It’s been a week of stellar Advertising Week content from industry thought leaders including major brands, agencies, publishers, technology partners, influencers and more.
With so many different types of speakers, it seems as though it would be difficult to cover relevant content for all industry audiences, but Advertising Week did not disappoint.
On top of soaking up all of the industry insights, Innovid also took to the stage to share our expertise on the future of connected TV (CTV) and video in several panels — two of which featured our CTO and Co-Founder, Tal Chalozin, discussing CTV with other major players in the industry. Coming out of those sessions, it was clear that CTV is a necessary screen for marketers looking to reach their entire audience, as well as a new canvas that presents major creative opportunities for engagement — including interactive and data-driven video.
Innovid’s President, Beth-Ann Eason, also moderated several panels, including a discussion around Women in Digital and Technology, and a discussion on how CPG marketers are pushing the boundaries of interactive and data-driven video across screens and channels — featuring expert panelists from L'Oréal, Heineken, and Conagra Brands. For CPG marketers, interactive video and CTV are driving 24% and 106% engagement lifts respectively. Watch the video below for examples of how CPG brands are leveraging data-driven, interactive, and CTV video to connect with their audiences and drive engagement.
While there was a multitude of topics being discussed at Advertising Week, there were three major themes that saturated the conference — reiterating the need for the industry to work together towards making advertising better for everyone involved. Here are our main takeaways that are inspiring us to work harder and better, and make valuable impact for both our partners and their audiences.
1. Creating better and more relevant audience experiences is paramount to success.
No matter what the subject of a session was, the single word that I heard most often was “relevant.” Marketers are clearly trying to demonstrate their most relevant value to every customer and the urgency is palpable. Nadine Karp McHugh, SVP of Omni Media for L’Oréal USA exclaimed that marketers need to “ make sure their experience is relevant and is something that consumers want to engage with. You can have all of the data, but if you don’t have the right message, it doesn’t mean anything.” She then went on to encourage marketers to use all of the data at their disposal in any way they can to better connect with their audiences.
Marketers also need to differentiate themselves and provide true value to hold viewers’ attention. As Ed Davis of Fox Networks Group explained “if we don’t improve the viewing experience and be more efficient with people’s attention, audiences are going to disappear.” Lisa Mathison of Conagra Brands understands this and stated, “for CPG marketers, we’re witnessing the collapse of the purchase funnel,” so she and the Conagra team are trying to bring purchasability forward in their video marketing to grab attention and provide a frictionless commerce experience.
Data-driven personalization is also carrying into the area of CTV. For instance, Senior Marketing Partner Manager of Sling TV, Jules Strachman stated that "relevance is key—making sure we have the right message to the right person at the right time through addressable TV.” Simply because CTV is a newer screen for the market, doesn’t mean that it’s not ready for personalization, as Hulu and many other content providers constantly recommend content to subscribers based on their preferences. That type of customization is only natural to continue into the ad experience.
Brian Lesser, CEO of newly-announced company Xandr, encouraged the industry to “reinvent advertising”, going on to say “we need to figure out how to serve advertising in a more relevant and engaging way to viewers. The future is about how you distribute content in a data-driven way, as directly as possible to consumers, and how you build that experience for consumers.”
This type of customization is expected, so it’s the marketer’s job to deliver. This point was enforced by Bank of America’s CMO, Meredith Verdone: “Customers expect brands to be personalized, deliver what I want, when I need it.”
Author, Seth Godin, implored marketers to tap into their empathy to transform how they present themselves by saying, “the way we tell our stories is going to keep changing. We need to make things better by making better things. We do this by marketing with people, not at people.”
2. The future of TV is already here.
The future of TV has been a hot topic at Innovid for years, but it seems the rest of the industry is also tuning in, as many panels this year were dedicated to the major transformation of the biggest screen in the home. The overwhelming consensus is that TV is not only NOT dead — it’s more popular than ever with connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) devices that present marketers with a new, rich storytelling canvas. According to Roku’s Seth Walters, the shift has already happened from marketers asking if they “should” invest in connected TV to “how much” in order to reach and engage their entire audience.
Kathleen Comer from The Trade Desk shared that 48% of their CTV audience reach is unique and can’t be reached through traditional linear TV, making CTV a clear must-do. It’s also clear that the CTV audience is connected, influential, and a group that marketers can’t afford to miss. Michael Scott of Samsung Ads enforced this by saying advertisers focusing on traditional television “may get their rating points, but they’re not reaching younger, affluent consumers who are building their brand preferences.” Heineken’s Ron Amran went so far as to say, “we don’t talk about television anymore — we talk about video planning, and television is considered a subset of video as a whole. If you add the data part to TV, it helps unlock it to be more effective in a digital world.”
During the aptly named panel “Ready, Set, TV”, our CTO and Co-Founder, Tal Chalozin, explained that “CTV drivers are not on [marketers] — consumer behaviors are what dictate where the puck is going, and we are trying to retrofit the industry.” As marketers, we’re playing catch up to what and how people are already watching, but the future looks bright. In the same panel, TiVo President, Walt Horstman stated “getting to the content you want has never been easier in this fragmented world —and it’s creating great advertising opportunities.”
As a leader in the CTV and OTT space, Innovid has helped many brands navigate the changing environment of TV. For specific examples of how Volvo and Modi Media, as well as true[X] have found CTV success, download our CTV report here.
3. Holistic and trustworthy measurement needs to be a bigger focus.
With the advertising and technology landscape shifting on a daily basis, one area that is still playing major catch up is measurement. Many marketers are still using clicks and views to determine efficacy, but those metrics don’t help understand perception. Marketers need more engagement metrics to understand their campaigns in order to optimize, as well as holistic insights across their entire investment.
For instance, Director of Consumer & Competitive Insights at AT&T, Salim Sitafalwalla, stated “our approach to marketing is becoming much more one-to-one and we need the measurement to make sure we can do it.”
When it comes to attribution, Xandr CEO, Brian Lesser, said “last-click attribution is garbage, but somehow it became the gold standard.” He stated that it was necessary for marketers to be getting more data back, so they can better analyze what’s working, rather than relying on traditional marketing mix modeling. In order to do better, marketers need better metrics that are consolidated from all areas of their strategy — including walled gardens — in order to better understand their consumers and the efficacy of their programs.
As marketers depart from Advertising Week, the top three focus areas are:
Creating more relevant and immersive experiences for audiences through data-driven and interactive video.
Maximizing cross-screen impact with CTV to take advantage of the unique environment of this screen.
Leveraging holistic insights that provide real actionable next steps and optimizations across their entire investment.