Rendezvous with Industry Leaders- Sheryl Daija

Tali Brousard-Shimer

In an exclusive interview with Cedato, Sheryl Daija, Chief Strategy Officer of Mobile Marketing Association, shares her insights on the unique challenges of engaging mobile users through video advertising.

What are some of the key challenges for video marketers in either getting a message across or just gaining viewers’ attention as soon as an ad becomes viewable?

MMA’s SMoX research has shown that mobile video is more efficient than is TV, and this efficiency increases when brands pay attention to multiple creatives and rotation.For creative directors coming from the world of TV commercials, digital requires a complete reorientation of thinking.  With TV commercials, the logo or call to action delivers on the promise of a 30-second commercial (of course, it’s debatable if people watched the full 30-seconds). With digital, they need to deliver on the promise within the first few seconds. Then, once they’ve captured the audience’s attention they can truly leverage the uniqueness of mobile and further encourage interaction.

The IAB defines a video impression when 50 percent of video is loaded within one second. What are some specific tactics that are working to maximize impressions of online video ads?

It’s important to make the user experience desirable without being intrusive, which is where creative execution is critical. Brand, logo and call to action must be featured proactively and early on, and this needs to be done in a way that is welcome to the viewer.

What are some tactics that have proven to not work — what should marketers avoid when trying to maximize the first few seconds of online video?

Interruptive techniques like takeovers or video that autoplays with sound will be less effective and can even backfire on the brand experience. There are many ways to be smart without being intrusive. Additionally, don’t re-purpose TV commercials by just cutting them down – create for the medium itself.

Are there situations where it makes the most sense for marketers to just create super short videos (10 seconds or less)?

We have seen that 7-second slots perform well, but that brevity creates a new challenge: how to execute a creative strategy and impactful messaging in such a short amount of time.

Is there a blueprint for structuring an online video to reach those fleeting first moments and then shift somehow to take advantage of viewers who do stick around past the first few seconds?

Creative strategy needs to align with business objectives and have a solid layer of innovation on top. The most important element to consider when creating marketing video for digital is providing strong messaging and branding in the first few moments. Along with that, you should give the viewer an inviting way to interact further, which will keep them more engaged.

Is the strategy different for videos that autoplay? Videos that autoplay with the audio on versus audio off by default? Is that blueprint different for editorial video content versus video ads?

Yes to the three questions above. The Cardinal rule is: Understand the medium and context and always create the strategy around both.

Each style of execution needs to be examined and approached separately. For example, videos that autoplay will likely need to be contextually more relevant within a stream, which may result in a higher likelihood of more time spent. If audio on is, it’s more intrusive for the user, so the creative should cut to the chase even faster, else it could turn people away.

It is critical for brands and their creative and media agency partners to confront the new set of unique opportunities that non-TV video is bringing to bear on all aspects of advertising.

I cannot reinforce enough that it is absolutely critical to create specifically for the medium of delivery. There are still too many brands that think they can get away with repurposing TV commercials. When they do this, they completely miss the opportunity to leverage the uniqueness of digital, and especially mobile.

When dealing with mobile video specifically, marketing creative and campaign rotation are especially important, and brands should be developing and heeding best practices. For example, we know that 15-second clips perform better than do their 30-second counterparts. Still, who’s to say that even shorter would not do even better?

Any final thoughts or key takeaways?

Mobile is becoming the dominant means of consuming video content – it is often considered the first screen. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity for brands to create more meaningful and engaging brand experiences by leveraging both the uniqueness that mobile has to offer and the video-ready consumer. While it might be the smaller screen, these elements combine to make it the most powerful medium for sight, sound and storytelling

On a final note, I expect the programmatic space to face some challenges as everyone wrestles with dynamic creative generated on the fly in the RTB space. Special attention will need to be paid to the literally-thousands of variable creative executions that will be called for, and “creative business rules” will become a new discipline.

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sdaija.jpgSheryl Daija, Chief Strategy Officer, Mobile Marketing Association

Twitter: @daijapop

Sheryl Daija has developed and executed successful business, media and marketing strategies in the digital, technology and consumer products industries. In her role as Chief Strategy Officer of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), she is focused on strategic programs that will help drive the industry forward while also overseeing MMA’s global events.

Previously, Sheryl was SVP/General Manager of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), where she was at the forefront of innovation and development across all platforms of the Interactive media industry. Under Sheryl’s leadership, the IAB developed and implemented strategic programs including research and education as well as development of standards, guidelines and operational processes.