Leverage television to drive awareness and consideration during key seasonality
This period of key seasonality, known as ‘burn season,’ is when fireplace consideration among consumers is most prominent. To capitalize on this demand, it was important for HNG to leverage media channels that would not only increase awareness of the brand within the fireplace category but also highlight its core reasons to believe.
HHT considered television (TV) to elevate the HNG brand, which would provide ample options for both wide reach and placement among relevant home improvement content. But given the medium’s high price tags and limited flexibility, it became critical to understand TV’s overall impact on business results as well as how effective TV could be in achieving HNG’s marketing goals. So, HHT and HNG turned to its trusted agency partner and media expert, Collective Measures, to develop an approach to TV that would accomplish their upper-funnel goals while measurably gauging success.
Collective Measures ultimately recommended testing
To inform its recommended approach to TV, Collective Measures began by considering what format would be most effective in both meeting HNG’s goals during “burn season. Collective Measures ultimately recommended over-the-top TV (OTT), which is highly-targetable media that can reach users with video ads on their mobile devices, personal computers, and connected TVs while consuming video content. would be able drive immediate reach and build awareness of the brand to help elevate HNG’s presence in a competitive market and encourage consideration for HNG’s fireplace products. And while traditional linear TV would also achieve these objectives, CM instead prioritized OTT because of the channel’s abilities to:
- Balance premium brand positioning with wide reach
- Show more measurable performance results
- More effectively target and test HNG’s core demographic and interest audience segments, and
- Capitalize on the surging consumption of OTT among HNG’s core audience.
Additionally, this channel was selected as a result of changing video consumption habits during the pandemic. As more and more time is spent at home, MRI Simmons reported that 80% of Americans have streamed video in the past twelve months, up 60% from 2016, and almost half of video streamers feel that OTT has replaced traditional TV.
Specific to HNG, CM developed a 3-month pilot test from August to October to build visibility leading up to peak burn season. To achieve premium visibility for the brand, expand reach and frequency to build awareness, and ultimately influence the consumer journey, we split OTT into two initiatives.
- Programmatic buy through Collective Measures’ internal trade desk to narrow targeting down to key audiences and integrate with HNG’s programmatic native ads featuring inspirational fireplace blog content.
- A direct buy with DiscoveryGo, which included the HGTV network and the network’s proprietary programming to boost HNG presence in relevant home improvement content.
To truly prove the effectiveness of OTT, CM also completed a market test. We compared the performance of seven ‘light’ markets running OTT ads against with seven ‘dark’ markets without OTT to gauge the impact of the channel on the customer journey. To develop this test, CM completed a thorough market analysis to evaluate levels of awareness and local dealer presence across U.S. markets based on size and historical paid and organic performance to develop a custom ‘awareness index.’ And to measure OTT’s impact, we created a measurement plan that evaluated changes in organic and direct site traffic and paid search performance compared to dark markets.
Over the 90-day period, OTT proved to be highly effective across all objectives.
As a result of this highly successful test, OTT and CTV have been officially incorporated into HHT’s media mix as a highly impactful yet efficient way to both build brand awareness and drive action among its target audiences.
Drove immediate, mass reach. Programmatic OTT test drove 23% reach against the estimated home remodeler audience at a cost-effective $38 CPM. And with Collective Measures’ advanced measurement strategy, CM learned that users required an average of eight ad exposures on OTT prior to visiting the site, informing future optimizations to frequency.
Built brand recognition + inspiration. Compared to the three months before the campaign, markets with OTT yielded an 72% increase in organic traffic and a 93% increase in search volume on branded terms with much lower increases on these KPIs in dark markets (which did not run OTT).
Influenced an increase in conversion and action rates. Users exposed to the native campaign running tangential to OTT were 66% more likely to convert when also exposed to OTT messaging, as they were more familiar with the brand and product offerings.