Danielle Cravatt from VDX.tv talks about various aspects of local advertising & how it draws customer engagement.
“Advertisers that align with consumer care will win consumer trust and loyalty. “
1. Can you tell us about your role at VDX.tv and how your journey in the industry started?
As SVP of Client Partnerships at VDX.tv, I work with brands directly to develop more advanced solutions specializing in digital video and OTT. Spearheading the strategic alignment of product solutions with marketing efforts and sales operations, my role ensures that VDX.tv drives the best possible outcome for each client partnership to build and grow revenue.
I journeyed into digital marketing after an opportunity knocked as a result of luck and hard work. In 2005, while producing for talk radio, my brother headed operations as COO at TMP, Traffic Market Place. One night, after a family dinner, he pulled me aside relaying, and I quote, “You should leave the dinosaur business before it becomes extinct and join the growing digital wild west.” Feeling benevolent, he introduced me to a work friend at Specific Media, now known as Viant, and I started as an account manager with self-made cue cards for contextual targeting and an impression definition. I quickly found my calling in sales and working long-term with brand partners. Fast forward to 2020, contextual targeting has come full circle as a promising solution for the quickly approaching “cookie-less world” and podcasting is the new radio. The digital and marketing industry prove a wonderfully fugacious and evolving industry.
2. Localized ads are typically thought of as only for regional campaigns. How can brands utilize these tactics to reach households across the country?
Pre-COVID-19, localized messaging was largely underutilized and restricted to geo-based efforts to provide local coupons, but the world has changed. Now, community is a driving force among consumers. When Zypmedia asked consumers why supporting local businesses is so important, there were two clear leading reasons; namely, a resounding desire to support their local community (84%) and local economy (54%).
Advertisers that align with consumer cares will win consumer trust and loyalty.
In fact, half of consumers (49% to be exact) made purchases to businesses in their community during the sheltering time frame. A national advertiser or retailer that takes the effort to localize their messaging demonstrates relatability and care, ushering in trust in an era of distrust. For example, despite large new consumption, only one-third of viewers reported “high trust” in the coverage of City and State COVID-19 regulations. However, trust in news that focuses on local stories has never been higher. David Muir’s World News Tonight garners higher ratings than any other news program in the U.S., anchoring most of their program around local effects of the pandemic. World News Tonight is a national program that prioritizes local stories and sweeps audience ratings in all key demographics. Brands have an opportunity to sweep the competition if they act on consumers’ desires for local messaging.
3. What role has the COVID-19 pandemic played in how brands are planning local or regional ad campaigns?
Brands have an opportunity to be a reliable source of truth and a stabilizing connector at the local level, especially as it relates to improving mercurial COVID-19 knowledge and conditions. For example, Walmart shut down NetJets in an effort to create a centralized system that advances up-to-date local inventory information, thus making consumer lives easier and garnering unmatched brand credibility. Offering consumers more ease in their lives and personalizing ad campaigns with community elements will fundamentally forge trusted, lifetime bonds with your brand. Even a nationally-focused advertiser should consider capitalizing on localized messaging to gain consumer trust and instill a sense of community care.
As consumers are clamoring for information about local reopening updates, dealerships, retail stores, restaurants and local “social” socially-distanced events, align yourself with this local connection and you will win consumer affinity.
4. How does household data tell campaigns when consumers might be most receptive to messaging?
The most effective method is to meet prospects where they are. Consumer shifts are happening, and devices are the backdrop to reaching the right user, at the right place and time, with relevant content that will garner interest. In Fact, Nielsen’s U.S. Digital Consumer Report noted that 30% of people consume streaming programming on mobile devices in the bathroom.
Household consumption habits and thus receptiveness vary greatly by DMA (Designated Market Area) and the individual household composition. Therefore, the when will vary and working with providers that understand household nuances and the frequency of which to serve more appealing ads matters greatly. For example, a household with two parents working from home may ingest full episode programming at different times and may be online simultaneously. According to the 2019 OTT Consumer Report by OpenX, 72% of OTT consumers recall seeing an ad and a surprising 40% of those who have seen an ad have “paused to purchase,” meaning they paused content to buy or learn more about a product.
Equally important, what messaging is served will largely determine future purchases. Advanced TV can advance receptiveness by capitalizing on audience data to change the video to match buying interests, thereby fueling customer acquisitions. “Advanced” should apply to audiences and creative to complete consumers’ journey and should honor both household viewing programming habits and online surfing habits.
5. What role do you see localized ads playing in this year’s holiday season?
Advertisers should perform a DMA temperature read to understand the buying penchants and conversely, the pain points, of certain cities and counties.
At VDX.tv, we consider a myriad of factors to understand consumers household indicators of interests and affordability. We take into account ZIP code, employment numbers, local COVID-19 rules and restrictions, affluence, previous shopping habits and equally important, post-COVID-19 purchase patterns. The more an advertiser marries neighborhood messaging with items of interest, the more consumers will convert to customers.
For example, I live in Palos Verdes, California, in a sub-sector called Rolling Hills. Target pinpoints my area and customizes messaging to consistently incorporate Rolling Hills as a call-to-action, alongside items I’m likely to buy. And I hate to admit, but I’ve hit the Halloween bin more than a few times. Localizing ads draw consumers attention, but more importantly cements a connection, as most consumers feel an enhanced sense of community and pride associated with their neighborhood.
This is especially true especially during this COVID-19 era.
6. What opportunity do local ads present for national advertisers?
85% of all Americans are changing their purchase behavior because of the virus. Our (consumer) future habits are up for grabs, and this provides advertisers with an opportunity to connect and win a consumer’s trust over competitors. National advertisers have a tremendous opportunity for their messaging to mirror the new views and local desires of consumers. Several brands have rapidly innovated to support the public interest with community support, including Guinness, who re-developed local factories to manufacture safety supplies. Walmart leveraged their media to apprise customers of regional parking lots that were open for blood testing.
While offering financial support locally may not be possible for every brand, customizing messaging to acknowledge local community ties will tether more consumers to a national advertiser, which ultimately helps shifts the perception of a brand to “relatable” and “favorable.” This crisis will forever change consumer thoughts and purchase behaviors. Earning consumer trust today is central to success in the future. With 65% of consumers having tried a new brand or private label over the course of the pandemic, the brands that pivot from national image-based buys to local brand guides stand to win big.
7. What omnichannel methods can brands use to show a community they care on a local level?
Brands should always consider an omnichannel approach that mirrors consumer consumption habits, which continue to grow and are increasingly device-agnostic. With OTT, viewers still prefer a passive viewing experience that doesn’t require the mental effort of deciding or physical effort of picking up the remote. Localized messaging should reflect a consumers’ lean-back preference, underscoring a household’s city or local feel incentives served alongside video. According to Kantar, 80% of US internet users agreed that brands should provide flexible payment terms and 70% said they should offer free services. Once a consumer exits full episode programming and commences ingesting web content and video snippets, consumers are more open to interacting with ads. Leveraging local maps to show the closest location and brand safety precautions at the local level will dramatically increase positive consumer sentiment and connection to a brand. Leveraging lean-back, local messaging during full episode programming and lean-in, local interactivity opportunities when consumers are interacting with the web will ultimately woo more consumers to trust and buy your brand.
8. What book are you reading currently?
Range by David Epstein and The Whole-Brain Child by Dan Siegel
9. Which movie inspired you the most?
Big Fish and Tim Burton movies in general
10. Can you give us a glimpse into the applications that you use on your phone? Please include a screenshot of your menu screen.