A Blended Media Strategy is Paramount

Written by Team SI on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The media landscape this year will continue to fragment, making strategic planning and blending integrated media channels much more important. Content options will continue to grow, and people will follow that content to whatever medium delivers it.

While overall video viewership will increase, it’ll also see the bulk of this fragmentation, and achieving scale with any one medium will be a growing challenge. As linear TV viewership continues to fall, the expansion of Connected TV (CTV) will grow, and new content providers and subscription services will pull viewers to consume video in even more places. Diversification will be important to make sure advertisers are reaching scale to their entire audience. The “shotgun” approach to reach “everyone” with a wide brand message will get harder and harder.

At the same time, targeting for Connected TV will get better, allowing greater frequency and impact with specific audience segments. While improved targeting will help ensure the right audience is reached, this won’t resolve the issue of achieving mass scale, which will need to come from diversification.

Linear TV offerings will become more sophisticated in 2020, improving their ability to track and attribute actions. The use of set-top-box data will continue to inform marketing decisions, and allow marketers to pull insights and viewership trends, and use that data to decide where additional media weight is needed. Linear TV will also move further into the programmatic realm. Station inventory is already available at the local level, and purchasing will be done via audience segments using CPMs, in the same way that digital media is already purchased. These programmatic linear buying tactics will supplement, but not replace, the need for negotiations and agreements with media vendors to maximize value and frequency across linear platforms.

Out Of Home (OOH) will also continue to grow. New opportunities in digital OOH will further the opportunity for “skip-free” ads throughout people’s daily lives. In addition, Out Of Home will begin to edge into the world of targeting and attribution, using traffic and population data to drive calculated decisions on when and where to place messages. Geofencing will also become more prevalent to help associate views to devices.

These changes will be coupled with an inflation of overall advertising costs. One advertising dollar will not travel as far in 2020 as it did in 2019, making the need for a unified strategic plan more important than ever.

As we move forward, the ability to target specific audiences will allow for more effective advertising; however, reaching everyone at mass scale will become more difficult than ever. This underscores the need for a holistic and strategic media plan that incorporates the right elements for each unique business.

Audio will also continue to fragment, partly due to the growth of smart speakers. AM/FM radio listenership will decline slightly, as streaming radio such as Pandora and Spotify continue to rise. While not as pronounced as video, diversification of audio will become more important to ensure advertisers can reach an appropriate level of scale with their campaigns.

Patrick Pipkin, Media Director

This blog is part of our 2020 Marketing Predictions series. To see the full playlist, click here.

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