level), geotargeting, retargeting and behavioral targeting.
The 2008-09 NBA season has seen a drop in ticket sales, primarily due to a decline in renewable ticket sales. Teams like the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and the L.A. Lakers remain solid. But, other cities are fighting a number of variables, like the economy, that are leaving sales flat. The New Jersey Nets is a prime example of a club that needs help filling seats. The franchise has the third worst attendance rate. The venue is outside of the city and fans are leery of investing time and money because the team may be leaving. The Nets should get out pre-rolls with specials the week leading up to the event, targeted specifically to the geographic area. They can directly target sports enthusiasts by content category -- NBA clips, highlights, college basketball, etc. When big-name teams come to town the ads should showcase that team and the player(s) that draws crowds. To further boost sales they can offer discounted family fun pack deals.
Targeting used: Content category, web site, geotargeting.
A number of the examples I list require a component of what is known as recency -- reach and frequency are not the gold mine, but how the ad
works in a mature market. The concept is not new to media buyers, but for online video advertising, planning can be done around data mined from initial campaigns. Optimization makes it possible to
change up a campaigns focus based on performance. Consider how much Olive Garden or the Nets could learn from finding patterns in click-throughs for their weekend or game day promotions. They can even
retarget the converters.
I don't pretend to be a marketing expert in any of the above. However the targeting capabilities for online video advertising are rich and it is important that they are understood. Seeing my fair share of RFPs, I can tell you that they are not fully understood just yet, but the industry is getting there.