March 22, 2021
MT Channel Experts Roundtable: New Tools, Ad Types, and More to Win the Rest of 2021
To close out 2019, we collected thoughts from our experts across all of our offices for a new year-end series to find out their wishlists, predictions, and resolutions for 2020. Read the first post in the series covering the performance ad channels you already know, and the second post on performance ad channels poised to break out. Editor’s Note: The final post, on digital strategy, is now available.
In today’s entry, Metric Theory’s specialists in some of the latest and most complex areas of digital marketing weigh in. See why this year will be the year for Connected TV, how ABM can get better, what’s in store for mobile app advertisers, and what to look out for in CRO. Join our email community to the right for the final post on this series and more throughout 2020.
Contributor: Trent Emanuel, Director of Programmatic Media
Long predicted, the era of Connected TV is here. More than half of the current US population is already streaming OTT content. Netflix, Roku, Amazon Fire, and Apple TV have been widely adopted over the last decade, and this year, Disney entered the game with a smashing debut. The ad tech landscape is also becoming simpler to navigate. Comcast bought Freewheel five years ago, but we’ll likely see the endgame for that when NBC-Universal launches its ad-supported streaming in 2020. More recently, AT&T acquired AppNexus, Amazon bought a DSP and opened its inventory on The Trade Desk, and Roku continued the trend of content players acquiring their own digital buying technology by buying Dataxu. In 2020, as people continue cord-cutting, streaming platforms multiply, and the ad tech landscape consolidates, it will finally become easier and more compelling for more advertisers to invest in Connected TV.
The 2020’s will need to play by new rules to measure the effectiveness of TV as technology and data converge. The world of television has traditionally focused on broad viewer demographics and gross rating points, but Connected TV bridges that world with the digital one, where impressions rule. In CTV, advertisers prove out ROI by measuring metrics like cost per completed view and real-time TV-to-site-visitation rate to map out a better customer journey, previously unachievable in linear TV buying. Early adopters of CTV have already seen efficiency in their media planning and more robust audience insight as they’ve built cross-channel strategy. Measurement is still in its infancy, but will evolve as advertisers create more demand and DSPs improve audience targeting, tracking, and inventory transparency.
Contributor: Noa Gutterman, Senior Manager, Paid Social
In 2019, eMarketer reports that mobile phones passed TV in terms of time spent for US adults. From an advertising perspective, that means we’re just getting started with the scope and scale of acquiring and growing mobile app audiences and communities.
While mobile app advertisers have seen some big developments in the last few years, the expansion of people-based attribution is what I’m most excited for in 2020. Companies like AppsFlyer and Branch rolled out this technology in 2019, but we plan to introduce it to many more app-focused advertisers in the new year. People-based attribution offers advanced customer insights and unified, cross-platform, cross-channel visibility at the individual user level. Introducing this technology would mean much less guesswork on how your Facebook ads contributed to your entire marketing funnel or where those pesky “unattributed” conversions are coming from.
Contributor: Geneva Mueller, Account Director
My wishlist for ABM in 2020 is actually for B2B marketers who are running or launching ABM, rather than for improvements in the technology itself. Sure, the tech can get better, but it won’t matter until the marketers themselves change the way they’re using it. First, I’m hoping that 2020 is a tipping point for ABM advertisers to stop treating it as a marketing-only strategy. Succeeding in ABM is just as reliant on healthy sales process adoption. Also, we need to see more separation of ABM from more traditional demand gen campaigns! What you’re looking to accomplish with ABM is almost definitely way different than broad lead generation on SEM or content marketing.
My resolution this year is to put increased focus on the planning phase of new ABM campaigns. ABM planning is less like paid search or social and more like media planning, in that the success really rides on the pre-launch phase. I’ve seen too many advertisers launch ABM early without the right technology, campaign segments, creative, or sales alignment, only to see a failed experiment.
Predictions for ABM? More of it! More clients are getting the revenue outcome to invest more and weaving it into more layers of their approach to sales. I also think we’ll see more collaboration with agency partners for persona creation and activation in ABM targeting. The data and targeting we have access to is really changing what’s possible, and working directly with an ABM advertising partner will only get you so far. Finally, talking with my ecommerce colleagues, we definitely all see an appetite to pursue ABM for B2B ecommerce businesses.
Contributor: Joel Neustaedter, Director of Account Services
OK, so we chose not to listen in 2019. In 2020, I think we’ll have a wake up call that speed actually does matter. It could be because we thought that technology would get better or that maybe users would get more patient, but for whatever the reason, we didn’t make the change. In fact, page speeds actually got slower in 2019. Moving into the new year, you can either choose to continue deprioritizing site speed or you can finally choose to “catch up” (pun intended).
Aside from page speed, I also think we’ll see some significant progress with AI in conversion rate optimization. We’ve already been seeing AI making huge strides in Google and Facebook ads over the last couple of years with bidding algorithms. The time has come for CRO to also benefit from advances in tracking and technology. Here at Metric Theory, we’re already testing the Smart Traffic option that Unbounce recently rolled out. Like much of AI-assisted optimization, it can be a black box, but we’ve seen these new technologies work more often than not.
For more, here’s the finale of our series, covering broad topics in digital strategy to prepare for in 2020.
For more in this series: