When it comes to advertising, how much is too much?
This question has plagued marketers for decades and for good reason.
Balance is key, but how can a campaign achieve the ideal ad ratio for the consumer?
In honor of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story being released this month, pardon me while I go full-on nerd to talk about a very important issue in advertising today: frequency.
Moreover, how can marketers bring balance to the amount of ads shown to consumers, cross-channel?
In broad terms, seeing something over and over (and over) again can cause a person to see it differently.
Of course, whether that’s differently (positive) or differently (negative) is not so easy to define in simple terms. That’s why the idea of dose response is so intriguing.
What is dose response? According to Trent Salazar, Data Scientist, Oracle Data Cloud, dose response models (a term found in the medical field) are routinely used to show how a population responds to various dosages of medicine.
And Oracle Data Cloud’s Dose Response model, a unique application by our data science team, interprets how an exposed population responds (relative to the control group) to different ad impression frequencies.
What Salazar found was perhaps surprising: In more than 80% of campaigns studied by his team, it was the first impression served to each household that was the best driver of incremental sales.
Simply put, most of the individuals in their study did not need to see an ad multiple times before responding.
Since the last time we saw that ad. And the time before that.
In fact, if we can recite an ad by heart, that’s not necessarily a good thing. And for many consumers, ad fatigue comes from video-streaming services.
With traditional TV, ads are placed at an ideal time in a show’s more linear lineup, carefully balanced so that repeats are managed by real people. But streaming services aren’t dealing with a single, scheduled programming feed. Instead, the task is to fit advertisements into commercial breaks as they become available across a high number of on-demand streams.
For example, as TechHive explains, if a streaming service has 10MM viewers watching 10MM episodes every month, repetition is negligible. Now, imagine the same streaming service has 500K viewers? Now each viewer has to watch the same ad 20 times to get the same impression rate.
“I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you.”
As we heard at many digital conferences this year, consumers are frustrated by the frequency of digital advertising.
The rise of ad-blocking is a direct result of that frustration—about 198MM people world-wide use ad blockers, which cost publishers nearly $22B in revenue last year.
So, how can marketers find the balance in the frequency and make consumers happier?
This year, Oracle’s own Head of CPG Brand Strategy advised advertisers to win back consumers who have started blocking ads by fixing the experience.
While advertising is forever linked to quality publishers, making the customer experience more positive is possible—and will results in reducing ad-blocking.
“With targeting capabilities getting better and better, the question should not be limited to can we reach our consumers everywhere and anywhere?’” said Lauren Fisher, Senior Analyst, eMarketer to Oracle.
“Ultimately, as we’ve seen with ad-blocking, consumers are getting frustrated with how good these capabilities are becoming.”
So how can marketers bring balance to the frequency? The modern customer journey is made up of multiple touchpoints over time.
By understanding the customer’s point of view, it’s easier to provide the correct cadence. Staying customer-focused, instead of concentrating only on impressions, improves your brand’s message across all channels.