Better data-driven audience research is enabling deeper insights into consumer motivations, behaviors and actions for brands.
A good example is what Oath is accomplishing through its premium video content and experiences, creating better understanding of the trends driving video consumption and growth across new formats. This valuable information can then be used to drive a brand’s strategy. “We know that successful brands grow by anticipating the needs of consumers in a constantly changing marketplace”, noted Maya Abinakad, Senior Marketing Manager, Oath. “The market landscape is evolving at a pace unlike anything we’ve seen before,” she added, “especially in the areas of AR, VR and 360, for example.”
As marketers try to keep up, the question on the minds of many industry leaders is: Do you have your finger on the pulse of the consumer? Are your current investments in an under-appreciated consumer technology well placed for future success or destined for a flop? Brands need to understand consumer expectations and the threshold for advertising or risk wasting valuable dollars and development time. Parsing the opportunities and pitfalls is the direction that AOL Video research is taking with their latest State of Video Industry online study in partnership with InsightsNow.
Abinakad believes that the best research uncovers the human motivations that drive consumer behavior, maybe even revealing results that upend the established order. “When you don’t question established order, it can lead to short-term results,” she stated. “Company leaders may believe and invest in something that may not be of great interest to consumers. This research is pivotal to keeping up (and ahead of) quickly changing consumer trends to maximize business opportunities and plan for the future,” she added.
The study focused on consumers age 16+ and B2B constituents, including industry buyers (agencies and brands) and sellers (publishers, ad networks and ad tech providers). The results revealed macro trends in the video ecosystem and where attitudes between consumers and companies merged and diverged. But Oath’s main purpose in this study is to deeply understand how and why consumers are engaging with video online and the importance of acting on insights as part of one’s video strategies, especially given how quickly the industry is evolving.
Here are the major takeaways:
1. Digital video investments show no signs of slowing down. B2B trends indicate greater spending on video which is increasing exponentially. 83% of buyers are expecting to increase their video spending this year.
2. Dollars are coming out of television. This investment is coming out of Broadcast/Cable TV budgets and into predominantly desktop (72%) and mobile video (71%) platforms.
3. Social (50%) and quality creative (46%) are driving video’s growth.
4. But 44% of advertisers say measurement is still a big challenge, a +14% increase from last year.
5. Consumers want VR, 360 video and AR, especially younger consumers. Across all age groups, consumers are drawn to live videos as advertisers are increasingly investing in 360 Video.
6. Mobile video is driving much of digital video’s growth as 67% of all consumers watch videos on their phones everyday with 74% watching live video.
7. Offering greater competition to linear networks, news, music and sports content dominate live video consumption.
8. VR is poised to become as common as mobile video among consumers for all types of programming such as movies, virtual tourism, science and shopping. But hardware constraints are currently seen as a barrier to fuller roll-out.
9. Consumers expect video advertising but the “right” length of the ad is important and it varies. Of course, who doesn’t prefer shorter ads, but the findings here indicate that expectations vary according to the length of the ad. The longer the video, the longer the expected ad. But the ad must be relevant and with some control still maintained by the viewer such as skipping and fast forward.
10. Programmatic spending will continue to rise, but both buyers and sellers are concerned about system integration and the ability to access premium inventory.
11. Branded video spend has reached its peak. Although branded video is still a revenue driver, the spend is slightly declining because of measurement challenges and cost.
Oath’s collection of more than global media and technology brands ranges from AOL and Yahoo to HuffPost and TechCrunch. Their redoubled focus is on delivering content and ads across mobile platforms so research necessarily plays a big role in this effort. Understanding the accelerating trends in media and placing efforts in those trends are essential for their future success as well as their advertisers.
Since their mission is to “build brands that people love,” noted Abinakad, “And, marketers are focused on delivering the highest consumer experience possible, then having and offering relevant, insightful research results will help Oath reach that goal. All of our products and services are designed to allow brands to build their brands, and allow agencies to do the same for client brands.”
This article first appeared in www.MediaVillage.com