By Nick Blissenbach, Media Director, Collective Measures
One thing that isn’t divided these days is traditional and digital media. And the lines haven’t just blurred—they’ve effectively dissolved. TV is no longer only traditional cable and satellite packages; now, it’s viewed in multiple ways on every screen in the home. No matter whether someone watches ABC on their TV set, YouTube on their phone or Hulu on their computer, it’s all video to them. But has your advertising approach kept pace with this shift?
If TV/video is a significant piece of your marketing mix, you’ve probably partnered with a traditional agency to get the best placement and price. A traditional agency can bundle clients’ media budgets together, offering them the most negotiating power for upfronts—historically, a strategic advantage. But upfronts are losing influence, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Consider the TV schedules still in limbo (think: live sports or scripted TV shows), consumer behavior that could shift on a dime with another COVID outbreak and an uncertain economy. Let’s face it: no brand wants to be held to the rigid cancellation terms that come with an upfront annual buy.
So, what should you do? Follow the tech. Advances in ad technology are changing the tides in TV/video advertising. Now, there are targeted ways to reach TV/video audiences by leveraging multiple data sources and more specific ways to buy through automated software that efficiently connects sellers and buyers of traditional TV/video ad inventory. This means buying no longer requires an elongated buyer/seller negotiation process and scale can be achieved through technology, and not necessarily budget. Maximizing this sophisticated technology is the new strategic powerhouse in TV/video advertising. Here’s why:
1. It reduces waste for a more efficient ad spend
If your advertising budget hasn’t seen a cut in the past few months, you’re one in a million. When budget cuts come down the pipeline, costly awareness channels like TV/video are usually the first to go. However, with much of the country stuck at home, TV/video consumption is skyrocketing, and you can’t afford to miss out on the tremendous opportunities available. Thanks to the technology of audience-based, data-driven, linear TV and digital video advertising, you don’t necessarily have to. With sophisticated targeting through third-party data, the best networks and programs for reaching your audience can be identified and leveraged—reducing waste for a much more efficient ad spend.
2. You can gain insight into TV/video performance metrics (not just awareness metrics)
As marketing budgets are stretched thin, it’s especially important to measure the performance of awareness media. To make every dollar count, you need a clear and actionable view into the business performance of your campaign, which means that reporting only on awareness metrics is no longer enough. If your campaign includes an online experience, rich attribution modeling and measurement can be applied to link exposure from traditional TV ads to online site actions (think: site visits, leads, sales, etc.). Capitalizing on the ability to attribute digital performance to both traditional and video ads makes it possible to optimize to what’s working in your TV/video channels, like programming, time of day, or day of the week. It also ensures your investment in TV/video is measured against expected outcomes and tied directly to your business goals. This way, if your ad spend isn’t ultimately delivering on your business goals, informed and tactical adjustments can be made.
3. You’ll optimize marketing investment across channels for maximum performance and assured return on ad spend
In our mobile-driven, “always-on” environment, the modern consumer journey is full of twists and turns. It spans multiple touchpoints across traditional and digital channels and, at the risk of sounding trite, no two journeys are alike. This means that to truly understand and maximize the impact of your TV/video investment, you need a window into every aspect of your consumers’ cross-channel journey.
How? Don’t silo your marketing investments. Housing your full marketing strategy under one agency that understands all the technology – from TV/video and digital out of home to display, paid search and social – will not only give you one view of your customer’s cross-channel journey but also will eliminate overlap and waste. When strategies, tactics, and messaging are aligned across channels, it becomes possible to establish how your TV/video channels interplay with your digital channels to contribute to overall performance metrics. With this kind of insight, swift and agile optimizations can be made not just to your TV/video channels, but across your full marketing mix to maximize performance and ensure return on ad spend.
The tides are changing in TV/video advertising. The reality is, if you’re still relying on less sophisticated methods, you could find yourself underwater. But follow the tech and partner with an agency that understands how to maximize it, and you and your stakeholders will be glad you did. In fact, you might be surprised by just how hard your dollars work for you, with highly valuable performance data to boot.