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Research essay

Digital Economies and markets

With the emergence of a lot of new media technologies and media tools there is been a major shift in the economy of the world, some people refer it as digital economic revolution. The prominence of digital markets has set the competition to another level altogether, the rise of e-commerce sites and the drastic change in relation to the marketing and advertising industries is enormous after the revelation of online services and inventions of the dotcom markets. Today every brand is entering the digital phase and trying to gain consumer attention with origination of new tactics every now and then to offer something better from the competitive brand. “As well as explicit advertising, more subtle forms of promotions have been deployed to enhance brand awareness, positive brand attitudes, and intentions to purchase. These activities have been used widely to reach young consumers, given their enthusiastic adoption of the internet and related tools” (Gunter, 2016, P. 84). Through the rapid speed and major shifts in digital era and increasing level of commercialisation, marketers started to spend more on dedicated promotional and marketing activities to draw buyer attention. “Since the digital platforms have become so prominent, a channel selection has become an important area of study for marketers to determine the most efficient and precise medium of communication to transmit a message” (Rodriguez, 2017 P.6).

“The new media will provide more information about customers (privacy laws permitting). Rather than being a negative, as some have suggested, this will allow producers to customize both products and communications to customer needs, reducing much of the waste circulation and viewership of mass media, and lowering costs of market research, communications, and even distribution. In many ways, the new media puts the customer in control” (Rust and Oliver, 1994, P.73). Customer personalisation and engagement driven algorithms suggest that the market is consumer controlled but it is not easy for the marketers to retain their customers online, thanks to the vast digital space.

“Calder, Malhouse, and Schaedel (2009) state that the interaction the user has with the site where the advertisement was placed, and the brand recognition does determine advertising effectiveness “(Rodriguez, 2017, P.6). This is when advertisers started spending a lot more on advertising and marketing to generate leads and profits. “The competition among media over scarce human attention has created an “attention economy” “(Van Es, 2019, P.2). There was outrage of marketing and promotional ads on internet to draw consumer attention which led to more and more investment, irrespective of who ‘all’ are watching the ad. “Media institutions and producers need to know their audiences to influence consumption and guarantee viewers for their content. As a result, audiences have become the object of scientific inquiry “(Van Es, 2019″,P.3). The big evolutions of algorithms by big dotcoms helped the brands recognize their consumer audience and assisted them in applying strategies for market recognition and reputations. Defining a set of target audience is a must if we are catering to “mass media” users who have access to the internet.

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Consumer driven economies: in relation to ‘Views’ on YouTube

As quoted by Benyamin Elias, “Data-driven” marketers are everywhere. It is important for every marketer to generate leads out of the clicks and views on their ads but it is not always possible because the presence of massive ‘Online Streaming and Social Media savvy audiences’ which have different needs and interests. “In an age of personalized media, the word ‘masses’ seems like an anachronism“(Prey, 2018, P. 1086). According to Raymond Williams”,’ there is no such thing as masses but just the way to see it’. However, David Ogilvy says, before creating and writing campaigns, it is necessary for a marketer to ‘Know Your Audience’. Advertisers must distinguish between different set of internet users and target consumer groups, from identifying their demographics, and psychographics and have the knowledge about consumer behaviours.

Not every audience is a prospect consumer, presence of different consumers like, active users, participatory users, open users and appropriate users, produsers, have different attitudes and interests. The marketers need to be specific about their target audiences and their needs so ‘DATA’ collection is a significant aspect for the advertisers wherein algorithms assist them. In this internet era, every click and every move of the consumers are monetised. The sole purpose of the advertisers is not to provide to customers but also to generate sales, for that we need to identify the factors of customer satisfaction with relation to the economical demographics of the brand. This era is an engagement based paradigm where marketers have to work hard to maintain and retain their customers.

Personalised engagement is done via the help of content creators and celebrities. In this 21st century fan based era audiences preferences are taken care of, by introduction of ‘algorithmic individuations’ such as personal engagement and relational labour. Content creators and celebrities indulge in various personal engagement based activities to provide the customer more accessible experience. To provide that advanced level of personalisation, the advertisers needs to spend a lot on promotional tools, an easy smart way to cater to their audiences is by opting for Google TrueView algorithms.

Connecting to the pay-per-click market, Google TrueView algorithms helps in achievement of goals of the marketer, promising consumer traffic and also saving on the budget. The Google TrueView ads promises that the advertiser only needs to pay when someone views their advertisement. Traditionally one of the main concepts of advertising includes figuring out target audiences but it is almost impossible with the large digital spaces. In advertising it’s not about the masses but mass individuals, in order to fulfil this desire and attract more consumers, marketers apply algorithms of unique individuations for maintenance of personal connection with the consumers and also generating decent amount of Views.

“Views have been regarded as a transactional metric through which ad-space can be bought and sold. To sell views, YouTube needs to attract viewers and keep them watching on the platform. To do so, they employ search and recommendation algorithms that help locate content with a high probability of appealing to the viewer” (Van Es, 2019, P.5).

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YouTube ad formats and how they work

Google TrueView is built on the fact that an advertiser only has to pay when someone chooses to view their ad. TrueView ads are opt-in which is why there is no restriction on timeliness. TrueView ads are creative and can be testimonial or demonstrative in nature. These ads are mostly run on YouTube because of dominance of YouTube users and traffic. TrueView ads largely focus on: Brand awareness, Lead generation .i.e. downloads of apps or shopping and increasing the website traffic. YouTube ads had upgraded the digital branding game 9 years ago with introduction of the skippable advertisements and the trend is been boosting since then, there are currently two types of ad formats that are successful for the advertisers: In-stream ads and Video discovery ads. Both of these ad formats are different in nature but are quite commendable in reaching new audiences.

In-stream ads are the skippable advertisements that are showcased during or before another video. The users have to wait for first five seconds to skip the ad if they aren’t interested. Pay-per-view ad format or TrueView video ad, where CPV bidding is the default for TrueView video ads and instream ads. Buyers offer the highest amount they are willing to pay for a view. Advertisers pay only if a viewer watches their ad for thirty seconds or until the end of the video, whichever comes first. In-stream ads are generally used to create brand awareness or increasing website traffic by showcasing short text base headlines which comples user to click on your website or app. The other is the Video discovery ads which are displayed (mostly) on top of user’s screen above the results of what videos the user was interested in watching. The advertisers pay when someone clicks your ad to watch the video. This means that you will only pay when someone chooses to engage with your ad.These ads are good for brand awareness and attaining new customers in different locations which might land up being the prospect consumers. There are several amounts of discovery ads on YouTube popped up in yellow box, these ads can be demonstrative and have a lot more to convey as there is no timeliness.

Before setting up an ad using Adwords on YouTube, the advertiser needs to list down their objective of the campaign, by listing down their main goals: Product or brand consideration, awareness or reach etc. Advertisers have the freedom to select the budget, CPV, frequencies, languages it will be featured in, locations, scheduling and other relevant formalities.

YouTube advertising business model

TrueView ads run only on YouTube and to understand the models of how algorithms work on YouTube is a little difficult than other social media platforms. “YouTube’s business model centres’ primarily, though not exclusively, on selling eyeballs to advertisers. As mentioned, the platform transacts sales of video ads on CPV bidding where advertisers pay for video views (or certain interactions related to them). In the process of calculating those views, YouTube reduces the complexity of watching to a single, observable human behaviour: the act of clicking on a video so as to play it. The fact that online audiences are produced is clear, since social media platforms calculate views in significantly different ways” (Van Es, 2019, P. 3&4). This also gives birth to the second drawback that is, difficulty in tracking target consumers, with the vast number of audience on YouTube, it is difficult for any advertiser to track the psychological expectations of all kinds of users which makes it more community or group related desires.

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“The other problem with YouTube advertising algorithms is, it relies on “programmatic advertising”,” meaning that algorithms, rather than humans, dictate the placement of ads. This process has resulted in numerous public incidents such as the Adpocalypse, monetizing videos on YouTube to promote terrorism and concerns over the exploitation of children “(Van Es, 2019, P. 6). “YouTube is not transparent about how its spam and security-breach system works. Moreover, no one outside the company can evaluate either the verification or validation of the methods they use to identify attempts to inflate view counts (or other metrics) or the specifics as to why content has been removed” (Van Es, 2019, P.9).

However, “YouTube’s ability to alter how views are counted, highlights how the view is a construction and reveals an imbalance in its power relations with advertisers and content creators. The way that YouTube justifies expanding its definition of views underscores that the view represents a myth of viewer intentionality and satisfaction” (Van Es, 2019, P.10). YouTube performs better in carrying out statistics and analytics as it counts watch time rather than views is used as the metric used for comparison. Rather than opting for other social media platforms for showcasing ads, advertisers still choose YouTube because of the software analytics of carrying out traffic onto the platforms and more views, generating sales and profits.

TrueView is an algorithm generated by Google in the year 2015 specifically designed for advertisers helping in brand recognition and awareness in the markets, marketers use such algorithms for achievement of business goals and to cater to large audiences. It helps the marketers in identification of the actual audiences and behind the views and help the advertisers in producing customer satisfying content. TrueView format is a win-win situation as the advertisers gain profits by fan monetization by centring on algorithmic individuation and personalised engagement models in order to draw profits and audience traffic on their websites/apps leading to large amount of lead generation and sales.

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