Why brands need to take an ‘omnichannel’ approach to marketing

Guest column: Bharat Khatri - Country Head, India - Xaxis , writes that it's time advertisers look beyond traditional TV and diversify their media budgets to leverage emerging digital channels

e4m by Bharat Khatri
Updated: Jul 15, 2020 4:12 PM
Bharat Khatri

Indian consumers now have more TV content choices than ever before, and many more ways and places to watch it. This means that shifting to an omnichannel approach is crucial for advertisers to retain their reach and engagement with customers. 

Modern TV viewers want a variety of options at their fingertips, value for their money and the flexibility to watch whenever, and wherever they choose. However, this is a concerning shift for advertisers who have grown accustomed to allocating most of their budget to advertising on traditional TV. These advertisers may miss out on opportunities to effectively reach key customer segments on the platforms and devices they are now using more often to watch video content. 

According to tech-ARC and Unomer, four out of five smartphone users in India subscribe to at least one OTT entertainment platform. This is in addition to YouTube, TikTok, and other user-generated content platforms. This shift is also leading to ‘cord-cutting’, or consumers eliminating their pay-TV subscriptions to opt for other services such as on-demand streaming, These cord-cutters have increased in number across the globe. In India, where Media Partners Asia estimates that the pay-TV market is expected to grow six percent to reach US$15 billion by 2024, OTT platforms may be ushering in cord-cutting sooner than expected. KPMG found that 38 percent of OTT users in the country would consider cord-cutting in response to their media needs being met online. 

Advertisers need to look beyond traditional TV and diversify their media budgets to take advantage of these emerging digital channels with greater audience segmentation and measurement capabilities. Shifting to an omnichannel approach will enable then to gain a greater return on advertising investments and ensure that target consumers are not missed as their TV viewing habits change. 

REACHING THE ELUSIVE CROWD 

The shift towards OTT and connected TV (CTV) viewing has led to more fragmented and elusive audiences. Advertisers need to re-evaluate their longstanding advertising strategies and adapt fast to accommodate the new normal. Advertising simultaneously across several channels, on multiple connected devices, can help brands reach potential cord-cutters who would be otherwise unreachable through traditional TV. 

We have seen that advertisers seeking to drive broader reach, over and above free-to-air or traditional TV, for their campaigns have looked at CTV more and more. According to Counterpoint Research, shipments of smart TVs in India increased by 15 percent in 2019, which is also driving streaming content growth. 

WHAT WILL YOUR OMNICHANNEL VIDEO STRATEGY LOOK LIKE? 

Like any emerging channel, there will be gaps and challenges. However, the benefits of CTV advertising are abundant and enticing to media buyers and sellers alike. The viewer experience is comparable to the big screen of traditional TV, but also offers more effective targeting. This is done by weaving contextual and behavioral data into media buying decisions, such as timing ads to air alongside specific shows and genres, so advertisers can offer campaigns that are much more effective at driving the desired outcomes and equip brands with new levels of control and accuracy. 

The most attractive aspect of CTV is its potential for omnichannel video marketing. Users today watch videos across multiple devices throughout the day. The average viewer might watch TV shows from her mobile phone while commuting, browse the latest news clips on a desktop computer at work, and then go home to stream shows on a smart TV at the end of the day. What this means for advertisers is the opportunity to engage viewers more effectively across multiple linear, on-demand and live streaming TV devices. 

Over time, behavioural attribution will grow stronger as syncing across devices improves and users can link their viewing channels with other digital accounts, including social media profiles. Brands will be able to run omnichannel video campaigns with streamlined audience targeting over different devices and channels. The insights gained from a user’s social media profiles will enable the brand to show ads on the user’s CTV, mobile and desktop platforms that are highly relevant and interesting to them. Buyers can also view impression results in real-time, enabling them to optimize the campaign against performance metrics while it is live. 

We have been at the forefront of these changes to provide clients with pioneering solutions in all addressable media channels. While still in their nascent stages, an omnichannel video strategy provides an exciting opportunity for advertisers in India to capture viewers’ interest seamlessly across multiple platforms. Broadcasters and publishers should view this as an opportunity to prepare for the future by rethinking inventory, content and technology to better bridge the gap between marketers and audiences. 

A paradigm shift is taking place in the TV advertising landscape, and the time has come for advertisers to deliver seamless lean-in consumer experiences across screens to successfully reach Indian consumers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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