Earlier today Videology published their Video & TV Outlook for 2017, which featured the views of various buy and sell-side luminaries. One of the more interesting contributions to the report came from Chris Binns, Managing Partner at MediaCom, who provided some interesting insights from a buy-side perspective. Whereas we typically see agencies using PR opportunities to put pressure on broadcasters and operators to push forward with programmatic TV post-haste, Binns takes a more balanced view that also considers the limitations of data-driven advertising for brand advertisers.
First Binns noted the tension between data-driven TV advertising and achieving cultural visibility. “The more precise the targeting, the greater the focus on one individual, the less that brand is operating at an aggregate level and the less they are shifting opinions and making culture. A lot of brands need both targeting and reach. The question is how brands manage the application of data to video distribution to ensure they don’t just have precision and zero wastage,” said Binns.
“What comes next for TV is understanding the difference between being too precise and being precise enough to make a difference to your business. What TV does really well is aggregate big audiences, and you need those big audiences to create a conversation. The reality for brands is that if they are not part of the cultural ethos then no one is thinking of them. The danger is that if a brand is not front of mind then the transactional relationship will be relatively rational and the brand won’t be as effective as it otherwise might be,” he added.
A Balance Between Reach and Resonance
Binns said that online video has taken over content verticals like gaming and fashion, to the point where they rarely feature on linear TV. He also noted that these specialist communities can be aggregated in a way that makes content marketing more worthwhile. “What this means is that the convergence of TV and digital video is really not just about looking at reach, but looking at the balance between reach on the one hand and resonance and reaction on the other. Brands need to ask what they are trying to do by putting an ad in front of somebody. We have probably been very simplistic by treating all screens the same up to now. Understanding the differences between each screen will be key moving forward.”
When it comes to personalisation, Binns says that tailoring what you are delivering to consumers in an AV needs to focus less on gimmickry, and more on effectiveness. “It raises issues around complexity – complexity of creative development and complexity of media buy,” he said. “It raises interesting issues about the value of data layers. Is the application of data to make something more precise valuable? Will it pay back? The truth is that at times the application of data will be useful and sometimes it is going to push your cost base to a space where it won’t work as well. Starting to navigate those questions is going to become a key development for success to clients. This is a different set of questions and skillset to where AV planning has historically been and will, therefore, require an upskilling on the client side as well.
When asked what the smartest marketers doing to gear up for advertising success in 2017, Binns said they’ll be working to unpick the relationship between precision and growth. “There is a saying that one ought to be careful not to optimise oneself into a suboptimal position. For me this is the big challenge with data. There are two types of data – data for performance – often used for direct marketing – and data for growth. A lot of the conversation is currently focused on data for performance. In 2017, the smartest people will start to understand that data for growth is equally important.”