The Unreachables

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The Unreachables

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The biggest behavioral change we’ve seen is the platform shift. We must make significant changes to our industry audience tracking methodologies. This is a necessary step to ensure the planning tools we use are more reflective of the environment.

The Unreachables is a combination of Millennials and GenXers who, as they are off the grid, represent the most extreme example of the difficulty of quantifying when advertising messages reach them. And they aren’t as elusive as they appear, but in order to reach this audience one has to look beyond current planning and measurement methodologies and tools.

Still, Shane Cameron’s talk at CMDC 2018 Conference, The Unreachables, remained upbeat. He illustrated the remarkable range of viewing options today, that all achieve scale. At the same time, Shane acknowledged the difficulty in the challenge ahead, to produce a universal solution to the static state of planning tools and methodology currently in use by agencies, clients, broadcasters, and publishers.

Shane used the following facts to support his case:
1. Change is happening so fast and the choices are so diverse, that at least 15% of Canadians have no idea what platform they are on when they watch TV.
2. Ad blocking is still a concern at 18%+ in Canada
3. The advertising business model that traditionally was paid by consumers in time, is shifting to other models:

  • Netflix, which has a 53% penetration of paid subscribers in Canada, albeit with an average tuning of 3 hours per week
  • A trade in services, like Salon, which makes the case to people using ad blockers to continue not to receive commercials but to allow Salon to use their unused computing power
  • BDUs are using new ways to evolve their delivery to become an IPTV product

4. Sub-sets of the population over-index against cord-cutters or cord-nevers, their demographic is centred in a bracket of 30+ which is comprised of Millennials and Generation X.

This age group is the “sweet spot” for advertisers; they do not represent an obscure corner of the buy. They represent a massive amount of spending power and growth segments for businesses globally. To provide the audience a clearer picture of his argument, Shane shared a chart which demonstrated the size and complexity of the video entertainment streaming options available. The audience were shown YouTube in more detail to demonstrate the tremendous scale of Canadians as regular viewers.

Shane’s solution is for all stakeholders in the industry is to break with our traditional media planning methodology – for it is not a pure representation of the marketplace. What we need is a methodology that is more inward looking, that contains more client data, so that it is more representative.

It becomes obvious that there is a need to correlate planning data that incorporates the advertising and consumer user data. We need to understand what advertising is delivering, rather than what is simply being delivered by using new math for a new playbook, that is relatable to this new reality. Shane’s advice rests on learning the value of an impression that is not just the result of self-reporting, but to use a tracking method that is impartial – to determine how people travel from one platform to another, and what they are watching, with a unifying mechanism.

Canada is in a great position to take on this kind of problem and solve it, impartially and with marketers first-party data. The time for action, Shane claimed, is now.

Key Insights from Shane Cameron

  1. The scale and diversity of video is tremendous in capturing The Unreachables.
  2. We need to understand what advertising is delivering, rather than what is simply being delivered by using new math, new technology that is relatable to this new reality.
  3. The ability to reach future audiences depends on agencies and brands working together to rewrite a new media planning and buying playbook.
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