Digital Media News Briefing (May 2019)

Scan our expert take on this month’s top digital media headlines. Then, delve into the news you most need to know:

  • Roku, one of the most popular over-the-top (OTT) platforms, is launching Activation Insights, a new tool in its Ad Insights Suite that will analyze a marketer’s linear TV campaign performance and the streaming video audience the campaign may have missed and then suggest where to spend the budget on Roku’s platform to close that gap.

Streaming video gives you control to watch your favorite TV and movies on-demand anywhere and anytime from any Internet-connected device.

Scott Rosenberg, senior vice president-GM of Roku’s platform business said, “By adding the ability to tie advertising performance on linear with a specific audience that advertisers can gain on OTT, we are addressing a longstanding industry challenge for OTT media planning. We believe it’s no longer a question of when advertising budgets will shift to streaming but how much.”

  • Due to Amazon’s partnership with Kohl’s, customers will now be able to return Amazon merchandise at 1,150 Kohl’s locations by this summer.  This is a win for all involved: Amazon gets a more affordable way to handle returns while building its physical presence and combating competitors, Kohl’s gets more foot traffic through its doors, and consumers get an easier Amazon return process.

Another element of the partnership will let Kohl’s sell Amazon electronic devices at 200 store locations as of this summer. If all goes well, Amazon could offer private-label groceries and apparel at Kohl’s in the future.

Gene Munster, a managing partner at Loup Ventures, said, “Amazon is approaching $300 billion in annual sales, and it knows it can only grow so much online. A big brick-and-mortar acquisition is inevitable. If you’re an odds maker, you’d say the probability of [it being] Kohl’s has increased.”

  • Although regulators want to break up Facebook because of its unprecedented size and power, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes his company’s size and power benefit users and the security of democracy.

“If what you care about is democracy and elections, then you want a company like us to invest billions of dollars a year, like we are, in building up really advanced tools to fight election interference,” he said. “Our budget for safety this year is bigger than the whole revenue of our company was when we went public earlier this decade. A lot of that is because we’ve been able to build a successful business that can now support that.”

Viewers will be able to use their iPhone or some Android phones to buy clothes or products shown on TV shows or commercials, and the programmer will get a portion of the sale.

Here’s how it will work: Viewers will aim their phone’s camera at a shoppable link on the screen, which will scan a QR code. Then, when they tap a button, this code will link viewers to an ecommerce site where they can make their purchases.

We will own every point in the purchase funnel,” Josh Feldman, EVP, head of marketing and ad creative at NBCUniversal said. “We’ve had a ton of research showing TV has a huge impact on the bottom of the funnel. This will allow us to prove that out in real time.”

During the 2019 NewsFronts, the publication said its new advertising targeting will give marketers new capabilities to reach their readers contextually, based on their motivations (launching in Q4 this year) or based on article topics they’re viewing (launching next quarter).

“It would have been really weird if, one year ago, two years ago, we’d gone the way the rest of the industry and said, ‘We’re sharing our subscribers’ personal information. We know everything about our subscribers, and we’ll let you pinpoint them as a marketer,’” the Times’ global head of advertising and marketing solutions, Sebastian Tomich, said. “We’ve gone in the opposite direction. And that feels right.”

 “This is a bet for us,” he went on to say. “I think there is an argument, and it’s early to make the fully formed argument, that the industry has course-corrected so far into precision audience targeting that there’s actually diminishing returns, and you can get more, at least for now, if you try a bit of focus on context.”

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Why Bringing Programmatic In-House Isn’t an All-or-Nothing Choice

Bringing programmatic in-house is an increasingly popular move for marketers looking to gain more control and transparency in their media campaigns. But, the question of whether or not to ultimately take programmatic in-house doesn’t have to be a binary choice. While some brands may succeed in bringing 100% of their programmatic in-house, others may fair better closer to the middle of the spectrum, by defining the media spend and objectives in-house but outsourcing day-to-day execution and specialized expertise to an agency or digital partner. The range of in-housing options is limitless, but three typical points on the in-housing spectrum include:

  • 100% Collaboration – Brand, programmatic agency and ad tech partners work together on all aspects of media planning, buying and analysis
  • Shared Success – Some needs remain in-house (such as setting the media budget and identifying success metrics), but others are outsourced to an agency as needed (such as media planning and buying, measurement and reporting, and specialized skills and expert consulting) to ensure everyone is invested in a shared win
  • 100% In-House – All programmatic tech, planning, buying and analysis is done by in-house teams

Questions to Consider

Marketers may want to take all or some services in-house for many reasons. But, before deciding if bringing programmatic in-house is the right solution for your organization, answer these important questions and gain some perspective around if in-housing aligns with your long-term marketing goals.

What marketing services are you looking to bring in-house?

In-housing means different things to different people. In a recent report from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), nearly eight out of ten marketers use an in-house agency. Yet, fewer than one quarter said they in-housed programmatic services, proving the importance of defining what type of in-housing you’re really considering – and also proving the importance of working with an expert or specialized partner in the programmatic space.

What’s your plan to source and retain programmatic talent?

People with programmatic skills are scarce in most markets, but if you do convince them to come aboard, make sure to create a clear career path for continual growth and development. Agencies can hire brilliant people and continually give those people new opportunities to learn and grow across different verticals. So, finding the right people with the right skills who will stick with your company for the long term may be a challenge.

What have you done to level up your team’s skills?

If you already have people on your team who do some online marketing, don’t assume they can also do programmatic well. Programmatic trading requires different competencies and training from other marketing roles. Simple setup mistakes, like forgetting to set your budget cap, can be crippling to an advertising budget and a drain on your team’s morale. Having an expert in-house is nice, but your programmatic team needs to be far more robust than the trading arm in order to manage relationships with ad tech companies, negotiate contracts, analyze data, monitor and test emerging tech, and develop advanced algorithms for the long term.

How will you keep up with industry trends, technologies and tactics?

The research tools, resources and volume of advertising necessary to keep up to date on the latest trends and products require big budget and time investments. Competition is fierce in digital marketing and staying innovative month after month is key. Without the daily cross-advertiser insights and cross-industry analytics coming in from an agency or market research intelligence, your campaigns and your team’s skills will stagnate and your competitors may leave you in the dust.

Programmatic requires advanced data science and tech, so how will you integrate those?

Performance-enhancing algorithms, like supply-path optimization, are a must to mitigate challenges with fraud, frequency capping and attribution. Programmatic is complex, and not all inventory is created equal. DSPs have basic settings available, but going beyond a DSP’s baseline algorithm with artificial intelligence is the new standard to unlock high-quality inventory, avoid fraud-ridden sites and access powerful insights to make your campaigns more effective. Just as important is to make sure your tech systems integrate with each other and existing infrastructure. If you have siloed platforms, data and measurement, your strategy will be inconsistent and lead to major operational headaches.

Do you have alignment at the C-level?

Ramping up an entire department isn’t cheap, but it takes a team of people and resources to do programmatic right. As soon as you start scaling your head count, you’re going to raise red flags and look like a cost-reduction center to your CFO. Every leader in the organization needs to understand and buy into your vision. Without enterprise-level alignment, your invaluable data scientists, researchers and analysts might be co-opted by other departments, which could jeopardize the success of your advertising efforts.

Do you have the budget to justify in-housing?

Analysts recommend that marketers should plan to spend at least $20 million per year on digital advertising before they consider bringing programmatic in-house. Strong buying power is required to compete in the programmatic marketplace successfully. Plus, the costs for technology, data and talent need to outweigh the spend to bring programmatic services in-house. Basic media planning, data management and reporting tools will run you over $250K each year. Then, you’ll also have DSP fees and staff salaries to pay out before you even spend one dollar on working media.

Brands Doing In-Housing Right

Netflix, EA Games and Wayfair have all seen success bringing programmatic in-house. What do all three of these companies have in common?

  • They are brands that lean in on technology, and technology is at the core of their business
  • They execute and maintain a strategic, comprehensive data strategy
  • They have significant budgets that justify the time, effort and costs to take programmatic in-house effectively

If you fancy yourself like one of these companies, ask yourself: Are you good at hiring data scientists because you will need a minimum of two or three solely focused on media to do this right. Are you also committed to hiring multiple engineers to build and maintain your ad stack? These are important questions, but the most important to ask is this: Do these investments help you to deliver on your brand promise to consumers? If you answer yes to these, in-housing may make sense for your brand. But remember, even these brands struggle at times from siloed thinking and a lack of the cross-industry insights and expertise agencies deliver. Before making any big decisions, make sure you have the right people, processes and programmatic tech to address these questions. And whether you’re looking for support on the path to in-housing programmatic or a partner to take the reins, we are here to help. Reach out to us to find out more about the complex nuances to bringing programmatic in-house.

3 Medical Marketing Digital Strategies for More Patient Leads

According to Google, one in 20 search results are healthcare-related. While many people are actively searching for healthcare advice online, determining how you should advertise your healthcare services, treatments and solutions to prospective patients can be tricky to navigate: You must carefully follow patient privacy rules and medical sensitivity best practices.

Since 2013, we’ve partnered with a leading hospital group to run over 300 digital advertising initiatives for all their healthcare specialties, ranging from maternity to oncology to bariatrics and more. This medical marketing experience has given us insight into what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to executing healthcare digital media campaigns successfully. If you’re looking for new ways to improve your own medical marketing – how to engage your own audience, drive more site traffic and gather more patient leads – here are our top three healthcare digital strategies to try when setting up your next digital campaign:

Take Patient Privacy Seriously

Get HIPAA-certified

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was enacted in 1996 and strictly governs how patient records are handled and shared in the United States. Having this certification gives those who work with you the confidence and peace of mind that you fully understand current HIPAA privacy laws and how to keep patients’ personally identifiable information (PII) safe.

At Goodway, we are all currently HIPAA-certified and are recertified every two years. This ensures we have a firm understanding of patient privacy and can diligently follow all regulations. We keep patient data secure and anonymous because we use a secure hashing process to anonymize hospital customer relationship management (CRM) data before targeting it, then delete that data when a campaign is over.

Advertise to Prospects While They Search

To not intrude on prospects’ privacy, never retarget prospects from medical webpages. You never want to appear insensitive by reminding patients of their medical condition or make them feel tracked.

To be most respectful of their privacy, let prospects conduct their own search for medical information; then, have your advertising appear at the top of search results so they can discover on their own what you have to offer.

Produce Patient-Centric Ad Creative

When it comes to your healthcare digital advertising creative, make your messaging patient-focused. Keep it upbeat and positive and focused on healthcare services and solutions. This isn’t the place to get heavy or to mention illnesses or treatments.

Determine the Right Targeting to Find Your Audience

Take Advantage of First- and Third-Party Data

Use your first-party data, the customer relationship management (CRM) data you have already gathered and own. Marketing to your own prospects who are already open to and interested in what you have to say is valuable and could just be the key to generating more patient leads.

But, what if you don’t have enough first-party data for your campaign? If you need more data to work with, you can supplement it with third-party data. Third-party lifestyle data segments can offer similar prospects to your existing patients who are just as receptive to your message.

Or, take another approach: Go after those third-party segments beyond patients that include caregivers, those who help patients day to day and who are likely to have a say in their medical decisions.

Make Site, Search and Cross-Device Targeting Work for You

Once you’ve made the most of first- and third-party data, try these targeting types:

Use site targeting to find those sites that over-index for your audience so you can get in front of the right people at the right time with your message.

Since you can’t target by a specific ailment when running a medical digital marketing campaign, use category and keyword contextual targeting to reach prospective patients effectively with your ads at the precise moment they are reviewing relevant content online. Don’t forget to conduct daily keyword-level performance reviews and adjust the keywords as needed across all the channels of your healthcare campaign so all channels can benefit from your keyword optimizations.

Or, try cross-device targeting and reach patients on all their devices to reinforce your message, no matter what digital device they may be on – their desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.

Develop a Multi-Channel Digital Media Campaign

At Goodway, we followed a multi-channel digital strategy for our hospital client’s oncology medical specialty area. When we did, their site traffic saw a 196% increase and their display activities (defined as visits to their custom landing page, which you could only get to through search or clicking on an ad) saw a 252% increase throughout the campaign, which led to high-quality patient leads. Using search and display digital channels together helped us surpass our patient lead goal for our campaign by 114%, from two leads a month to an average of 4.3 leads a month.

It can be tough to know where to start and how to go about healthcare digital advertising, especially when patient-privacy rules are daunting and healthcare advertising best practices seem to keep changing all the time.

If you need guidance, a helping hand or want access to the latest available digital tools and healthcare advertising strategies, connect with us. We can show you how to make the most of your medical marketing: how to achieve highly targeted healthcare campaigns that will appeal to and engage your prospects and turn them into patient leads.