Delivering on the Promise of Data-Driven Video

Delivering on the Promise of Data-Driven Video 2

As a consumer, you receive countless marketing messages every day, but what is the last advertisement you actually remember? What about it made it resonate? It was likely an ad that connected with you in a personal, emotional way through a message that was relevant to your everyday life. If we were the betting type (which we are), we’d bet it was also a video.

Video leverages the power of sight, sound, and motion to inspire, to educate, and to drive attention, resonance, and action. The challenge for marketers who fall back on repurposing a single television spot across digital channels is that while the message may be targeted to a more precise audience, the same singular message is delivered to everyone. That beautiful television commercial, that required significant budget and resources to produce, could even be perceived as irrelevant by consumers who are viewing it as a 15 or 30 second ad online (or especially on mobile).

Enter the power and promise of data-driven video – a strategy that enables marketers to use available data to deliver tailored advertising through precise audience targeting and personalized video creative. The opportunity to use data to refine and optimize targeting and video creative will increase the likelihood of greater relevance and performance because after all, actual response data doesn’t lie. Data-driven video unlocks the potential for marketers to combine their most valuable assets (the creative, audience segments, targeting and response data) to build more powerful, personalized and performance driven ad experiences.

The possibilities that are enabled by data-driven video are endless. To unlock these opportunities, IAB’s Data-Driven Video Best Practices guide is an excellent resource that will help educate the marketplace on what is possible, benefits of this strategy, key considerations, potential challenges and more. As the industry works together to evangelize the opportunities within the video advertising space and share best practices, we all become one step closer to delivering on the golden promise of the right message, at the right time, at the right place and to the right person.

Getting started with data-driven video

From our points of view at Digitas and SundaySky, data-driven video is an effective strategy that should be considered as part of an overall marketing-communications plan. We’ve all seen compelling ad effectiveness stats like data-driven video campaigns drive a 78% lift in engagement rates compared to traditional pre-roll video ads (Source: Innovid, 2018 Global Video Benchmarks) and personalized video experiences can improve Net Promoter Scores, which measure customer loyalty to a brand, by 48 points or more (Source: SundaySky,  A Study of Personalized Videos Deployed by F500 Brands, February 2019).

However, the fact of the matter is that for a brand that wants to dip their toe in the data-driven video pool, it can be intimidating. Often the idea of using data to inform your video strategy and personalized video creative sounds expensive and complicated, but there are many solutions in the industry today to help make this process more seamless, scalable, and cost effective.

A critical initial step for a brand is to understand what data is available, abundant, and most important to grow their business outcomes (KPIs). Is it signals of intent that a consumer is in-market to purchase? Is it the existing relationship the brand already has with consumers which presents opportunity for cross-selling and deepening? Perhaps it’s a combination of both, using triggers to identify likely behaviors while also suppressing current customers to maximize acquisition efficiency. A marketer can have an extremely smart data strategy but if they haven’t spent the time to identify what data elements move the needle for their business, the data strategy is all for naught.

In addition, implementing a data-driven strategy is not a solo game. It is important for a marketer to choose their partners carefully. When evaluating agencies, understanding their fluency in data, insights, and audience segmentation is key to selecting the right partner and developing the right media approach.

Tech partners also play a critical role. At SundaySky, we work with our customers to define and prioritize high-level goals for their business focused on key points in the customer journey and work within a staged and incremental “Walk, Run, Sprint and Fly” approach like the below to meet the marketer at their level of readiness.

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As a last step, it’s critical to ensure that key stakeholders have a seat at the table when making smart, informed, data-driven creative decisions. It is easy for a disconnect to occur because pertinent teams like the media team, creative team, tech enablers, and research/analytics team can sit within different agencies and at different companies. However, it’s worth the extra diligence to build bridges between these groups early on to truly deliver the best experience for viewers, and the best results for clients.

Data-Driven Video in Real Life

Data-driven video provides marketers the opportunity to communicate the unique parts of a brand’s value proposition that resonate with each individual consumer. For example, rather than saying “Tide gets stains out”- with data-driven video, you might instead say (with the knowledge that more specific messaging performs better with specific targets) “Tide is safe for the whole family” or “Tide removes city grit”.

Staples is a great example of a marketer that has adopted a sophisticated use of data-driven video. They use this tactic to highlight relevant category value proposition messaging to recommend products and promotions and to highlight messaging that generates brand awareness and drives in-store visits and sales. Their scalable approach to data-driven video ensures that every message is valuable to their consumer while encouraging them to take the next-best action.

The first step to help foster more savvy conversations surrounding data-driven video is to continue publicizing success stories about the use of data in targeting and creative like these to ensure brands keep it top-of-mind and understand the benefits. IAB’s data-driven case studies are a great compilation of various data-driven executions across different marketing verticals

Looking ahead

As consumption and media spending increase (see IAB 2019 Video Ad Spend report for media spend stats), consumers will continue to demand personalized and immersive experiences. We predict that marketers will use data-driven video as way to tell compelling, personalized stories at every stage of the lifecycle —such as driving repeat shoppers to join loyalty rewards programs and for customer advocacy— and that data-driven video will expand onto new and emerging platforms like connected TV for scalable execution across all properties.

We look forward to continuing to partner with IAB to provide educational materials like this Data-Driven Video Best Practices guide and case studies that will help arm brands with the tools they need to test into the space and grow their investments over time.

Download Data-Driven Video Best Practices

Join 400+ attendees from across the digital marketing ecosystem at the inaugural IAB NexGen Marketing Conference and learn how modern marketers are utilizing data, mobile, and video-driven marketing strategies to increase consumer engagement and accelerate business growth.


Apryl Casale
Director of Product Marketing
at SundaySky

Jenny Schauer
VP/Group Director, Media
at Digitas North America