Marketers Don’t Need To Choose Between Efficiency And Premium
Should you give up premium buys for audience buys? Not necessarily, says columnist Lauren Weinberg, who explains why premium should have a role in your marketing mix.
In 2014, we saw greater emphasis placed on automation and data-driven ad buying than ever before. Spend on audience targeting solutions is expected to grow to nearly $17 billion by 2017, which will equal 83 percent of the total U.S. digital display spend, according to Magna Global.
Audience buys are an important piece of any marketing strategy — with so much content and noise, marketers want to effectively reach the people who are most likely to respond to their ads. Doing so creates a better ad experience for the consumer by delivering more relevant content.
With all the buzz around audience targeting, many marketers may wonder, should I give up my premium buys for audience buys? The short answer is, no.
The longer and more important answer is that marketers don’t need to choose between efficiency and premium inventory. Combining the massive scale of audience targeting with the deep user engagement of an ad in a premium environment will maximize their ad spend. Think of it as the “halo effect.”
It’s important that marketers understand what exactly constitutes a premium environment. It’s engaging and impactful. It’s not just about one thing — in fact, it’s as much about the quality of the content as it is about the overall combined experience.
We spoke with 30 advertisers and marketers to bring further clarity to the definition of a premium environment, and, in collaboration, came up with four pillars to help marketers know what to look for: design, ad formats, editorial, and native.
Delivering On The Four Pillars
When websites and apps deliver on the four pillars, advertisers benefit. Premium placements bring measurable lift in user engagement and other key top-funnel metrics.
To find out just how much advertisers benefit, Yahoo (my employer) partnered with Innerscope Research to look at the biometric performance for ads appearing on premium environments compared to non-premium environments.
We invited 65 respondents to a biometrics lab to test for eye tracking, biometric response and code their behavior online. We also surveyed 1,200 people to uncover the lifts in traditional brand metrics we saw for ads in both environments. Here’s what we found:
- Design: Contains modern, clean and simple palates. Ads on clean and simple pages allowed for 600 percent more attention.
- Ad Formats: Provides innovative ad units, such as video ads. Innovative ad units delivered 300 percent more emotional resonance, 51 percent higher ad recall, and 62 percent more brand preference.
- Editorial: Content is driven by respected experts with a good consumer reputation. An ad placed in a premium editorial environment resulted in three times the lift in emotional resonance, 72 percent lift in ad recall, and 26 percent more positive emotional resonance. Having an ad integrated among sound editors and curators of content with excellent reputations will benefit your brand.
- Native: Offers ad units that are easily integrated into the pages or apps for a more seamless and relevant ad experience. A premium native ad resulted in 300 percent more attention, 55 percent stronger emotional resonance, and 23 percent higher quality ad perception.
When advertisers combine placements that deliver on the four pillars with audience ad placements, the benefits exponentially multiply. In an advertiser case study we analyzed, we found that adding premium placements to the audience buy improved key performance indicators like search lift, site visitation and brand perceptions.
We also studied the effect of adding audience targeting and premium buys to a search-only campaign. Audience buys provided lifts of 74 percent in total conversions, while decreasing the CPA by 30 percent. When adding premium to the campaign on top of the audience buys, we saw a dramatic increase in conversions to 512 percent for the total campaign, while driving CPA even lower by 37 percent.
These results highlight the increased engagement that premium environments can deliver for a brand when paired with audience buys. The halo effect I mentioned shows that premium can play a very important role in an advertiser’s marketing mix, and all types of environments are needed to deliver a meaningful impact for advertisers.
For maximum results, I recommend marketers optimize their campaigns by combining their efficient, scaled audience buys with the halo effect of premium ad buys, to amplify their message and reach the largest audience possible. It’s then that marketers will achieve both the efficiency and the consumer engagement they’re looking for.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.