How Brands Will Shift Media Strategies In 2021

From Member Cathy Oh, Global Head of Marketing & Analytics, Samsung Ads

Although 2021 presents some uncertainty, how do you predict brands will shift their media strategy in the new year?

Consumers are watching video in new ways. They are watching linear TV, ad-supported streaming, and subscription streaming interchangeably throughout the day. As a result, brands need to find new ways to connect with consumers with meaning and relevance through this myriad of content viewing platforms.

While media and entertainment were early adopters of CTV and Advanced TV, auto, pharma and travel started ‘leaning-in’ in 2020. We will see these industries push ad innovations forward in CTV in 2021 as they use CTV to generate sales, not just awareness.

In auto, we are seeing car manufacturers use advanced attribution techniques to actually measure cars sold to households exposed to CTV. They are also taking an integrated approach to TV – understanding how to reach certain audiences on linear vs. CTV. For example, one luxury automaker reached a half a million net new households via CTV. They also experienced a 143% lift in website visits.

And, when it comes to travel, Advanced TV is driving results like brand lift and website traffic as hotels and airlines amp up marketing efforts, leveraging native ad experiences and campaign flight strategies that have previously only been used by entertainment companies.

In pharma, we have helped brands develop a data-driven methodology to figure out which DMAs to prioritize and which to avoid in light of COVID-19. It’s not the way they were used to thinking about CTV, but that’s exactly the point: the more you stretch your thinking, the more you can stretch your budget and boost your results.

What is your greatest hope for the industry as a whole this year? 

As the industry continues to grow, we’re anticipating more innovation, an increase in data-driven standards and engaging with consumers as they increase viewing behaviors across Free Ad-Supported TV (FAST) services and mobile devices, a requirement from advertisers for measurability and attribution platforms to effectively measure campaigns.

Ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) gained popularity and reached parity with subscription services during 2020. During Q3 2020, streamers spent 1 hour and 24 minutes per day with AVOD solutions, which is a year-over-year increase of +47%. FAST, a growing component of AVOD, is having its moment and we should expect to see these platforms launch more original programming and advertising innovations. In 2021, these “channels” will become household names just as AVOD has.

In addition, FAST isn’t just growing viewership on TVs, consumers are tuning in on mobile devices. Two thirds of US internet users watch video content via mobile (source). In 2020, Samsung launched its extremely popular Samsung TV Plus service on tens of millions of Samsung mobile devices. Just like we believe advertisers will stop thinking of TV as just linear or just streaming, advertisers will take the same approach to video overall – whether watched on a TV, mobile device, computer, etc.

In 2021, we will start to see more collaboration around standardized measurement and attribution. TV marketers will be able to prove sales attribution vs. modeling. They will also be able to use advanced technology and AI to find new audiences and opportunities that traditional TV just can’t support. The smartest advertisers are not measuring individual campaigns – they are looking at the combined impact and effectiveness of linear and streaming campaigns, optimizing, and allocating spend based on how best to reach consumers.

It will be interesting to see which anticipated trends become less important as the world continues to change in 2021.