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Guest comment: How technology leads brand advertisers through the maze of multiscreen devices

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by Daniel Ruch

In many respects the approach to brand advertising hasn’t changed for over a century. Whether your company was selling soap to women or beer to men, the fundamental objective has always been the same. Grab their attention, get them interested and get them buying. Advertising platforms may have changed over the years, but when has an advertiser ever stopped saying that brands need to be more innovative and adventurous in order to grab consumer attention? Of course they do and brands have always pushed to rise above the noise of other messages.

The world of online video advertising is evolving. Consumers are viewing more online video than ever before. PCs, Macs, Connected TV, larger screens on smartphones and of course the tablet with its 10 inch screen means that we have reached the age of video everywhere. Advertisers and brands are, of course, very excited about this. More ways to engage the audience, right?

But what audience?

There’s no question that today’s fragmented media landscape is a huge challenge for advertisers and we need to consider all of these platforms. We just need to be clever about it.

Advances in measurement technology are the key differentiators that lead to successful online ad campaigns. By identifying the variables that lead to consumer attention brands can move on from the “hit and hope” approach that has long been one of the foundations of brand advertising strategies, especially in TV, no matter how the campaign was dressed up or how creative the ad was.

There are many variables: Who are the users most likely to be attentive? Where are they in the country? What time of day do they engage? On what day of the week? What demographic group are they a part of? What content viewing patterns do they exhibit? Even what internet browser they use and their operating system.

These are real measures that may impact the performance of an ad. It is fairly unintuitive that some of these factors could even play a role in affecting branding performance, but they do. We see this every day in our campaign results. And I suppose that is part of the point I am making – we live in a day and age where technology can make highly sophisticated calculations based on an analysis of very real but very complex data that, at the end of the day, is just too difficult for humans to calculate accurately, at least in real time. And for each additional device that gets added to a media plan, an entirely new set of permutations gets added to the variable outputs that need to be considered. This gets very complicated, very quickly.

By understanding the multiscreen consumer and the benefits of each screen, brands are in a stronger position to deliver compelling campaigns that engage their audience in the right way, with the right message, in the right environment. By using technology to understand the nuanced variables that affect performance of each campaign across each device, brands can harness the true power of digital advertising to cut through the noise and target those most likely to convert.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that having all this information to hand is the Holy Grail, you need to sort out which data points are important and which are irrelevant for your brand, but get the balance right and you’ll achieve success.

There will always be a need for creative advertising, clever straplines and tunes that you can still remember years after the campaign is over. There will always be advertisers telling you to be innovative and adventurous. The real innovation is the technology that combines all of this and makes it work.

Daniel Ruch is VP for Europe, Tremor Video

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