In the “Deep Dive” format, experts from the Mediaplus Group immerse themselves in the world of marketing trends and provide in-depth insights into current challenges: how can new trends be categorized socially and economically, and how can problems be addressed with an interdisciplinary approach? Magnus Gebauer, Senior Consultant at Mediaplus, sheds light on this with his contribution to the “share-of-wallet conflict in the subscription economy”.

“Do you really need a cow in order to get the milk?” A simple and logical question posed by Zuora founder Tien Tzuo. Zuora is the world’s leading infrastructure provider of the Subscription Economy. If you believe what Mr. Tzuo says, in a few years’ time there will be no reason to own even one single product. A daring thesis that is well worth a closer look.

The Subscription Economy is a cross-industry phenomenon. Hello Fresh and the Dollar Shave Club represent a multitude of services that are set to turn established markets upside down. Even the more conservative car manufacturers are discovering digital subscription for themselves. Mercedes-Benz is testing its own vehicle subscription with “Mercedes me Flexperience.” Word has spread that this business model pays off. Zuora talks about growth rates of over 300 percent in the last seven years.

New players, new fortune

Even in the world of media and entertainment, there’s no stopping paid subscription offers. Excessive CD and DVD shelves are a thing of the past thanks to Netflix, Spotify and co. Disney +, Apple TV + and newly announced platforms such as Quibi will reinforce this development, and at the same time they are changing the way the entire moving-image market evolves. But why are these digital subscriptions so in demand?

Subscription Economy stands for maximum customer focus. For the consumers of today it’s no longer just about owning a product or using a service. They demand solutions that they can adapt to their needs in a flexible and individual way. There are four major triggers for using paid media subscriptions:

  1. Greater flexibility through the possibility of on-demand usage
  2. Access to high quality and often exclusive content
  3. (Partial) Advertising freedom
  4. Curated/personalized content

Paid Media Subscriptions are a convenient on-off relationship – with 30 days notice.

The share-of-wallet conflict

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are not only competing with each other – in the fight for part of the available entertainment budget, video-on-demand (VoD) services are also facing subscription offerings from the audio sector as well as digital journalism. Add to that the new subscription offers of the booming gaming industry and countless new players, such as the digital magazine app Readly. More and more services are fighting for users, but there is a cost for paid media subscriptions. The question quickly arises about how many subscriptions a user is willing to sign up for. An internal survey among colleagues at the House of Communication at Serviceplan has shown that two to three different services are used – at a cost of 25 to 35 euros per month. Not a small amount but not nearly enough to be fully sustained by subscription services. The share-of-wallet conflict over the available budget is obvious. In addition, it is clear that there is not one subscriber prototype; from the binge-watcher to the news aficionado to the gaming nerd, everyone uses subscriptions differently.

Is it possible to buy an ad-free life?

Theoretically, one could buy an almost ad-free life through subscription media. Theoretically! In practice, this is simply too expensive for the average user. Added to that, paid media subscriptions do not cover all content by far. The services expand the media portfolio and reduce usage time from other offerings, but don’t completely substitute them. Subscription customers continue to use other media offers that can be advertised. But the fact is that the advertising space, especially for heavy users, is visibly smaller.

Flat rate solutions are not in sight

What the impact will be for the individual media channels can’t be solved with a flat rate. There are far too many differences in the market conditions for the video, audio and digital journalism categories.

Pay-VoD deducts usage time from linear TV, as there are very similar usage motivations here. However, Pay-VoD users can still be reached via ad-supported video channels and will have ad-funded offers in their media portfolio. Music streaming takes less usage time from classic radio than Pay-VoD on linear TV. Above all, music streaming replaces physical sound carriers. Also, music streaming is not ad-free per se. Spotify and Deezer, in addition to the payable accounts, also have advertising, free variants in their portfolio. And what is the reaction of the publishers? Many have adapted their strategies and introduced paid-content models in recent years. In terms of advertising, however, for digital journalism there is no erosion as paywalls do not mean “ad-free”. To be ad-free, users tend to rely on an ad blocker instead of paying for content.

What significance does that have for media strategy?

Through the Subscription Economy, more and more channels are losing valuable ad space. A fact that can’t be ignored, but it’s no reason to throw in the towel. Even if the initial situation becomes more difficult for advertisers, solutions exist.

Advertise in less erosive channels on a more continuous basis

Marketers were used to the fact that moving image and audio media give them almost infinitely scalable reach in a short time. But it is precisely these media that are subject to the strongest erosion phenomena. By contrast, journalistic offers, social media and out-of-home continue to offer attractive advertising space and will therefore grow in the media mix. For those who don’t shy away from the effort, they are also able to penetrate into media that move away from the classic advertising space: influencer marketing, sponsoring, product placement, native audio or in-house productions offer a variety of possibilities for brand staging – and are a welcome support for content producers. In terms of advertising pressure, it is advisable to be moderate but continuously present. This is how you build up depot effects for the brand – the marathon runner clearly beats the sprinter here.

Increasing complexity: the right planning tool question

It is hardly surprising that media planning will become even more complex in the future. Advertisers will need to expand their media mix to reach the right consumers. A broader media mix makes the use of high-end planning tools inevitable. Here’s how to answer these questions: is the range of a channel already exhausted? Is it worth adding another? What are the contact costs and how good is the advertising impact? AI-based planning tools such as the Mediaplus Brand Investor provide appropriate answers.

Back to the beginning

In the future it will also be possible to reach consumers via advertising. However, more levers will need to be set in motion and finer adjustments made. And what about the cow in your own four walls? She still won’t be needed in order to drink a glass of milk. Subscription guru Tien Tzuo is absolutely right. Unlike him, we don’t consider paid subscriptions to be the centrally dominant business model in the medium term. Rather, they are an additional, if not insignificant distribution channel which applies to grocery shopping as well as media consumption.

The central theme of SXSW has always been change: transforming itself from its humble beginnings as a music festival in the capital of Texas into one of the world’s leading conferences on technology, marketing and innovation, to the growing city of Austin itself. And Austin is changing rapidly, which becomes more and more obvious the more often you return. The influx of investments, jobs and residents can be felt and seen everywhere, as new high-rise buildings are being constructed downtown and new, fancy homes and shops take over residential neighborhoods in the vicinity, year after year. Austin’s continuing popularity certainly isn’t being embraced by everyone, especially among long-time Austin residents, who grow increasingly wary of endless traffic and skyrocketing housing costs. Silicon Valley’s latest solution fixing traffic by dumping thousands of electric scooters and bikes on Austin’s streets might be a welcome convenience for SXSW attendees, but an additional nuisance for the city’s residents.

Shifting perceptions 

As the city changes, so does one of its major draws for visitors. SXSW might still be labeled as a tech and marketing focused conference, but the growing emphasis on topics around work culture, relationships and leadership shows that technology and innovation might just not be enough to succeed in business in the future.
Opening the conference with Brené Brown and Esther Perel – two outstanding speakers on topics of belonging, empathy, and relational intelligence – was a perfect framing device for the rest of the week. The importance of applying these concepts, often dismissed as “soft” to one’s actions not only at the workplace, but in life at large, cannot be overstated.
Or as Gwyneth Paltrow, who currently is transforming her own career from Hollywood actress to CEO of her lifestyle brand Goop, put it perfectly: “Culture is your business plan”.

Reframing the toolkit of digital transformation

Does this mean we are done with digital technology? No more new gadgets, no more new platforms, no more disruption? Far from it. But digital transformation itself is changing. The past decade has handed us a toolkit with almost unlimited possibilities and technology has reached a point of productive ubiquity.
So, does ye olde Arthur C. Clarke quote no longer ring true? Has technology sufficiently advanced to a point, where it no longer appears to be magical? Not necessarily, but the tools we spent the last 10 years derivatively refining are now ready to be used productively in business and marketing. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, mobile devices and wearables, blockchain, robotics, digital assistants: they work and they provide value. It’s time to embrace them.

Technology as the trigger for and answer to shifting consumer expectations 

Walmart CTO Jeremy King gave impressive insights into how the world’s largest retailer does just that. Pretty much every technology listed above plays a major role in Walmart’s business processes: from blockchain for produce tracking, virtual reality in staff training to robotics and predictive analytics in purchasing and logistics. While King did not grow tired of repeating how customer and shopping experience were at the center of all of Walmart’s technological ventures, it surely also has an impressive impact on the bottom line, due to large increases in efficiency.
In another session I attended, Heather Hildebrand from Accenture Interactive shared examples on how Accenture helped retailers to improve the shopping experience for customers through tech by offering better personalization, curation and expert advice. Utilizing technology to create true, meaningful improvements to the overall brand experience is the pivotal challenge in the foreseeable future, as the tools are ready and at our disposal. At the same time, technology is fundamentally shifting consumer behavior across all touchpoints – so for now, understanding and properly reacting to those needs is of equal importance. This, however, takes effort and the willingness to think about hard problems and find hard solutions – too often marketers will take the easy exit. Why adopt to changing consumer behavior introduced by digital assistants if you can just launch a gimmicky Alexa skill and be done with it?Achieving equilibrium between playful utilization of new tools and meaningful impact on process and execution requires a change in organizational structure and leadership, though. Balancing culture and technology will be the new frontier of innovation.

The kaleidoscope of change

So, that’s a wrap on SXSW 2019 and it’s important to point out, that this is just my personal take. The sheer amount of sessions, panels and workshops across 29 conference tracks makes it impossible to even attempt to get a comprehensive overview of everything that is going on.
Due to all these possibilities, one could ask 50 different attendees and would very likely receive 50 different answers on what SXSW was all about in a particular year. And what anyone deems noteworthy might be influenced just as much by their current professional and personal challenges as it is by the overarching trends in programming of the festival itself.
I’m looking forward to returning to Austin in a year, not only to see how the transformation of the city is shaping up, but also for the unique mashup between innovation, culture, art and visionary spirit, that can only exist in this city, at this event.

Augmented reality: what comes after the smartphone?

Augmented reality has been one of the great innovation topics of the technology industry for years now. The sector is currently focusing primarily on smartphone cameras, which allow users to project a digital content layer onto their environment.

However, the areas of application are much more diverse: with shopping apps, you can try on glasses or trainers before buying them virtually and project furniture into your own home. Google Maps has most recently started guiding the way not only with arrows on a map, but by augmented reality. In Pokemon Go, too, the Pokemons now sit in a real meadow and not just in the rendered game environment.

One common feature of the numerous augmented reality applications so far has been that virtually all of them have been limited to the visual aspect of augmented reality and were usually the smartphone platform of choice. At least as exciting, however, are the current developments that shift augmented reality from smartphones and integrate it into other wearables.

The sound comes from the glasses

The US audio manufacturer Bose, for example, is a pioneer in this area: at the SXSW 2018, Bose presented the first prototypes of its augmented audio sunglasses, nine months later in December the first two models came to the market. In contrast to other devices, such as the recently released OptiShokz Revvez, the sound from the Bose glasses is not projected directly into the ear via bone conduction and the skull, but via micro-loudspeakers.

Bose is marketing its glasses under the buzzword of augmented audio and not only supplies the hardware, but has also announced a comprehensive software development kit that will be launched at SXSW in March 2019 to encourage app developers to bring innovative and exciting hardware applications to market. This is where the whole topic becomes interesting, because a mere headphone replacement may be nice, but it isn’t really ground-breaking.

Augmented audio applications

Audio feedback, based on GPS location and the orientation of the glasses, allows information to be passed on relating to objects in the direct field of vision: information about places of interest or about bars and restaurants as well as directions. For example, navigation apps or city guides become possible without a smartphone screen.

In future versions of the glasses, gesture control by head movement can probably also be implemented, for example to accept calls or control media players. Location-based services that do without screen interaction and feed services or offers directly into the user’s ears depending on their position are also conceivable. Obviously, the integration of digital assistants with voice control such as Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa would also make sense in the future.

Augmented audio: just the beginning of the digitisation of everyday objects

Products such as the Bose Frames are just another step towards a world where all the everyday objects we carry with us become digital and smart. The device evolution has already brought digital services from the study (desktop PC) into the shoulder bag (laptop) and from there into the trouser pocket (smartphone) and to the wrist (smart watch). The head is only the next logical step in this development. In my opinion, the development in the smart glasses segment has not yet come to an end, despite some failures.

However, wearables that use audio as a transport medium are significantly more discreet and less invasive than spectacles or contact lenses projected directly in front of the eye lens and should therefore benefit from higher user acceptance.

So, what does the future have in store?

Will we soon be wandering cities dressed in smart devices from head to toe? Probably not. Although Nike and Under Armor, two major sports goods brands, are already developing smart trainers and Levi’s and Google have launched a touch-controlled denim jacket, all of these technologies will only become established when the services offered provide consumers with a truly concrete benefit.

Now that the internet is a fixture in practically every aspect of life, smartphones are almost ubiquitous and nearly every electronic device is connected via the “Internet of Things”, we are about to take the next big step: artificial intelligence, robotics and quantum computing. These technologies are not just changing society as a whole: they also affect our work as media planners.

In my view, there are three media or market-specific and technological developments which are having the greatest impact on our business at present:

1. The increasing power of the internet giants is drastically changing the advertising market. According to estimates by OMG and eMarketer, around three-quarters of German and more than half of US digital/online advertising investments now flows into the “walled gardens” of Google and Facebook. LUMA’s Digital Media Summit 2017 addressed the fact that, depending on the study, 50 to 60 percent of online shoppers in Germany and the USA search directly for the product of their choice on Amazon, without taking the “detour” of a search engine. The major platforms have understood exactly what the users want, meaning advertisers barely get a look in.

2. In the digitalisation service provision market, however, the cards are being re-dealt: management consultancies are increasingly moving into IT, marketing and commerce. Technology companies offer consulting services and agency networks are expanding their marketing expertise to include IT and commerce. It feels like new services and job profiles are springing up on a daily basis, heating up the “talent war”.

3. The model of the “average consumer” is redundant. Thanks to several contributing factors, our society is becoming increasingly heterogeneous. As a basis for planning in modern marketing, socio-demographics offer only minimal benefit in terms of differentiation and insights. There are now far more versatile and precise target group models and it is a case of implementing and improving these.

These technological trends impact on our society:

1. Things which were only possible using screens and keyboards in the past are now increasingly achievable using voice. According to Gartner analysis, by 2020 around 30 percent of web browsing sessions will be conducted without a screen. As well as the new brand presence, this represents a huge change, especially for traders – because shopping queries will produce only one result! On Amazon, the company suggests an Amazon Choice product in 59 percent of cases – posts sponsored by manufacturers only appear in response to 2.5 percent of all spoken requests as Gartner L2 points out. This means that the only successful marketers will be those who develop an integrated voice strategy and see it as part of a holistic brand experience.

2. While still a mystery to many, blockchain is among the technologies that we will encounter increasingly often in the next few years. Blockchain enables secure processing of transactions without central authority, even if the parties involved do not know or trust each other (yet). The benefits of blockchain are clear: transparency, participation, decentralisation and integrity. However, its complexity makes it hugely complicated to incorporate this technology into existing processes. Establishing blockchain solutions in the media business on a large scale will require the involvement of several participants with different market positions. For this reason, we are probably still a few years off using it on a day-to-day basis throughout the media business.

3. It seems to be the universal panacea: artificial intelligence (AI). Three areas are of particular interest in the field of marketing: AI helps to evaluate existing data and provide brand new insights into customers and target audiences using analysis and reports. At the content creation stage, it can use user data to personalise advertisements and it enables automation of several media planning processes. At Mediaplus, for example, with Brand Investor we have created a tool which can build an impact-based plan for all campaign objectives across 19 channels. The result is a media mix from the machine, which calculates the optimum suggestion out of millions of scenarios.

Despite the many innovations, these new technologies will never be able to replace media experts. They just pose new challenges and create tasks which we should approach with courage and energy, not fear and despair. Or, as Che Guevara said using the words of Trotsky, we are living in a “Revolución permanente”.

2019 is already knocking on the door – new year, new trends. At the end of the year, we asked the Serviceplan Group experts about their personal trends for 2019. What’s coming next alongside influencer marketing, new work and sustainability? The communication professionals give their verdict here. Happy reading!

Admittedly, this trend will not only begin to emerge next year – however, in the incessant flood of information, effective and tailored targeting remains more relevant than ever for me. In order to reach customers accurately, it is no longer enough to only work with socio-demographic factors that do not take human behaviour into account and are not selective. The purchase decision not only depends on age or gender, but on values that are important to a person and with which they associate a product or environment.

If you factor in these values and the resulting motives for customer actions, new possibilities arise – and this is where psychographic targeting comes in. With this method, we at Mediaplus identify the most important motives for action (power, performance and connection) and include them in media planning. This can significantly increase the advertisers’ ROI and succeeds in addressing customers in both an individual and targeted manner.

 

This article is part of the Trends 2019 series of the Serviceplan Group.

2019 is already knocking on the door – new year, new trends. At the end of the year, we asked the Serviceplan Group experts about their personal trends for 2019. What’s coming next alongside influencer marketing, new work and sustainability? The communication professionals give their verdict here. Happy reading!

Linear television is not dead, even if its useful life is declining. There are a variety of different approaches that make it possible to make linear television more efficient:

  •  with a more creative integration of TV and online creations, which fits in with content and platform
  • through a better return channel capability from addressable TV to really bring out its added value
  • decreasing attention spans through second-screen use can be made more efficient by shorter ad lengths and corner placements
  • by enhancing real-time TV performance measurements to more effectively link web traffic
  • including videos where there are regional differences in TV usage in order to achieve an optimal contact corridor for an integrated campaign
  • with the development of an ‘effective impact corridor’ of various moving image formats in order to supplement the classical planning with the effect factor

 

This article is part of the Trends 2019 series of the Serviceplan Group.

Digitisation has far-reaching implications for our society. The complexity of products, processes and technologies is increasing rapidly, people are networking worldwide, there is a new spirit of optimism. At the same time, we are in permanent beta status. Just as we have mastered a software or interface, an update comes along and we have to relearn. It is rare for conditions to remain constant for more than a few years. The only constant is change. This has far-reaching consequences for our society, but also for media planning. Until recently, society was more structured, and socio-demographic target group descriptions were the simplest and most satisfactory way to describe clients.

Socio-demographics cannot even begin to reflect today’s reality. The traditional roles of men and women have also largely become obsolete. Increased education levels have led to greater gender equality, and the old stereotypes are being broken down in both the workplace and the home. In 1980, 46 percent of all men married a woman who had a lower level of education; in 2016 this figure was only 32 percent. In the same time period, the number of men marrying upwards, that is, marrying a woman with a higher level of education, increased from three to ten percent. These changes represent the collapse of the middle class of society. To put it clearly, there are now only well-educated couples and poorly-educated couples. Couples with mixed education levels are increasingly uncommon. On average, 30 percent of men are well-educated, compared with 55 percent of women. As women are less likely to marry “downwards”, 25 percent of well-educated women remain single – a fact that can be observed in many cities. On the one hand, there are educated couples with double incomes and thus greater consumption capacity, on the other hand, singles or less-educated couples with only one income. Of course, all these individuals have a gender and an age. However, this does not say much about their living conditions and consumption capacity.

Values or motivators offer much better insights into buying behaviour

This change of social norms and structures causes a massive problem for advertisers, in particular for manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs): The hitherto common target group of “households between 24 and 54 years” is no longer effective. An example: In the past, the promotion of an organic, ecologically sustainable dish soap would have focused predominately on wives and mothers. Today, however, this approach would ignore a large number of potential customers. Conscious, value-led purchasing is independent of age and sex. And only about 30 percent of all buyers are repeat customers. The remaining 70 percent are new customers or switching customers who think little of brand loyalty. For brands, it is particularly important to appeal to and retain repeat customers – and today that can often be ecologically conscious, male singles.

Purchase decisions no longer depend on age and gender, but are much more influenced by the values that are important to a person and their motivation for taking action. New approaches to media planning can target these values and motives. This can prevent the exclusion of potential customers from advertising, simply because they do not belong to a specific age group or gender.

Psychographic targeting: What drives action today

A good alternative to socio-demographics is psychographic targeting. Psychographics is a tried-and-tested approach that has been researched for decades in personality psychology, which primarily identifies the human motives for taking action. Buying behaviour is influenced by particular motives for taking action and can be predicted, if the motives for it are known. If a person is more performance-oriented, they are better able to react to advertising motifs that emphasise the performance of a product or the results that can be achieved with it. For a car, this would be attributes like speed or special technical features. For a person whose main motive is social recognition and the company of others, communal experiences and achievements within a group are more influential. Psychographic targeting defines appropriate personas for each brand or product that work independently of age, gender, or other socio-demographic characteristics, and that are primarily defined by their values and motives.

This motivational and situational approach means that different advertising motifs have to be created, which are designed according to the theme of the action. As socio-demographics is losing relevance, both the planning and also the creation of media must drastically change and develop tailor-made spots and motifs for individual personas.

ValueSphere: What is important to me

“Actually I’m quite different. But I so rarely have time to show it.” The quote from the Austro-Hungarian writer Ödön von Horváth makes it clear that we all have specific ideas of how we want to be and what values should guide our actions. Health, joie de vivre, closeness, modernity, quality and many more values determine our buying behaviour, because the products we purchase always reflect our own set of values. For their part, brands and products represent certain values that consumers consciously or unconsciously perceive. So each of us would probably associate Miele with quality and reliability, Lego, on the other hand, with creativity and fun.

With our in-house ValueSphere model, these brand values and the target audience are identified. At the same time, advertising environments such as newspapers, magazines and TV stations and broadcasts are divided into the same value system in order to find the media environment that perfectly matches the brand or product. In this way, coherent results can be achieved, in which advertising not only fits in better with the environment, but also achieves a higher impact.

Conclusion

It’s high time for media planning to change its views. The stereotypes of the past (men are interested in cars, women in cosmetics; young people are modern and open-minded, older people traditional and old-fashioned) are no longer useful. Today’s world is much more complex, people are increasingly individual and social groups more connected by common values and goals. The entire advertising industry – especially creation – must abandon socio-demographics as the sole criterion if advertising is to continue to reach the right people in the future.

Adressable TV (ATV) promises to increase campaign impact by supplementing high-reach TV advertisements with targeted, controllable advertising media. However, the test campaign period is now at an end. ATV will experience a significant growth spurt in 2018, making it possible to cover ranges, which will enable ATV to play an important role in campaign planning for certain target groups. A smart moving image strategy will harness the capabilities of Addressable TV, which include programmatic control and TV retargeting. And the next stage of development is already on the starting blocks, with the HbbTV 2.0 television standard set to drastically transform television as an advertising medium.

Smart TVs are gaining ground

Approximately 32 million European households have been equipped with a smart TV since 2017, with a third of German households already in possession of an internet-ready television and another 2.8 million planning to upgrade. In spite of increased internet use, television is and remains one of the most important sources of entertainment and information: the average German internet user may spend 1 hour 31 minutes on their smartphone and 1 hour 13 minutes on social media, but continues to spend 3 hours 41 minutes watching television regardless[1]. And the number of campaigns conducted on smart TVs has risen, with 100 campaigns in 2016 compared to 200 in 2017 aired on the ProSiebenSat.1 network alone, this trend is very much ‘to be continued’.

TV advertising without flicking through the channels

So far, only the small rectangular and larger L-shaped SwitchIn formats are available, which are displayed when you change channels and, where applicable, can lead the way to further content when viewers press the red button on their remote control. However, these programmatically purchased formats are already demonstrating an above-average impact. The reason for this is the full view-through rate – viewers won’t just flick through the channels as there is actual channel content to be seen. This form of advertising is also still relatively new, and has a strong impact on the consumer for that reason alone. Surveys show that audiences accept SwitchIns and don’t feel bothered by them.

A further advantage is that SwitchIns can be adapted to the region, and can therefore be made to appeal to advertising customers for whom TV was previously an unsuitable advertising medium due to high scatter loss. In addition to geotargeting, weather targeting, time targeting, retargeting, and even targeting according to the viewer’s equipment (for example, by referring to the red button on their remote controls) are possible, as well as targeting according to the viewers’ demographic characteristics. Using data during programmatic purchasing makes it possible to appeal to the right target group with the right amount of contact. With advertising retargeting, for example, SwitchIns can be specifically targeted at viewers who have previously seen the ad for a brand in an ad block. At the same time, frequency capping on the part of the marketer can prevent the viewer from suffering retargeting overkill.

A new route into TV advertising

A significant rise in the number of ATV campaigns delivered, in combination with growing budgets – the gross average budget presently standing at €146,000 – demonstrates how relevant Addressable TV has become for the advertising market. This is also evidenced by the fact that increasing numbers of advertising clients are finding their way into the televisual medium for the first time via ATV. A glance at the budget distribution also reveals that more than half of sales come from the automotive industry (22 percent), the consumer goods industry (21 percent), and the media and entertainment industry (14 percent).

The dream of personalised mass media is coming soon

ATV is therefore enjoying increasing in market success, and is set to keep expanding its market share in the near future as it also wins over advertising clients for whom traditional television advertising was previously out of the question. The future will only truly arrive, however, once the HbbTV 2.0 technical standard has established itself in this area. Then it will be possible to interchange ads in linear television, which will mean being able to tailor them to the individual viewer. That said, it is only when the two major marketing forces of SevenOne Media and IP Germany come together and enable the advertising client to apply their own data and fully control all coverage via a demand-side platform that ATV will make a quantum leap forward.

[1]Global Digital Report 2018. We are Social. AGF TV panels in cooperation with GfK in the period 01/01-31/12/2017; Random sample: 16 to 64-year-old internet users in Germany.

media planung

Planning effective advertising campaigns has never been harder. The hundreds of thousands of additional media options we have compared to just 20 years ago make the planning process dizzying and often confusing. Our clients and our agency try to narrow down our process into a few clear steps to keep us all focused as we contemplate the current marketing environment and get ready to adapt to the changes that tomorrow will inevitably bring. Here are our top three planning tactics:

Low share of voice is no share of voice

There are many viable options of where to spend your media dollars, but we have always found that limiting your selection to a few core partners always yields best results. Every media plan needs to find at least one moment to “own” with enough reach and frequency to stand out from the competition. We like to use the saying that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. One can try and boil it at 80 degrees, but all that will have happen is a bath, typically one that the client’s budget and brand gets to take.

Quality vs. quantity

In the age of programmatic where the focus is buying cheap media in bulk, advertisers are starting to lose sight of the fact that where your ads show up matters. Even programmatic’s biggest advocates agree – If editorial and contextual adjacency didn’t matter, every men’s shaving razor brand would advertise only on porn sites, for example, finding the perfect demo at the cheapest costs.

It is the need to attract an audience willing to engage with your brand with the proper headset that has driven the resurgence in traditional media. All of the women reading Vogue have at least one thing in common (current fashion) and could pivot to see your brand in a similarly positive way. Additionally, traditional media can clearly scale to support the best performers.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure

Goals need to be established at the start of a digital campaign, because a missed impression caused by the lack of a placed pixel is a missed opportunity to make a sale. More importantly, the net financial objectives need to be set at the beginning as well, so that all partners can work towards solving a business problem with communications, not just looking at interim KPI’s used to track media vendor delivery.

Data is perishable and a real time dashboard is a minimum requirement to participate effectively in digital media. Depending on your industry, data collected during a campaign may not be relevant to extrapolating or retargeting in as little as a month after the campaign runs.

Starting with a simple list of “advertising commandments” is a great way to retake control over your marketing process and budgets. You can add amendments anytime as the environment changes.

Forbes Magazine named 2017 “the year of voice search,” as 43% of US online adults now use a digital assistant and 97% say they like to get general information from digital assistants today. According to Techcrunch, the Echo Dot was the best-selling product on all of Amazon in the 2018 holiday season. That’s a big reason that 60% of people started using voice search over the past year according to Mindmeld. These statistics make it clear that the $100B global search industry is getting ready to pivot in a new direction. How will voice tech effect your brand’s marketing strategy? Here’s what you need to know.

What is the difference between voice tech and voice search?

  • Voice tech is a broad term for all voice enabled systems like phones, Iphones, Siri, Cortana, voice to text transcription, etc. Voice Search is a Google product that allows users to use Google Search by speaking to a mobile phone, computer or a connected home device (Google Home, Amazon Echo, etc.)
  • The main benefit of voice tech is that we can find information when our hands or eyes are otherwise occupied. Plus, humans can speak quicker than they can type.

How long has it been around?

Voice recognition actually dates back to 1877 when Thomas Edison invented the Phonograph, but we have come a long way since then.

Milestones

  • October 4, 2011, Apple announces Siri, a digital personal assistant. In addition to being able to recognize speech, Siri can understand the meaning of what it is told and take appropriate action.
  • April 2, 2014, Microsoft announces Cortana, a digital personal assistant like Siri
  • November 6, 2014, Amazon announces the Echo, a voice-controlled speaker. The Echo is powered by Alexa, a digital personal assistant like Siri and Cortana. While Siri and Cortana are not the most important features of the devices on which they run, the Echo is dedicated to Alexa

A massive shift in voice use has already begun. ComScore states that 40% of US adults used voice search in 2017 and predicts that more than 50 percent of searches will be voice-based by 2020. The trend continues exponentially.

 

How is Voice Search currently being used?

  1. Google provides a single direct answer to queries since a standard SERP result would not be helpful. Rather, having the answer read out aloud provides immediate gratification and a much better user experience. Therefore, Google created the Answer Box.
  2. Google’s Answer Box is powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph & machine learning capabilities; it is Google’s way of understanding the intent of the user and giving the best answer. Google’s Answer Box is the ONLY answer to voice search queries, it is the result that appears above all other results on the SERP, “ranking zero”.
    • When you win the Answer Box, your result will be the one that is read to the user conducting the voice search.
    • It is NOT based on industry or category relevance, but by a variety of keyword triggers.
    • Creating a content marketing strategy based on common consumer triggers will help increase your odds for gaining top organic position via the Answer Box – powered through a query or voice search.

How to Prepare

Start with the basics: Voice queries are different than text queries

The first step for any brand would be to conduct a comprehensive analysis to understand how consumers are searching for your products. Unlike search keyword phrases that you type into your computer, voice search is more conversational and natural in tone and often locally focused.

  • Where can I buy…?
  • What is the best…?

The broader implication, and opportunity, is that SEO is shifting from keyword optimization to topic optimization.

  • Topics better address the real needs of users and the vast variety of ways in which they search.
  • Shift from the single-word keyword searches to the more specific long-tail keywords to natural language.
  • Tighten your brand description: Answer Boxes contain between 3 to 5 words.

Get ready for a paid voice search advertising world

Since Google nor Amazon are allowing voice search advertising (yet), this will most likely change within the next year or so. Take action today by:

  • Brainstorming new keyword targets. Pay close attention to your keyword strategy. How many of your targets are head keywords, how many are long-tail keywords, and how many are general topic targets?
  • Become eponymous (Kleenex vs tissues). Choose your battles. Consider fighting harder for top spots on a handful of key SERPs, while forgoing the battle for keywords that aren’t as important to you.
  • Consider local. If you aren’t already investing in local SEO, now’s the time to start. This is perhaps the most important area to concentrate on as “near me” searches become the norm for this medium.
  • Rethink your advertising mix. If you use PPC ads, you may need to rethink your approach; soon, consumers will start interacting with your ads differently, and you may need to upgrade your targeted advertising to a different format.

Next Steps

As marketing professionals, we must anticipate how data collected from voice searches can inform other media decisions. As voice search extends to platforms other than the personal assistant space, DMP’s are beginning to gather data from other devices such as refrigerators, cars, watches, etc. Especially in closed environments like Google or Amazon, the opportunity presents itself to retarget consumers in the purchasing funnel. So, while perhaps maybe we cannot run search ads right now, we can work with Amazon/Google to segment and retarget on GDN/YouTube and other media.

We still don’t know exactly how a voice search revolution will manifest, so it pays to remain flexible when the changes come. Ultimately, the best preparation for the future is to make sure your brand conforms to traditional marketing standards: clarity of benefit, clear brand message, terse call to action and ability to be loved and shared by your customers.