Advertisers are betting bigger on video for 2023, and they’re raising their expectations with it. To meet them, and to keep advertisers on track, networks and publishers need to raise their sales games.
Specifically, 60% of video advertisers plan to increase their video spending, at a median increase of 20%. While linear TV and social video have captured advertisers’ fascination over the past few years, their 2023 focus will be more on CTV and digital video. Agencies are particularly bullish on the importance of CTV. They want the flexibility and precision that CTV enables, and they see it as less expensive than scaling linear TV investments.
That said, advertisers' expectations are rising as their views on effectiveness change. Reach isn't enough anymore. They want to build specific audiences that serve their brand and commerce goals. More frequency isn't better anymore. They want to be in shorter pods with clear competitive separation, and caps on how often the same people get their commercial messages in any given period.
At the same time, advertisers want innovation to make their brands stand out. They want to see how their specific audiences are building across screens, and of course they want stronger proof that people (not bots) are watching the screens.
The stakes on all this rise as audiences crisscross publishers' channels and products, while advertisers hedge budgets against macroeconomic uncertainty.
As tempting as it is to (over)react to consumers' shifts in media habits, advertisers need to stay grounded. They need to build a commercial narrative true to the brand that engages consumers and enhances their viewing experiences.
To do it, they need video networks and publishers to show them how to use the media, not just buy it. Salespeople need to be Sherpas through the complexity of audience changes, innovative ad products, content standards and performance metrics.
That means sales must reorient from about us to about you and develop new fluencies, starting with brand and business strategy. Salespeople need to know more about the actual KPIs of clients' businesses -- where they need to score and how they're counting points -- that inform their media choices. Then they can think upstream to recommend solutions.
Thinking upstream has traditionally been a requirement for challenger media. TV didn't need to go there, digital video did. Now all video does. That means identifying specific audience opportunities of strategic importance and recommending paths to nurture these viewers with a variety of content and interactions, rather than simply target impressions with reach and frequency levels. And it means selling examples from the advertiser's category, how others have found success across the marketing funnel with a combination of ad products.
At a time when finance is pushing marketing into a corner, video sellers have a key role in keeping advertising on full for brands. Trusted media brands will be the ones that explain, protect, and support. While automation is a selling point for advertising flexibility, increasingly advertisers need to get someone on the phone now. As marketers count on video advertising to do more heavy lifting across the marketing funnel, and raise their performance expectations, they'll turn first to the partners they trust to deliver on demand and on strategy. ■
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John Bishop is VP of business intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions.