There’s no such thing as premium inventory

There’s no such thing as premium inventory

09 September 2021 |

Media and Advertising Industry

Every marketer knows the holy grail of marketing 101 is getting the right message, right person, right place and right time is key to success. But along the way, as marketers our vision has become warped into the right place being synonymous with what we view as ‘’premium inventory’’. This focus and obsession on premium inventory is skewing our ability to really see what is the right place – for your right (target) audience.

This has been fuelled by two key factors; the rise of brand safety technology to help us define what premium is, and traditional publishers (e.g. not Google, Facebook or another user generated platform) communicating that premium is better to marketers. In the Australian industry there is even now a collective industry body to encourage us to ‘’Think Premium’’, showcasing a range of research to support the notion that premium inventory = better results.  I am not disputing the thoughts and suggestions put forward by this group, there is some great research from Think Premium. But just as Facebook are not going to publish research that Gen Z prefer Snapchat, Think Premium are not going to publish research that doesn’t support the theory that premium = better results.

Premium in this instance can be defined as ‘content professionally produced in a risk-free, brand-safe environment’. Sounds good right?

But what about environments that do not happen to have professionally produced content, such as Twitch? Do we discount them completely? Twitch, a sizeable platform with 4.6 million unique viewers per month and a highly engaged audience who do not watch free to air TV, is easily dismissed into the non-premium, non-brand safe category instantly says Twitch boss Chanana. A category which I feel is short sighted on the great opportunities across platforms like Twitch. This and many other user generated ‘’non-premium’’ platforms are subject to being dismissed as part of a marketers media mix, as they do not fit the traditional view of premium. As marketers, we need to think beyond premium alone. Instead, think where is your audience spending their time?

Take programmatic OOH placements such as cafes or doctors surgery screens, which are often dismissed as non-premium placements. Let’s think outside the premium box for a minute – these are high dwell time environments firstly, coupled with advances in targeting capabilities across programmatic OOH, we know who is more likely to be in these environments (cue: your right audience). Arguably even more so in this current environment, where the only mildly exciting activities we can do is get a coffee or get vaccinated at our local GP.

Put simply, let’s move focus away from the language of premium first. Let’s go back to the start, and remember what we’re here to do: right message, right person, right time, right place. Let’s remain open to whatever that right place may be for your audience, as there’s no such thing as premium inventory, only effective reach.

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