Giving the audience what they want was an overarching narrative at this year’s conference, but actually reaching that audience through renewed efforts into CRM and precision media spend was an important subplot. While there wasn’t a deep dive into these topics, they were clearly on marketers’ minds. P&G Chief Brand Officer Mark Pritchard heralded moving from “wasteful mass marketing to one-to-one brand building on a mass scale.” SAP and Hershey’s, meanwhile, pridefully pointed to advances in 1st party data collection. And Target and Dunkin’ heralded their advancements in creating loyalty during this fickle moment.
At the same time, Over-The-Top (OTT) companies, touting fresh entre to highly desirable target demographics, were roaming the halls eager to capture the pivot of media buying dollars from linear TV. Here are three takeaways in context of the week:
First-Party Data is the Party to Be At. It’s impossible to effectively speak to the consumer unless you actually know who that consumer is. Right? That’s why marketers spotlighted the need for rich 1st party data. Pritchard, for example, said “We will win by going where the customers are.” Well, his company is arguably better equipped than most since it owns 1.5 billion consumer IDs, which makes up a sizable portion of the population. As third-party data becomes increasingly irrelevant, owning consumer information tied to personally identifiable information will become all the more crucial.
Target and Dunkin’ Power Up Their Loyalty Programs. Yes, marketers want data, but there needs to be a value exchange, thus the continued rise of loyalty programs. Target Circle launched this week. It offers, not only discounts, but also the ability for customers to have a positive impact in their communities by allowing them to vote on which local charities Target should support. Dunkin’, meanwhile, touted its “DD Perks” program which allows consumers to pay via cash, credit or debit to earn points (versus just using an app or gift card.) This offers a strong competitive advantage as well as the opportunity to gather that cherished 1st party data.
The Plot Twist in TV Buying. During the first day of the conference, the ratings from “Premier Week” came in and it wasn’t pretty. Viewers aged between 18-49 were down 25%, and a quarter of a million viewers vanished from the “Big Four.” Still, no one is doubting the power of linear to raise awareness. In fact, rates are up thanks to an influx of direct-to-consumer brand marketing dollars. But, with the launch of OTT platforms like Disney Plus, Peacock, Quibi and HBO Max coming in the next six months, we expect the audience fragmentation to accelerate.
Consumers are voting with their eyeballs [by migrating to OTT] and we are seeing more providers coming with more services, so we are in this divergent space right now. There will be consolidation over the next couple of years as the consumer realizes “shit, how many different subscription services can I have?
CRM is soaring while CPM is withering. Building a 1st party database takes time and effort. To do so, you’ve got to give your audience a good reason to share their data and stay engaged in the relationship. Once you’ve got this understanding of your audience, you need to build a media plan that makes sense across linear and OTT. The obsession with CPM and targeting broad audiences just won’t work anymore. You must start with the audience and plan from there.
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