Adam Grenier Profile picture
Apr 21 23 tweets 6 min read
@netflix DON'T MESS THIS UP!

You have one of the most unique opportunities to execute monetization on a global content platform ever.


My brain on how to think about ads from a customer and product first approach on Netflix. ... 🧵
1) Map out your customer journey. What are each of the decisions or states that a customer goes through that may provide unique opportunities for ads or other forms of monetization?
2) Take the time to *appreciate a customer's intent rigidity* while in or moving between each of those steps. Amazing monetization should appreciate what a customer expects to happen.
3) Weigh the bounce risk at each stage. If you interrupt what's expected, what are the odds your customer will abandon the experience?
🔴 = High Risk
🟡 = Medium
🟢 = Low
🟢+❗️= *Hostage*
4) Understand the customer's state of consumption. Are they leaning in our back? Are they exploring or ingesting?
5) Now, and only now, start piecing together where and how to explore monetization in a way that's appropriate to those customer inputs.
Note 1) If possible, don't send customers OFF Netflix. Your first goal should be to see if you can leverage ads to bring more commerce TO Netflix, not just revenue from ads.
- Micro-transactions (i.e. skins, icon packs, etc.)
- Content distribution (YT creators, Game and Movie trailers, MasterClass courses, etc.)
- Creator tools (i.e. a "show" page that can pull in Shopify SKUs, community playlists, commentary-driven content, etc.)
Ads supporting the ecosystem are much more likely to add depth to your customer experience vs. ads for the sake of CPMs.

Plus in a cookie-less future and with your inherent cross-device nature, this will be easier to drive accountable sales.

And... more revenue. Of course.
Notes 2) Focus first on the "leaned-in" steps of your product. You know, the UX full of little tiles showing shows to consider?

I'd start by exploring ways to bring IG-type ad experiences to the "explore" stages vs. interstitials video to the "view" experience.
Replacing 2-5% of "tiles" with visual ads is likely:
- Lower eng-lift
- Easier for advertisers to port content they're already making for IG and FB
- Doesn't interfere with the high-intent experiences customers already expect
Notes 3) Create a no-shit ad unit. Low cost. High Context. Low production. Low Risk.

SEM simplicity. It doesn't have to be text. It just has to be easy enough for anyone to create.

The Pause and Still Watching screens are a great place to test given their lower intent/risk
Google SEM and FB ads are the best product-led growth solution of all time.

Give all advertisers easy access and results (even if small, if it's easy they'll keep buying) and allow your sales team to focus on already warm customers eligible for high-touch (high CPM) experiences
Mimic FB and Google buying platforms.

Don't overthink this. Allow bidding, bulk ad set creation, simple guard rails, and growth marketers with huge budgets will start competing in a way that's low-lift to them, and way less annoying to customers than interstitials or banner ads
Notes 4) Cautiously... and I mean CAUTIOUSLY... enter the hostage zones.

Pre-role videos before a stream or at login are a trap. The customer is already committed to what they want... you won't see churn right away. And boy are those CPMs going to be sexy.
But listen... you are making a conscious decision that is against customer expectations and the burn on loyalty will be slow and painful.

You are normalizing everything that is wrong with content-video ads.

Stay strong. Wait.
By waiting until you've flushed out repeat-scalable revenue solutions like 1-3 first, you keep your appetite to bastardize the core "Netflix" experience low.

Then, if you must, keep the quality bar here incredibly high. Frequency (like 1 a week low).

And charge too much.
To repeat... as much as a board member or a big retail CMO is telling you this is what you should do...

Ignore them.

It's not where the big win is. Performance dollars will NOT flood into those placements unless you make them inherently shitty for customers.
Note 5) Don't touch the precious spots.

Once the show is started (IMO) is sacred territory.

Same with the "continue watching" row.

Maybe you disagree, but you NEED more than data or gut to ever touch these zones given the customer expects something very very specific
Note 6) Last but not least, there's always been, and always will be a brand interest in microsite-type experiences on TV-quality platforms.

You know them. An interactive page where you can "experience" the ad. No one really wants to plan their soup on Netflix...
Don't be fooled. These are noise.

They take more work than the brand should invest and more customization than you as a platform should invest.

They are stunts - not scalable or repeatable revenue approaches. You can suss out scalable "rich" ads in a couple years.
Maaaayyyybe, eventually, build a little sandbox for these, just to direct the noise and get more of the advertiser's share of wallet.

But, save it for 2025.

And in 2025, please think "Canva" simplicity + scalability, not internal creative agency + managed ecosystem.
@Netflix I have a pretty unique perspective on this and I'd be happy to dig in more. Hit me up :)

Otherwise, take this or leave it. Just please approach it from a customer (consumer and advertiser) and product first perspective.

You can do something really special here.

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More from @AKGrenier

Sep 17, 2020
I get the "should I take this job?" question all the time mentoring.

This framework is where I start 99% of the time ->…

Feel free to copy the template & personalize...

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Your "burn out" may actually be depression.

It was for me.

I'm guessing it wasn't just me.

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Burn out needs a break, R&R, vacation, a massage, calibration, etc.

Depression needs hard self-work, love, community, and time.
2/ Burn out means you worked so hard you deserve a break.

Depression feels like you failed. It has been constructed to make you feel like you're broken.

You're not. You need more than a break.
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