Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Video Insider: Video Targeting Tips

Video Targeting Tips

IN A RECENT ARTICLE, Dan Rayburn concluded that targeting (or the lack thereof, to be precise) is hindering the success of online video advertising . As an industry stakeholder, I was both surprised and concerned by this perception. The targeting capabilities of online video ads are what give the medium so much potential. I know it gets referenced a lot, but I thought this would be a good forum to explore the targeting capabilities by providing some suggestions on how some top verticals can maximize their online video advertising campaigns with available targeting capabilities.

Casual Dining
With the future of the economy still unclear, casual dining establishments such as T.G.I. Friday's, Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays, etc. have lost customers to lower-priced, fast-food alternatives. More consumers are also cooking and eating meals at home to save money. Casual dining establishments should run special video promotions, targeted on the weekends when consumers are still spending.
Targeting used: Demographic (age, gender), day-of-week.

Food Companies
Saturdays and Sundays are still the most trafficked food shopping days. Large food companies like Kraft, Tyson, and General Mills should pump out online video advertising right before and during the weekend to reinforce strong brands and introduce new items. To reach the working parent, companies like Pizza Hut and Dominos have used the key 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. timeframe to influence this demographic to just "order in" with strong results. Those companies can get even stronger results by targeting their online video in the same way.
Targeting used: Demographic (age, gender), day-of-week, daypart.

Quick-Serve Restaurants
For the quick-serve market, Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks are great examples for dayparting. We can count on hunger and caffeine pangs in the morning. Both companies could save some coin by working with a video ad network and doing a run of network ad buy from the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the weekday. Ads can be adjusted geographically to reach consumers who are in proximity to store locations.
Targeting used: Day-of-week, daypart, geo-targeting, run of network (when ad buy is done through an ad network).  

Regional Airlines
There's no sense in an airline like Jet Blue or Spirit Air spending $450K on a spot on the television show "Lost," or trying to string together a complicated schedule of regional TV spots when they can air the same TV commercials only in the cities that the airline serves. Better yet, most airlines can combine regional targeting with day of week targeting to fill las- minute seats on particular routes or promote high margin international flights in competitive markets.
Targeting used: Day-of-week, geo-targeting.  

Luxury Goods
How would Jaguar or Gucci like to advertise to cities, towns and municipalities whose household income is $150,000+? Pre-rolls can be targeted by using existing census data, as direct mail did so effectively. These companies can target affluent consumers in a range of cities and municipalities, like Coronado, Calf. whose average household income is over $435K to a more moderate $262K household income found in Manhasset, NY. A longer buying cycle generally exists with higher priced goods, so leverage a scalable ad network that also has the power to retarget to make sure ads are served to the interested consumer.  
Targeting used: Demographic (income-level), geo-targeting, retargeting (when ad buy is done through an ad network).  

The 2008-09 NBA season has seen a drop in ticket sales, primarily due to a decline in renewable ticket sales. Teams like the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and the L.A. Lakers remain solid. But, other cities are fighting a number of variables, like the economy, that are leaving sales flat. The New Jersey Nets is a prime example of a club that needs help filling seats. The franchise has the third worst attendance rate. The venue is outside of the city and fans are leery of investing time and money because the team may be leaving. The Nets should get out pre-rolls with specials the week leading up to the event, targeted specifically to the geographic area. They can directly target sports enthusiasts by content category -- NBA clips, highlights, college basketball, etc. When big-name teams come to town the ads should showcase that team and the player(s) that draws crowds. To further boost sales they can offer discounted family fun pack deals.
Targeting used: Content, content category, web site, geo-targeting.

A number of the examples I list require a component of what is known as recency -- reach and frequency are not the gold mine, but how the ad works in a mature market. The concept is not new to media buyers, but for online video advertising, planning can be done around data mined from initial campaigns. Optimization makes it possible to change up a campaigns focus based on performance. Consider how much Olive Garden or the Nets could learn from finding patterns in click-throughs for their weekend or game day promotions. They can even retarget the converters.

The targeting capabilities for online video advertising are rich and it is important that they are understood. Besides listing these targeting tips, I'd like to hear your ideas on how brands and/or verticals can get the most out of targeting in online video advertising. Post them on the comments section. I look forward to reading your thoughts!

Michael Shehan is the CEO and President of SpotXchange, an online video marketplace. In 2001 he founded parent company Booyah Networks, which is comprised of a paid search network and an interactive marketing agency.

Video Insider for Tuesday, December 2, 2008:

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