Author: Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO
Original Publication: Forbes Agency Council
Date Published: April 3, 2018
A decade ago, deciding which marketing media to invest in was simpler and the outlets far fewer. You basically went with offline, online or a combination of both. Now, with more platforms and distractions, brands need to be smarter and more strategic about their targeting to reach the same audience size that they previously did.
The good news? More media vehicles mean more opportunities to capture and engage an audience. The bad news? The media landscape has become increasingly confusing. It’s complicated and challenging to make strategic media decisions that result in true effectiveness.
In those simpler times, offline platforms like television advertising were a cornerstone medium that could be trusted, especially when seeking to enhance brand messaging. But what is the role of TV in today’s more complex environment where digital dominates?
With the advent of so many new digital marketing options promising return on investment (ROI), many advertisers have thrown larger portions of their budget into the digital arena. This shift came naturally, at the expense of traditional TV, which many grew to consider too broad and costly. From our clients’ experiences, however, smart omnichannel choices still include offline tools, especially TV, in combination with digital efforts to drive higher impressions.
More often, it’s become apparent to me that the smartest marketers will take an omnichannel approach that includes a variety of best-in-class and strategy-appropriate digital techniques and traditional tools. The role of TV is changing, yes, but it still represents a strong marketing medium. Here are three reasons why.
1. TV is in our living rooms and is still trustworthy.
Unfortunately, the advent of online media has brought questionable content sources that don’t adhere to traditional journalistic ethics and practices. The proliferation of clickbait, fake news and less-than-fact-based content has advertisers uncomfortable about the setting in which their online messaging is seen, fearing the lack of credibility in content may rub off on their brand image.
TV, however, has maintained greater credibility in the eyes of viewers and, therefore, advertisers. Some brands are already wisely reallocating digital spend back to offline TV, where they feel there’s more control over the messaging environment.
When evaluating the myriad of specialty TV programming and networks that cater to a variety of tastes and value systems, it is wise to dig deep to truly discover an outlet’s own “brand” before making a commitment. Review programming in-depth, pick up cues from media kits and promotional materials, and take stock of other advertisers on the network. Generally, take the time to get a real sense of what the offline TV brand stands for. Then you can decide whether that setting is a good fit for your brand — one that will strengthen, rather than weaken the image you want to present to potential customers.
2. Offline does double duty.
Offline TV can deliver a rare double-duty advertising performance that many other options can’t. It can increase sales and improve brand image at the same time. And TV targeting is evolving beyond basic demographics like age and sex to reach more specific groups of customers.
Exciting new tools are beginning to deliver real-time performance data on viewer responses to TV spots, especially since response is now more immediate due to the growth of mobile device use. Other new concepts, like addressable TV advertising, allow advertisers to target different ads to different households that are watching the same program to achieve more relevance and impact than ever before.
Best of all, offline TV is significantly important for creating or improving brand image or “brand lift,” and it’s important for affecting how often that audience thinks about a brand over time — known as “stickiness.” As targeting metrics improve, there is more opportunity than ever for advertisers to dynamically adjust future campaigns to increase brand lift by appealing to unique audience pain points, offering solutions that solidify the brand identity and creating lasting resonance with an audience.
3. Offline can precisely target and measure direct ROI on advertising spend.
Offline TV now gives advertisers more precise methods to capture audiences and boost sales, since it is now accessed in many ways — traditional connected TV, satellite real-time broadcast, pay-per-view, on-demand services and streaming on devices.
Different audiences tend to watch TV in their preferred way today, opening the door for advertisers to customize and target marketing messages keenly. Beyond targeting for messaging, cues for customization should also be derived by becoming more aware than ever before of how specific viewers are choosing to have their messaging delivered. A spot that is more likely to be viewed on the big screen in the comfort of one’s own home should have a different tenor, to be sure, than one more likely to be viewed on a mobile device while traveling, for example. Advertisers who can truly tap into the viewer environment and mindset (and the demographic tendencies that drive that environment and mindset) will be ahead of the game when it comes to overall advertising campaign effectiveness.
The newly evolved medium we’ve described can be termed “video advertising,” which amounts to television-type programming and long-form digital video viewed live or through multiple platforms. According to a recent Accenture report, multiplatform TV advertising can have a “halo effect” on digital activities like search, display and short-form video advertising amounting an average of 18% ROI within integrated campaigns.
There can be no doubt then, that TV — especially in its newest forms and when utilizing the latest tools for targeting and measurement — can continue to be one of the strongest weapons in the modern marketer’s arsenal. Those who are wisest will apply TV in all its forms, alongside the latest digital marketing marvels, to achieve supremely positive results in today’s dynamic and ever-changing marketplace.