Jeff Haber Tue Jan 23, 2018

For far too long, far too many advertisers treated video as a one-trick pony.

The thinking had once been that a video’s job is strictly communicatory – a top-of-funnel engagement with consumers to inform them of the brand, with an expectation that consumers can and will spread word about the brand. The number of ‘likes,’ shares, and message-board comments received by the video on social media and other content sites would be dutifully recorded, with the findings sent back to brand managers and CMOs worried about the expenditure of their advertising dollar.

Such is how video typically operated as a branding medium.

That was until a new dynamic entered the marketing mix: the concept of video as a performance medium, something with direct business value and fiscal relevance. Beyond a video’s creative worth – meticulously examined through ‘likes’ and shares – performance-based content works on a quantitative scale. Data points such as ad views, ad clicks, site visits, and app installs are tracked and monitored at touchpoints throughout the customer lifecycle, then benchmarked against key performance indicators, among them conversions and ROI.

Welcome to the modern ideology of video as a performance medium.

In an effort to analyze consumers’ shopping decisions prior to conversion, advertisers have employed attribution models to pinpoint the channels of engagement for video content. While there may be good intentions behind attribution models, their execution has proven to be problematic. This is because the most common statistical methodology – the last-click attribution model – does not account for the numerous consumer touchpoints of video. The wide array of digital devices, coupled with the plethora of brand messaging received by consumers, render the last-click attribution ineffective in studying video ad consumption. Multi-touch attribution is a more recent model which attempts to solve the problem of last-touch, but is limited in its ability to record any single touchpoint with a conversion.

The dilemma about attribution puts marketers in a bind about how to reconcile the dual function of video as an optimization tool for an advertiser’s brand ethos and performance metrics.

Personalized video is the answer toward bridging that divide. From a branding aspect, customized ad content taps emotions that speak to the wants and needs of every customer, strengthening personal attachment to a brand. This has a trickle-down effect on motivating an individual to become a brand evangelist by sharing ad messaging with other potential customers. As a performance measurement, personalized video offers marketers specific insight into a customer’s digital footprints and online behavior (products searched, IP address, video content viewed, etc). All of this data translates into the creation of a unique video ad tailored for each consumer.

It’s no surprise, then, that the advent of personalized video has defined an advanced form of attribution: personalized attribution, a model in which attribution is not static but rather hyper-dynamic, attuned to the ebbs and flows of a customer’s digital habits and buying patterns across channels.

Specifically, this is where SundaySky’s SmartVideo platform comes into play. It’s a best-of-breed application for both the brand AND performance mediums. No two brands are alike, and neither are any two consumers – resulting in an attribution model which is continuously refined as it processes incoming data from consumers. Some of the variables SmartVideo takes into consideration include the length of an interaction between a user and video and the time elapsed between interactions.

A personalized attribution model is not an easy fix for brands.  It requires advertisers to adjust their technology so data is accumulated from all marketing channels into one single location.  It also means executives will need to be educated and trained on how to implement these solutions.

But if advertisers are seeking a happy middle ground between maximizing qualitative and quantitative results, personalized video holds the key to future success.


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