What We Heard at CES 2020: The Industry Raises the Bar on Ad Effectiveness

By Lance Brothers, Chief Revenue Officer, NCSolutions

Here at NCS, the New Year isn’t truly underway until we arrive at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It’s always a whirlwind of excitement, and this year was no exception.

For us, CES 2020 isn’t only about the chance to see the latest in innovative technologies or the quirky home robots (looking at you, Bot Chef). The show is always an important opportunity to meet with clients and learn more about their 2020 plans. We also use this time to cast a gimlet eye on the tech and trends destined to impact CPG advertising over the coming years.

Advertisers and agencies are always eager to talk about improving their advertising effectiveness. But this year stood out for the deep one-to-one conversations and the notable excitement among our clients about the potential to use new technologies like machine-learning to drive results. We were blown away by how far the CPG industry has come in improving advertising effectiveness across all media. Our clients are demanding more from advertising and are committed to raising the bar in ad effectiveness. They’ve proved eager to innovate with NCS to get the greatest return on their ad investments. 

Continuous evolution was a key theme of our discussions with clients at CES 2020. In case you weren’t able to attend, we’ve captured some of the key points below. If there’s anything here that strikes a chord, give me a shout. I’m always eager to hear your thoughts and capture new ideas.

What a difference a decade makes. NCS kicked off a milestone celebration—our 10-year anniversary—at CES 2020. Ten years ago, we hadn’t yet met the Apple iPad. Also 10 years ago? Advertisers didn’t yet have the ability to connect the dots from an ad campaign’s exposure to resulting in-store sales. NCS was founded on this revolutionary idea—we believed in the advantage of our purchased-based metrics methods, and we’ve been delivering on different levels on this tenet for the past 10 years. 

Flash forward to 2020, and apparently you believed, too. With the explosion of new channels, devices, and platforms, and a seemingly infinite number of ways to reach consumers, marketers and publishers got super sophisticated in campaign measurement. In tracking marketing effectiveness, clients wanted to show the incremental sales results from advertising, so we launched innovations like our new optimization solution, Sales Lift Metrics (more on that below). And as we begin our second decade, we’re already working on new innovations to improve your advertising effectiveness. Our CEO, Linda Dupree, takes a look back—and forward—in this Q&A

How to get more incremental dollars. Last year, our client started asking questions like, “Is my campaign driving sales now?” So we developed Sales Lift Metrics, which determines incremental sales for specific campaign tactics—while the campaign is live—allowing for our customers to optimize in-flight. By optimizing for Sales Effect on a weekly basis, advertisers can mitigate fatigue and maximize incremental sales, while their campaign is still running. 

We’ve been piloting this new product with customers, and over the past few months have come away with some early learnings and victories. For example, by extending its unique reach by multiple percentage points with Sales Lift Metrics, a CPG advertiser achieved…

  • 32% more incremental sales in its ad campaign than it would have if it hadn’t extended reach.  
  • By looking at and optimizing against incremental sales over a weekly basis, we saw that 11% of that lift was due to optimizing between audience tactics, and 21% thanks to implementing strategies that increased unique reach.

Emerging media is always in reach. Streaming media was a hot topic at CES 2020. We’ve known CPG advertisers, media buyers, and publishers want to reach buyers in emerging media like streaming audio and gaming. That’s why we worked with Tru Optik to make NCS segments available on the Tru Optik Data Marketplace for OTT/CTV, streaming audio and gaming advertising campaigns. We’re excited that advertisers and publishers will be able to enhance audience-based targeting capabilities in these channels. 

Leveraging data to drive impact in CPG – ‪NCS’s very own Patrick Roman Gut had fun moderating a chat Q&A with Moët Hennessy’s Andrea Sengara at the Brand Innovators Mega Trend Summit against the backdrop of CES. They talked pressing topics facing digital marketers today, and Andrea shared some big bets her team is taking to be successful in the alcohol beverage industry:

  1. Data: leveraging data to create a more seamless and consolidated user experience, particularly in a CCPA-compliant environment. 
  2. Personalized content: maximizing brand connections throughout the entire consumer journey, testing and iterating fast to figure out what works.
  3. E-commerce: leveraging online channels like Drizly and DoorDash to meet consumers where they are.  

2020 is already off to an amazing start. Between our new Sales Lift products and partnerships to enhance targeting capabilities in new channels, I’m excited to watch our clients meet their buyers where they are and drive incremental sales. 

Want to learn how you can optimize your advertising throughout a campaign? Learn more about Sales Lift Metrics.