Optimizing Campaigns Towards Brand Lift Metrics
When Cadreon was founded 6 years ago, programmatic media buying was just coming out the stage of ideation. A handful of marketplaces were only touching the conception of what ad exchanges are today: available inventory was limited to standard display banners, and the bidding/auction protocol was taking place in various forms ranging from manual to semi-automated. Still, the significant complexity of operating these buys met great success. Indeed, lower media costs combined to real-time optimization helped significantly decreasing lower-funnel activities costs, the golden metric for direct response campaigns.
Typically, advertisers would slice their budgets in thirds to address each step of the conversion funnel. Because of an inherent ability to drive results, programmatic buying rapidly grew in the lower portion of media plans focused on generating performances. After demonstrating its capabilities, it started by taking a share of the simplest and under-optimized ad network buys, all the way to the most guaranteed CPA buys through affiliate marketing.
However, the past six years saw innovations that helped programmatic buying climb up the ladder of media plans, and gain traction in mid/upper-funnel tactics.
For advertisers looking to drive brand lift and product consideration, video continues to be one of the most effective mediums. What has changed is the way that video is purchased and consumed. Video can be consumed in multiple devices from traditional TV, Connected or Smart TVs, computers and an expanding array of mobile devices. Additionally, the way content is consumed includes social networks, YouTube, original connected TV content and video on demand (VOD). As advertisers have shifted budgets to take advantage of these new opportunities, they have been able to reap cost savings and unprecedented reach. Despite these gains, many advertisers have stumbled on how to measure the effectiveness of their advertising spend.
A recent Nielsen study indicated that even limited exposure to video content improves brand lift.
“Results show that from the moment a video ad was viewed (even before one second), lift happened across ad recall, brand awareness and purchase consideration. This means that even people who never watched the video but did see the impression were still impacted by the ad. And, as expected, lift increased the longer people watch the ad.”
Cadreon employs multiple buying methods to ensure that we actively optimize our campaigns towards brand lift metrics. Campaigns can be optimized in real time to determine the best way to align the proper message with the proper audience program, so we can efficiently and effectively position your products to sell.
Private Marketplaces helped streamline the programmatic execution of direct deals between buyers and sellers, and alleviate issues related to tag-based buys. A big share of the inventory sold on the open exchanges was remnant, and performing poorly when considering the characteristics of the actual placements. Executing against private deals restores the benefits of negotiating access with publishers, to specific sections, formats and audiences with higher priority. Which in return helps with performance viewability, and overall inventory quality.
High Impact ad formats
One early benefit of Private Marketplaces was also to enable better execution of high impact ad formats. Because of the lack of both inventory and standardization around high impact units, private deals were a necessary step to establish traction, up to the point that today the most challenging formats can run seamlessly, such as homepage takeovers with wallpaper skins, expandables, etc., all in a programmatic environment where audience targeting can be applied.
While this gets the technology to a better place to address brand awareness needs, what’s coming next?
Brand awareness real-time optimization
To us, the next big thing is to apply the fundamental principles of performance optimization that have been successfully applied to direct response campaigns to brand awareness campaigns. The challenge that very few partners have started to tackle, is to enable a one-to-one signal measurement of a positive interaction with a brand – typically done by a survey run at a smaller scale than of campaign reach.
The other aspect in closing the loop is to enable all remaining inventory to flow through the programmatic channels. Programmatic Reserved platforms aim at bridging the gap with these, and enable audience targeting with inventory coming from publishers not willing to auction their most premium assets.