Video is one of the most effective ways to communicate. As platforms, technologies, and new ways of bundling content come online, the challenge for marketers lies in prioritizing the right tactics to grab their audience’s attention.

When it comes to video content, the way we consume has shifted dramatically over the last few years – for example, more than 117 million of us subscribe to Netflix, and 17 million to Hulu. You may even be one of the 22 million people to cut the cord with your cable provider already. This has clearly been disruptive for providers, but marketers and advertisers are also feeling the effects.

As platforms, technologies, and new ways of bundling come online, the challenge for marketers lies in prioritizing the right tactics to grab their audience’s attention. Fortunately, video continues to be one of the most effective ways to communicate, and the appetite for quality content of this type continues to grow. For example, in Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Study, we found that in just the last couple of years, there has been a dramatic shift in the consumption of long-form video on mobile devices – more specifically, a 69 percent increase in users watching full-length television shows, 92 percent increase in live TV, and 41 percent increase in streaming films and TV series while on the go.

As devices proliferate, 5G networks become available, and new environments for video consumption develop (think autonomous, connected cars), marketers can find plenty of opportunity for wins, if they keep a few key ideas in mind:

  1. Check your assumptions about where your audience is and how they consume content.
    Ten-plus years into the smartphone revolution, there’s plenty of evidence to believe we’re living in a mature mobile environment. That doesn’t mean behaviors aren’t changing, though.

    For example, Deloitte's study also found that older generations (55+) are the source of the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and the highest growth in daily use for smartphones. They are also the most consistent users of smartwatches. What’s more, habitual behaviors in that older generation are starting to mimic those of millennials and younger generations. Meanwhile, on the flip side of this trend, there are growing numbers of people who are trying to reduce or limit their smartphone use and are getting extra picky about which apps and channels they give space to on their devices.

    All this means, you’ve got to get into the nitty gritty details about who you’re trying to reach and where they are consuming content today – which could be very different from last year’s answer.

  2. Tailor your content.
    Republishing your 30-second TV spots across channels is yesterday’s strategy. You’ve got to think through the platform and context your audience will find themselves in to achieve quality engagement. In 2018, this will become more and more of a differentiator as the media landscape continues to splinter and audience attention continues to be harder to earn.

    For example, in a recent campaign, Gatorade took its history of creating beautiful stories through their advertising and tailored the experience for Snap, by placing snapcodes on their products. When customers download the code, it unlocks unique content – lenses, filters, and training videos onto their phone. Other brands like Nestle and a number of airlines are taking similarly creative strategies.

  3. Evaluate your data strategy.
    Data sources grow right along with devices, channels, and platforms. As you re-evaluate year over year, it’s important to take a step back and look at the who and how of your data strategy. Are you building a comprehensive and flexible data capability for the future? Is ownership of these capabilities with you or an agency?

    As you build out your marketing strategies for the years ahead, it’s critical to think about your data strategy right alongside it, asking questions, like: What is our plan for monetizing data? Are there opportunities to ingest partner data for a broader view across the value chain? What is our approach to handling complex requirements for security?

The landscape for mobile content consumption is a complicated one, but that also means it’s full of opportunity. More than ever, it’s critical to keep an eye on shifting behaviors, through frequent evaluation of your channel and customer data. What new strategies should your brand try out in the year ahead?

Todd Beilis is a principal with Deloitte Digital, Deloitte Consulting LLP, focused on advising both new media and traditional media clients across strategy, technology, and digital.