Five tips for emerging brands seeking to reach Connected Consumers
24 September 2021
It’s no secret that today’s consumers are plugged into multiple channels and devices throughout their days. And while they’re streaming programmes, music, movies and podcasts, they’re also interacting with brands. For emerging brands who are seeking to build awareness and brand love and loyalty, streaming channels are becoming an increasingly important part of their strategies.
This year, Amazon Ads worked with Ipsos to survey 3,000 Americans ages 18-64. We sought to learn more about Connected Consumers1: Where are they streaming? How are they interacting with brands? And what do they want from their brand interactions? We presented our findings in a new report, “Diving Deep with Connected Consumers”, as well as in blog posts on who Connected Consumers are and how they shop.
To make our findings even more actionable for emerging brands, Amazon Ads recently held a panel hosted by Maggie Zhang, Head of Measurement Success, Amazon Ads, and featuring Jesse Semchuck, Director of Acquisition, Traeger; and Kyle Lembke, Director of Digital Sales and Strategy, PetIQ. Together, they discussed their takes on key Connected Consumer insights for emerging brands.
Connected Consumers are open to new brands
“When it comes to self-describing their personality traits, Connected Consumers over-index on descriptors like ‘curious’ and ‘open-minded’,” Zhang said. “And 35% tend to spend time doing research about products and services before they make a purchase.” For emerging brands, these attributes can be especially appealing.
“The fact that Connected Consumers are willing to engage with new brands and they're willing to break free of established brands to give newer, younger items a chance in their household – that's particularly exciting to us as a company, given the fact that we're relatively new to the industry in a very old category,” said Lembke.
Semchuck agreed. “It's critical for us to find audiences that are curious,” he said. “People are so used to cooking the way they're used to – using the stove, using the microwave. When you talk about a pellet grill, it’s so unique and it's so new that people don't really know how it works. And so, for people that are curious and want to elevate their cooking experience, Trager’s here for them. But it is brand new to so many people, and I think it takes someone who’s really curious to take advantage of that.”
PetIQ has seen “high video completion rates” with Amazon Streaming TV ads, according to Lembke, which indicates that it’s been an effective way to connect with their audiences.
“When we're looking at audience attributes that are most important to us, it is again that curiosity, that constantly looking for something new, the next option for them,” said Lembke. “Being able to present content to these shoppers in a way that is engaging and relevant to their day-to-day lives is really exciting.”
Connected Consumers are younger than General Consumers
Connected Consumers tend to skew younger than General Consumers.2 “According to the study, 62% of Connected Consumers are between the ages of 18 and 44,”3 said Zhang.
For brands like PetIQ, who are trying to reach the next generation of consumers, this insight is important. While PetIQ seeks to connect with Gen X shoppers, who make up the bulk of pet product shoppers, up-and-coming shoppers are another key audience. “The 18- to 20-year-olds who are just now starting to make their own purchasing decisions – this is an opportunity for us to reach new shoppers who maybe don't know that we're an option, maybe don't know all of the products that are available to meet their needs,” said Lembke. “So looking at the long-term value of engaging with these customers at such an early stage is invaluable.”
Content plays a key role in reaching Connected Consumers
For Semchuck, an interesting insight that stood out is Connected Consumers’ willingness to watch commercials in exchange for free content. They’re also receptive to taking action on content that resonates: “40% of Connected Consumers indicated that they're more inclined to act if the brand is a sponsor of the content they're watching with limited or no commercials,”4 according to Zhang.
Traeger has started developing shows, like live cooking classes, as well as concepts for longer-form content for streaming services. It’s a move that’s come from the industry’s shift to seeing streaming video as an important channel. “For a long time, people thought that linear TV was the only impression that had a lot of value,” he said. “People are now recognising that many of the streaming services are just TV – they're appearing on a television set.”
PetIQ views streaming content as a premium presentation to customers, according to Lembke. When viewers are watching a movie or show on a streaming service, they have an expectation for the quality and relevance of ads they’ll see. “We try our best to create content that comes across not only high-quality, but engaging, not intrusive and it feels natural,” Lembke said.
In addition, the streaming TV space is filled with creative innovation opportunities to reach and resonate with Connected Consumers: “47% of Connected Consumers who watch Amazon's ad-supported streaming content on a monthly basis said they are more likely to act on an ad that they could interact with either using their remote or their voice,5” Zhang said.
Connected Consumers welcome ads aligned to their interests
“One big lesson we've learned from the study is that Connected Consumers welcome relevant messages,” said Zhang. “They're open to ads that are aligned to their interests or purchase history.” Sixty-one per cent of Connected Consumers said they like brands showing them ads based on their interests, and 57% said they found it helpful when ads are relevant to them.6
“For us, relevance means engagement,” said Semchuck. Traeger will, for example, take a 60- or 30-second top-of-funnel ad that's made to drive awareness, and then remarket to audiences with a 15-second ad or display ads with messaging that meets their objectives. After that, they’ll reach customers near the end of their journeys with Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands.
“It's really important for us to be relevant to them and where they are in their journeys,” said Semchuck. “Purchasing a grill that is relatively expensive can take 30 to 90 days, so we know that we have to continue to stay in front of them during the entire cycle.”
Reaching Connected Consumers where they stream can drive measurable results
Our Connected Consumers survey found that meeting shoppers where they stream can be more impactful than meeting them where they scroll: “30% of the Connected Consumers indicate that they're more likely to pay attention to ads that play before, during and after video content they stream on their TV,” said Zhang, “in comparison to the 20% more likely to pay attention to video as in their social media feed.7”
And emerging brands like PetIQ are seeing returns from their streaming investments. “Even if you think of streaming TV as something that's really expensive or the same prices as linear TV, it's really affordable to get started,” said Semchuck. “I think the nice thing about Amazon is that you can connect that top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel experience to help drive sales – where with a lot of these other streaming providers, when you're running ads they're not tied to sales.”
Lembke agreed. “One of the most unique and exciting parts of Amazon Streaming TV, to PetIQ, is the ability to actually measure engagement and truly prove results, just because of the insights that we do have access to through Amazon Ads. You don't get a lot of those insights from linear and traditional TV advertising, and it makes it difficult, not only to reach relevant audiences, but to understand how your content is really impacting your shoppers. Is it engaging? Is it exciting? Are they taking action after?
“Streaming TV is an essential part of advertising for all of our priority brands going into next year,” he said.
1 Connected Consumers are respondents who self-reported that they use a smart media device at least once per month. For the purposes of this study, “smart media devices” include smart TVs, smart speakers, smart displays and streaming devices.
2 General Consumers refer to all respondents who participated in our study.
3 Amazon Connected Consumers study, July 2021
4 Amazon Connected Consumers study, July 2021
5 Amazon Connected Consumers study, July 2021
6 Amazon Connected Consumers study, July 2021
7 Amazon Connected Consumers study, July 2021