Long considered too slow to utilise real-time data, TV has remained an environment where campaigns are almost always analysed retrospectively. But this is changing.
As we move through 2019, the shift towards achieving faster insight into TV’s impact and enhancing its position on multi-faceted marketing agendas will gain momentum. In short, performance evaluation and optimisation will cease to be an afterthought.
So, what are the advances due to make marketers think differently about TV?
Unlocking valuable data
While data-driven TV marketing is nothing new, progression in analytical approaches has begun to open up fresh possibilities. For example, the growing move from solely probabilistic data models to those that also utilise deterministic insight is helping to provide granular, accurate information about key audience segments and their ad responses: the ideal basis for serving targeted messages that drive better returns.
In fact, the explosion of big data throughout 2018 has generated a wealth of real-time information that will continue to improve TV performance in the year ahead. Rather than relying on limited measures such as gross ratings points (GRPs) or cost per thousand impressions (CPMs), brands can harness same-day data covering the tangible actions inspired by TV ads, such as searches, web traffic and app installs. Armed with this data, advertisers can instantly adjust multiple campaign elements—from spend allocation to messaging—and significantly reduce budget waste.
TV in the driving seat
While most audiences still favour linear TV over digital on-demand services, rising penetration of high-speed broadband allows consumers to engage with both TV and connected devices in tandem: 69% of adults in Hong Kong second-screen when viewing TV. This complementary marketing approach could provide an opportunity for broadcasters to better understand audiences and brands to amplify reach.
For example, data from secondary devices can help track individual activity such as if viewers are looking at unrelated content or scrolling for further information about TV shows and promoted brands: useful insight for campaign reporting. Plus, knowing which TV topics or messages spark individual interest can also fuel more engaging, multi-channel campaigns that capture consumer attention online and offline.
Optimising TV campaigns
There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, but there are certain steps brands can take to quantify and maximise the effectiveness of TV advertising.
1. Unify TV and digital: Today’s audiences increasingly consider online and offline channels to be part of the same content spectrum. It is essential that digital and TV initiatives are interlinked within unified campaigns—not siloed—to keep up with this mindset shift. One of the best ways to achieve this is connecting TV and search. By synchronising TV spots with paid search listings, marketers can use the interest inspired by TV ads to drive digital interaction.
2. Blend datasets: If marketers want a true reflection of the impact TV ads have on their bottom line, they must leverage attribution models that combine probabilistic and deterministic data. This will help create a deeper layer of information about audience activity—containing both impression and household-level data—with which to trace activity fuelled by ads, and its business value.
3. Think long-term: Most brands are aware that the influence of TV campaigns often stretches further than the moment after a spot airs; an ad may create awareness that results in a conversion weeks or months later. This makes it vital to adopt a holistic measurement approach that covers the journey each consumer takes from initial TV ad exposure to purchase; thereby generating a precise view of how TV affects other channels, the outcome of strategy changes and where spend is best allocated.
Staying ahead of the competition is at the top of every marketer’s agenda, and to ensure brands retain top position in 2019, utilising TV effectively will be essential. By aiming to not only continually measure campaigns but also optimise activity using near real-time data, marketers can ensure TV ads drive both engagement and returns.
Brett Gillett is global strategic business development director at TVSquared.