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The Future of Multi-screen & More - ‘Hyper-connected’ VP Tells All

The Future of Multi-screen & More - ‘Hyper-connected’ VP Tells All

Self-confessed ‘hyper-connected consumer’ and a4uexpo Europe keynote speaker, Deann Harvey, spoke to PerformanceIN about her role, as well as multi-screen campaigns and habits, before highlighting some key takeaways from her day two session.

Many attendees at the July 2-3 Amsterdam event arrived early to score a front seat to see the vice president of EMEA at DG's session on Dual-Screening and the Convergence of Engagement. From apps, video and many other forms of cross media engagement, Harvey covered it.

DG, which is headquartered in Texas, is a global ad management and distribution platform, which helps advertisers deliver their message to every channel - TV, online video, display and mobile. From Russia and China to the Philippines, South Africa and the UAE, DG has offices across the globe.

With more than 10 years of sales and marketing experience across building, developing and leading strategic solutions, Harvey’s role means she has to be clued up on what is happening globally across the fast spinning multi-screen world.

Harvey also mentioned that DG, which connects more than 14,000 global advertisers and 7,400 agencies, is seeing particular growth in Central Europe, Russia and Latin America. On the subject of the UK and the US, Harvey said both markets are very similar when it comes to dual-screen behaviour – and are equally as aggressive when it comes to marketing strategies.

Q: How long have you been VP for at DG and within this role what are your core business targets?

DH: I have been VP, EMEA for DG since October last year. Within this role I am extremely focused on driving our EMEA business forward and I spend a lot of time with clients on the converged landscape and new technology opportunities.

My core business targets are to drive growth and expand our business, ensure client satisfaction across all of our offices in EMEA. As one of a few global independent technology companies, our business thrives on the ‘think global, act local’ approach and EMEA is a key part of our success and continued growth.

Q: How ‘hyper-connected’ are you? Do you regularly dual screen yourself and what devices do you use and how often?

DH: I am extremely 'hyper-connected’ and I am really an Apple enthusiast. I have an iPhone, iPad, MacBook Air and use Apple TV as my connected TV device. In terms of how often I use these devices, my iPad and iPhone are almost always on me. And I find myself using one over my Air often. I haven't had a home telephone line in years and my mobile is my main device. I don't even use my office phone and my mobile number is my only contact number on my business card. From a dual screen perspective, I spend a lot time on social networks (mostly Facebook) and I am constantly online while watching any sort of video content. I use my tablet and Air often to stream video and rarely consume content on the traditional first screen.

My iPad has also become my source of news and I use aggregator apps to get relevant content. My magazine subscriptions are now digital and therefore consumed on my iPad. Personally, my media consumption habits have changed a lot over the last few years with new technology and I believe they will continue to in the future.

Q: Can advertisers survive if they do not adopt a multi-screen campaign these days and what advice would you give to company’s looking at upping their presence in the multi-screen world?

DH: It is a matter of survival. The key thing to recognise is that your audience is already occupying a multi-screen world – they’re online, they’re mobile, they’re watching TV and if you’re missing any of these channels you’re at a disadvantage, particularly if their competitors are already engaging with multi-screen campaigns.

In terms of advice we would recommend looking at a campaign holistically rather than in silos looking at what might be best for each channel, but with a consistent theme that links these. So it’s not taking a TV spot and putting it online, but taking TV slots and making them social, or adapting those slots for online by adding extra content such as product information and clips when pushing online.

In terms of breaking down silos, advertisers should encourage collaboration between agencies. If they have an agency that does digital and an agency that does TV, they should be forcing those teams to work together. Or, if they’re working with one agency that does both, they should challenge that agency to show that those teams are benefitting from each other

Q: What are the key takeaways that you hope people went away with from your session on Dual-Screening and the Convergence of Engagement?

DH: Dual screening increases the value of both TV and online as the effect of messages reaching the viewer from both screens simultaneously is greater than if they reach at different times. It’s similar to the value delivered by retargeting but across screens.

Additionally, a message on brand awareness could be converted to a call to action on a second screen, for example, moving people immediately into the purchase funnel via that second screen. It gives brands a way to align their customer acquisition and marketing strategies.

It’s worth noting that multi-screen can help support a range of goals – it doesn’t need to be transactional. Maybe the second screen element helps people share a brand experience via social channels rather than be about direct response.

Or the goal could be to target a specific supplementary message to a given user – a TV ad for Ford cars in general could be paired with a model specific message on a tablet that promotes a family car to a new parent. Advertisers can curate the message however they want to achieve goals across multiple channels.

Q: Content, its relevance and the convenience at which it is delivered is obviously paramount, but how far can this concept be pushed over the next 20 years and what are your thoughts on ‘smart appliances’, such as Samsung’s screens/apps in fridges etc?

DH: A personal view on this: While more devices are getting smarter it doesn’t automatically make these relevant as channels for advertising even though the potential is of course there.

The use case for these new devices is yet to evolve and any advertising opportunities should respect the way people use devices. There will have to be a negotiation between brands and consumers as to what people want from different screens. Advertising won’t drive the uptake of these screens it will be the use case that arises around a device.

Q: What impact do major events, such as the Super Bowl, The UEFA Champions League Final etc have on multi-screen advertising?

DH: Social is key here. If you’re advertising or sponsoring around an event you need to be on social as that’s where the discussions are around that event – it’s now a given as it’s the way to ensure that people can talk about your brand.

In some ways the better question is how major events are driving multi-screen advertising, influencing the opportunities for advertising.

One thing that larger events do provide is an additional driver for live viewing – ensuring that a large audience will be engaged simultaneously in a way that is increasingly rare in the age of ever fragmented audiences. This is reciprocal – social media is also making it more important to watch live with the entertainment value of some shows increased by the ability to watch reactions, on say Twitter, as the event happens; a fact that is recognised by broadcasters increasingly promoting hashtags for programmes.

From a media planning perspective, the social aspects of events makes it more important to advertise in associated spaces, such as the broadcasters’ online properties. This can help your sponsorship dollars go a little further.

Q: Are digital and TV still two separate silos, or are technology providers/forward-thinking agencies making real headway in combining the two?

DH: Today there is still a separation in many areas, but leading agencies are bringing these areas together and increasingly that convergence has to continue; with advertisers needing to drive their separate TV and online agencies to work together or, where these are already under one roof - to push for demonstrable value from using a single agency. But as to these different media in themselves it is also important to note that TV and online do have different strengths, but that doesn’t mean they should be managed separately. And while TV is great for branding, and online for direct response and measurable results from concrete calls to action, that situation is increasingly less clear cut.

For certain properties online video is about brand awareness. Adding tools to share a hilarious ad with a viewer’s entire Facebook circle is brand awareness online at its best – it’s your earned media. Beyond direct response this power of earned media could well be one of the biggest strengths of online video.

Q: Consumers use social media a lot when watching TV, are there any other big trends multi-screen advertisers should be aware of?

DH: One of the key things advertisers should keep in mind is that while there is a proliferation of companion apps that are seeking to become the second screen platform of choice – offering ways to learn more about a programme or play along – much of the current second screen activity is actually completely different and often independent.

People may not be on their phones or tablets to extend their TV experience, but possibly in spite of it – browsing social media as a distraction from something that isn’t grabbing their attention.

Second screen experiences didn’t happen because of interest in learning more about what’s happening onscreen, but because of other devices being on hand to take advantage of our short extension spans. However, when it works well, social media can be a great place to share experiences or opinions on what is being seen – a great place for the water cooler conversation, but it works as it’s also much more than that TV experience.

But companion second screen apps that have a social feature included don’t have the critical mass of users to ensure people can be able to find their friends. There is also the danger of users having dozens of apps for dozens of shows which does suggest that the companion app approach could falter.

Q: What are the best multi-screen brand campaigns that you have witnessed and who are the top brands that are leading the way in the US/and or globally?

DH: In the UK, broadband provider O2 used a second-screen strategy to get web viewers of TV quiz show, The Million Pound Drop, to watch its four-minute video. O2 purchased the first break on a broadcast to air a music video by rapper Tinie Tempah that co-starred an O2 subscriber. Some 17% watched the entire video and more than 2% clicked through to additional content. Additionally campaigns like Dumb Ways to Die are a great example of an awareness campaign that’s really broken out of the silos to be effective on YouTube as an app and a TV spot.

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Pippa Chambers

Pippa Chambers

Freelance News Journalist at PerformanceIN - working to source the latest and breaking news in performance marketing. 

From newspapers to national B2B magazines and technology reporting, I have covered a variety of genres. NCTJ/NCE qualified.

Please email me at pippa.chambers@performancein.com and follow me @PippaC1

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