Advertisers, media firms confirm digital's pivotal role in future marketplace
| 11 September 2014
A study commissioned by online video ad platform provider Videology has confirmed the key role that digital platforms will perform in tomorrow's TV advertising arena.

Carried out by Forrester Consulting in September 2014, the Cross-Platform Video Advertising Accelerates report — surveying 500 advertisers, agencies and media companies across the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy — found that video advertising decision-makers in Europe see the continuing shift of video viewing across devices as a positive opportunity for the entire ecosystem.

However, it cautioned that there are distinct challenges surrounding measurement, leadership between digital and traditional media teams, and the technology platforms available to meet the changing needs of today's brands and media companies as consumer content consumption habits evolve.

The study revealed that 70% of respondents believe that it's 'important' or 'very important' to be able to buy audiences in a holistic way, across all screens including TV and video platforms over the next three years. Yet it also noted that a change of this magnitude will require innovative leadership, and that leader is still unclear.

Forrester found that the ability to target specific consumers was the highest benefit to video advertising in Europe, followed by higher audience attention. However, there are differences across each country. Companies in France ranked 'enhancing video with interactive features' equal to targeting. While Spain saw the ability to reach consumers not reached on TV, delivering messages at different times of the day, and controlling reach and frequency as the key benefits. The UK placed more emphasis on ROI accountability over all other countries, signalling, said the survey, the maturity of the video advertising market in the region.

Even though technology was generally acknowledged as playing a vital role, the survey group indicated that it had to adapt to the operational needs of marketers and media companies. Over two-fifths (42%) of respondents said that they need a technology platform that allows them to target consumers in multiple ways. The top three features they look for in a technology platform include: target audiences in multiple ways, tracking consumers across multiple devices and serving ads to smartphones. Interestingly, the ability to serve ads on VOD platforms via cable/satellite TV was amongst the least important.

Agencies believed that holistic buying and planning is the future, but broad adoption is yet to come. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of agencies expect to merge traditional and online video buying groups in the future, but just over half ( 51%) said they would continue to plan each platform separately.

Media companies also saw the potential for second-screen viewing experiences, with just under three-quarters (72%) of media company respondents believing that consumer engagement with content on a second screen will increase moderately or significantly over the next three years.

"These are challenging times, with clear knowledge gaps in how to operate in a future that all parties agree is coming quickly," Forrester observed. "With an audience that is racing ahead to adopt new viewing behaviours, it is time for media, advertisers and agencies to embrace new approaches to video. Since there is consensus that media companies and advertisers will both benefit, all participants should focus on their areas of agreement and collaborate to resolve issues that are in question."

"We ushered in the programmatic model in response to a greater need for efficiency in the way advertising is bought and sold," added Videology's EMEA managing director Anne De Kerckhove. "The industry is now crying out for standardisation across video advertising measurement and audience targeting across devices. If technology providers listen to what the industry needs, we can deliver solutions that will catapult the industry forward and increase revenues across the board."

You can download the full study here.