Brightroll released the Q1 2011 Video Advertising Report this week and I already talked about part of it in one article (Targeting Tops Most Wanted List for Video Advertisers). However, there was so much good stuff in the tiny nine page report that it was quite possibly, bursting at the seams with juicy tidbits. So I took my time to consume and digest and I've got a second piece based on it today. I told you we like them and now you see the reasons.
Brightroll annually surveys agencies and asks some good questions about the inclusion of digital in campaigns, online video and what the agencies find their clients really want and need in order to make better online video advertising purchasing decisions.
A Little R&R - Research and Reporting
This year, it broke down into what we here at ReelSEO have known for some time, or at least I have. The clients need input just like Johhny Five. They need to know exactly what they're buying, how it will impact their businesses and campaigns and how it is going while the campaigns are in progress.
It makes sense right? To make an informed decision, you need information. However, I also, rather often, bemoan the lack of just that, good, solid information. Many outlets spin numbers and reports into intricate webs while not of outright deceit but perhaps of making something look particularly good. It's a standard practice that a lot of reports I've seen lately have taken and frankly, I don't like it one bit.
That's another reason I like Brightroll. Their annual survey gives some numbers in it that look legit and their approach seems solid to me. They tell us exactly who they surveyed, how many responded and give numbers that relate directly to the questions and answers supplied. Clean, clear cut and quite useful (especially since I've got two articles out of their eight pages already). They also have a one million dollar research initiative announced earlier in the year.
Alright, enough patting everyone on the back, let's dig into some stats. According to the Brightroll report, 96% of respondents said that research is valuable to clients. That makes me wonder who those other 4% are and how they sell to their clients...I'm guessing it's a sort of Mushroom Strategy (keep them in the dark and feed them...feces).
If you Do it, Will they Come?
Now the astonishing thing, 35% do research... That's a 61% difference (as I am guessing that aforementioned 4% are not doing it) so where are they getting the research from or are they just not offering research to clients and instead just letting them go seek it out on their own.
This is a great sentence which I will give you straight from the report and with which I fully agree.
Research provides the advertiser with indispensable insight into a campaign's performance, which allows for optimization of future campaigns.
Ding! So then why don't we have all that valuable research that I'm talking about all the time? It's sort of like the idea of Communism, in theory, it's awesome. But theory doesn't take into account two things that usually put a kink into many plans - money and people. So I think that is also the problem with the online video advertising research we need.
The report drew some deep, easy to read lines in the sand. Agencies believe that the most important research (28%) is on purchase intent and brand impact. But close behind it (20%) was a comparison of effectiveness against TV ads. Just about one in six (16%) said that research was needed in offline purchasing behavior.
The Crux of the Problem
The problem with some of that research is that it takes not only a lot of work, but a lot of money and involved companies to complete. Not really the first two, but definitely the third as you have to have a presence in the retail world (or partner with a firm that is pulling data there already).
Of course, that's generally the problem with getting much research done, financing it all as well as getting all the other ducks, companies and information chains in a row. But it also highlights a real necessity for the industry. Without this vital research growth in online video advertising will continue to be slow, or rather, much slower than we would all like it to be. Let's face it, it's been growing pretty well, but in order for it to truly compete with the more traditional forms on a completely level playing field we will need a much larger body of research to be completed. With TV and print we have decades of data to pull from already, with online video we have barely a decade in the books.