portrait_Weitz-JonathanBy Jonathan Weitz, IBB Consulting

At Cablefax’s annual TV Innovation Summit a few weeks ago, programmers, service providers and the technology world converged to talk about what comes next for driving multiscreen viewing. It’s an interesting time to have this conversation, as tech titans invest heavily in emerging areas like AR and VR, artificial intelligence and innovative data-driven advertising tools.

Are consumers actually engaging with these multiscreen, social and new campaign technologies? IBB Consulting’s data suggests so. Users seem to be warming up to new ways of interacting with brands. And most importantly, they’re doing it across screens. Consider some key data points and takeaways from IBB’s recent survey of US consumers that say they use messaging app Snapchat regularly:

● 30% of Snapchat users have followed an advertisement they saw on TV onto a social network.
● One-third of Snapchat users have shared a picture with a Snapchat or Facebook filter from a brand or company.
● 40% of people would want to learn more about an ad if it did not disrupt their browsing and viewing.
● Nearly one-quarter of Snapchat users have interacted with ads to earn points or credits by sharing or participating.

This rising use of innovative social media tools designed to help brands engage with consumers in new ways provided the perfect backdrop for the “Digital Alchemy: Weaving Screens Into Video Gold” panel held at the TV Innovation Summit. I moderated the session, which included a discussion on how creative communication, marketing, brand partnerships and relationship building are key to driving viewership. On the panel were executives from Canoe, Digital Air Strike and Davis Communications Group.

Chris Pizzurro, head of business development, sales and marketing for Canoe, commented on the uptick of requests he is getting from programmers to better utilize the company’s data to improve the impact of promotions and optimize multi-platform buys. He shared campaign results that showed if a programmer ran a VOD promo on its own network, it can push program lift by 2x or 3x. If the promo runs on another network, that lift can rise to 5x or 6x. Combine both approaches and a 10x lift becomes possible, he said.

Digital Air Strike’s SVP of partnerships, Bill Taylor, shared similarly positive results from a campaign that capitalized on consumers’ tendency to browse a mobile device while watching TV.

“The connection between digital and traditional happens fast,” he said. “There is a great tie-in there so engaging the customer with complimentary messaging is critical.”

Digital Air Strike supported a Facebook-driven campaign for a Chevrolet dealer that was tied into a national campaign to drive more leads. According to Taylor, the dealer “saw a huge spike in website visits and was able to directly tie eight additional car sales against a relatively low spend.” Replicate the same campaign for dealers across the country as part of a larger-scale promotion and the results could really start moving the needle for brands.

Successful campaigns that utilize more digital tools and platforms are coming at the right time. Our survey of Snapchat users also found that:

● Nearly one-quarter (24%) prefer to consume video on a mobile phone, tablet or laptop, with the number jumping to 40% for millennials.
● 60% use social networks to interact with TV shows and Facebook is the preferred platform for doing this with 40% using it for this purpose, followed by Snapchat (24%), Instagram (21%) and Twitter (18%).
● About 30% watched a TV show in the last six months because of an ad they saw on social media.

Debra Sharon Davis, principal of Davis Communications Group, talked about the importance of engaging the “proactive viewer” during the session. “There are all of these influencers within social groups and they are anticipating the curve before the brands. Now we have to capitalize on changing habits to monetize on every level and create ritualistic behaviors.”

The panel was in agreement on this point, with Pizzurro pointing out that Canoe’s creative team has been working on interesting approaches with local businesses, concert sponsorships, filters, brand images and more.

The industry is also working through ways to make all of the various campaign complexities involved operate smoothly for media companies and agencies. They’re solving for how to weave disparate platforms together, conduct accurate measurement and cater to changing ad consumption tastes. And they’re building agile processes that let them adapt quickly to evolving opportunities.

If initial consumer interest in engaging with brands, screens and video in new ways is any indication of what the future may hold, a bright opportunity exists for all stakeholders.

Jonathan Weitz is a partner at IBB Consulting, helping to design and execute multiscreen promotion strategies for operators and content providers. Connect with him via LinkedIn.

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