Key Insights from Disney’s SMB Research Study Fuel An Enhanced Strategy to Better Serve Underrepresented-Owned Businesses
NEW YORK, MARCH 2, 2022 – Disney is expanding its Self Service business to democratize access to streaming inventory across its portfolio of brands. Commonly known as Hulu Ad Manager, Disney Advertising is taking its Self-Serve Platform to the next level, opening to agencies, and launching an on-demand curriculum to empower underrepresented-owned small businesses. Additionally, advertisers will have turnkey access and seamless setup through the self-serve solution, with a faster time from sign-up-to-launch campaigns.
“We’re not building this platform for our users; we’re building it with our users. We’ve proven the impact of offering advertising with efficiency and cost-effectiveness with small businesses, and now we’re ready to bring that to agencies,” said Sylvester Phifer, VP Self Service Platform Sales. “As we welcome small and medium-sized agencies to the platform, we’ll continue to innovate based on what our clients want to see.”
Disney will bring its self-service suite to small and independent agencies for the first time this year. The agency pilot program will enable access to 25 local, performance and independent agencies this spring. Through the platform, agencies will be able to monitor campaigns in a single aggregate dashboard for all their clients. Disney is looking to use insights from the pilot program to deliver more capabilities in the months ahead.
Since its launch last year, Disney’s Self Service Platform has grown nine-fold. Over 75,000 businesses have gone to admanager.hulu.com and signed up to advertise across Hulu simply using a credit card. One of those businesses is the New York Institute of Technology, who, like many, faced a tight budget in the wake of the pandemic. NYIT utilized the Self Service Platform to drive registrations for their virtual Open House, which turned out to be a resounding success.
“The ability for us to stay nimble was great, especially during the pandemic,” said Briana Bronchick, Director of Marketing, New York Institute of Technology. “Being able to make changes on the fly and to launch campaigns quickly – and being able to do that ourselves – was huge. In the current environment, it’s a must.”
As a part of its inclusion commitment, Disney launched a research study in collaboration with Advertiser Perceptions, to understand the unique needs of underrepresented small and medium sized businesses. The study, completed in January, comprised of qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey, elicited a rich body of attributes, motivations and perspectives. Not surprisingly, many businesses owners are looking to drive customer acquisition, increase sales, and build awareness; however, when it came to top advertising pain points, 46% identified “insufficient advertising budget” as a challenge.
“We’ve learned a lot from this study, and now it’s time for action,” said John Campbell, SVP Client Partnerships, Disney Advertising. “Not only are we expanding the Self Service Platform to give more businesses access, but we are also creating an inclusive, on-demand curriculum for underrepresented small businesses. In tandem with our Project Elevate Initiative, this guide will illustrate the best approach to automation in order to drive business goals forward.”
The curriculum Disney Advertising is creating will live as an extension of Project Elevate, an initiative offering underrepresented-owned small businesses comprehensive and custom advertising strategies, creative consultation, and advertising opportunities. The courses will serve as a guide on best practices to access Disney’s automated platforms, and automation across the board.