Modern Marketing Brand Strategy Ecommerce

Digital Summit replay: consumers, may we have your attention please?

By Michael Feeley | journalist

November 4, 2021 | 6 min read

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As marketers gear up for a busy shopping season ahead, how can they ensure that they have the right digital and content strategies in place to appeal to the newly forged habits of the 2021 consumer?

Consumers, may we have your attention please?

Consumers, may we have your attention please?

As part of the recent Digital Summit festival, The Drum, in partnership with DoubleVerify, held an online panel session to explore how brands can create more meaningful and contextually relevant online experiences with content that captures the attention of consumers, increases engagement and improves campaign performance.

Jenni Baker, assistant editor at The Drum, hosted the session, and was joined by Tanzil Bukhari, managing director, EMEA, at DoubleVerify and Natalie Wills, global director - marketing, at online fashion retailer Zalando.

DoubleVerify’s Bukhari kicked off the conversation by discussing the significant changes seen in consumer behavior as a result of the pandemic. He said: “ DoubleVerify powers media quality and performance for some of the world's largest brands and publishers and we’ve seen a fundamental shift in online purchasing behavior recently. According to a Forrester study, 40% of customers said they were buying more things online than ever before. Consumers across the globe spent $900bn more on online retailers in 2020 than during the two years previous.”

Addressing the need for marketers to set a “baseline of quality” to underpin their media strategies, Bukhari said: “In our world, there are four key elements to address to ensure that your budget is being spent on quality inventory. The first is ‘fraud’: is my ad really being served to a real human? Next is ‘viewability’: did my ad have a chance to be seen? Was it only part of the ad or the whole ad?”

“The third element to address is ‘brand safety and suitability’: is this content we’re appearing next to in line with our brand values? Could this content hurt our reputation with consumers or change the way that they perceive our brand? The final element in establishing quality is ‘geo’: is the ad being served to the correct location? If a campaign is designed specifically for the UK market, there’s little point in it being served in Germany or the US.”

Bukhari expressed surprise at how many advertisers are still treating each of these components as siloed metrics, rather than looking at them holistically. He said: “We’ve created the ‘DV Authentic Ad’ - a proprietary MRC accredited metric that verifies ads as fully viewed by a real person, in a brand safe environment, within the intended geography. This gives brands and marketers a uniform metric that works across all buying platforms to ensure they're getting the inventory that they paid for.”

The battle for attention

Sharing some of the trends experienced in the online fashion market over the past 24 months, Zalando’s Wills said: “We all know that during the pandemic there was a massive demand for comfortable lounge clothing, as many more people were working from home. People were buying double the volume of socks, pants, and sweatshirts than ever before. Now we're seeing categories such as party and occasion wear gaining momentum, which is great. Consumers are feeling more optimistic and have more of a desire to go out again.”

“A key area for us right now is to make sure that we're serving people the correct product offerings at the right time as consumers are reviving their social lives but also, in terms of our media activity, to be more where they are. During [the Covid-19 pandemic], we spent a lot of our time shifting budget from offline into online. We'll still have a significant focus on social first, but we are being a lot more optimistic with things like disruptive out-of-home and sponsoring events.”

Bukhari agreed that capturing consumer attention is more of a challenge than ever before. He said: “Studies have shown that only 4-in-100 ads win more than a second of attention. On average, we all now encounter over 6,000 ads every day, so finding ways to filter out the other ads and really make your ad stand out is critical. Showing consumers ads at the right time, in the right environment, with the right context, can only add value. As a result, next-generation contextual targeting is on the rise, powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

“With the deprecation of third-party cookies, the big challenge for retail brands right now is to drive performance in a privacy-friendly way. This is leading some marketers to prioritize performance over quality in their media strategy. However, we’ve found that by focusing on quality and overlaying attention metrics like ‘exposure’ and ‘engagement’ you can really drive performance while being much more efficient with your media budgets. Great creative can only deliver value when it’s aligned with consumer engagement and exposure.”

You can watch the full session here.

Modern Marketing Brand Strategy Ecommerce

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