Driving tangible business results is a core tenet here at Eyeview—if a tactic isn’t moving the needle on your bottom line, then what’s the point?
With more pressure on marketers than ever to deliver real outcomes, we knew this was a growing sentiment in the marketing industry across brands, agencies and partners and wanted to bring everyone together for the first time.
In partnership with Beet.TV, Outcomes coalesced the biggest names and marketers in the outcome-based marketing space for a one-day event to discuss the industry’s challenges, triumphs and the work that definitely still needs to be done. With insights from Facebook, WPP, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, West Elm and many more, one attendee summed up the event in saying that it highlighted a necessary, emerging category in video marketing, and everyone in the room was a key player in making those concepts a reality.
Below, we highlighted the top five insights from the event, featuring everything from the pressing need for creative to evolve in this new landscape to what actually drives results in a video advertising campaign.
1. Test Everything with Digital, but Focus on Results
As Vice President of Innovation at West Elm, Luke Chatelain’s primary function is to test new ideas and see what effect they actually have on the brand’s bottom line. To that end, he relies on data and insights to determine the real ROI of everything he’s piloting. “The real point of data-driven thinking [is] ‘what’s actually the bottom line here?’ It’s not just that you got a lot of numbers because numbers can mean a ton of different things,” he said. “At the end of the day, understanding what those numbers are and how they tie back to conversion… is insanely important.” As part of this ideology, Chatelain only uses digital for their testing initiatives because it allows his team to do a small spend to understand the benefits at the outset, and then scale up if it’s successful. “[TV] is a great awareness mechanism, but there is not a lot of specific ROI you can pull from it without doing ‘fuzzy’ math.”
2. Maybe Brands Don’t Have to Do Everything?
Every day, something new is added to the marketer’s plate, whether it’s the latest social platform or bringing on different SEO and SEM companies to manage both sides of their search presence. Andrew Davis, founder of Monumental Shift, sums this up best in his concept of the “CMO Pizza” where he likens the idea of having one pizza (a fixed budget) and cutting it into more and more slices. He challenged the notion of constantly carving out an extra piece of the same pie for each new “tactic”—because it just doesn’t work at the end of the day. “Maybe we don’t need to have an infinite number of assets,” he said. “Using data, insights and audience understanding, we can leverage the assets we have to target where [customers] are in the consumer journey. The outcome is where we need to focus our time and energy.”
3. Creative Testing Needs to Be a Priority
“We find that the biggest levers for value are reach and creative,” said Daniel Slotwiner, the director of advertising research at Facebook. However, testing the creative presents an enormous issue: To properly test creative, the ads need to be generally homogenous because otherwise, one excellent creative asset will outperform all of the others. The problem is that our current creative system is set up to deliver one perfect video ad to run across every channel, without additional creative pieces. “It’s a bit of the chicken-and-egg issue: How do you run experiments if you can’t get the assets to try out different things?” he said. “When you run these tests, you need relatively equivalent creative in terms of quality so you know you’re comparing the execution as opposed to the quality of the creative.” In an ideal world, brands would be able to test creatively similar but slightly different versions of an ad to audiences and see which would perform best. Some partners are set up for this, but it’s definitely not the norm.
4. Agencies Still Need to Adapt for Creative Versioning
The digital marketing business overwhelmingly focuses on data-driven results, but somehow, the creative side hasn’t evolved in the same way. “Creative has actually lagged behind,” said David Moore, president of WPP Digital and chairman of Xaxis. “If you go into a creative agency and ask the creative director to show you their best stuff, they’ll show you television commercials still.” This disconnect becomes a larger industry issue every day as marketers struggle with determining outcomes from creative assets. Creative optimization is a new lever for marketing campaigns—especially video—but the agency businesses struggle with figuring out how to make money on it. “Legacy companies still tend to be time and materials businesses,” Moore says, “efficiency isn’t what they’re looking for.” As an industry, the solution has to bring everyone along—brands, agencies and partners—for it to fully succeed.
5. Linear TV Advertising Must Evolve to Survive
The video advertising industry is very aware of the declining reach of a traditional TV ad. Not to say TV advertising isn’t still an effective method for awareness, but the pool of people it can influence shrinks each year. Tom Rogers, former president and CEO of TiVo and current executive chairman of WinView Games and CEO of TRget Media, covered the many issues the industry is facing and how he recommends everyone move forward. “We’re going to have to find targeting with efficiency and addressability as answers to how a more valuable audience can be delivered at (hopefully) some degree of premium pricing,” he said. “Our best bet is… personalized creative has the ability to be inserted on an addressable basis, where you not only know you’re hitting the right target, but you’re also hitting the right target with the right message and have the ability to measure a specific outcome that gives a clear answer on the value of what you’re doing.”