While summer has only just come to its unofficial close, the clock is already ticking on the 2022 holiday season! In fact, Salesforce predicts that 42% of consumers are likely to start their holiday shopping earlier this year to avoid future price hikes driven by inflation.
Early forecasts from the NRF anticipate that sales will grow between 6% and 8% year-over-year to more than $4.86 trillion. However, a variety of factors including inflation, as well as the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and international tensions will likely impact consumer spending. Fortunately, today’s advertisers can leverage strategic audience targeting to reach the right consumers across screens and devices.
To help marketers make the most of their holiday media campaigns, Cadent and Cuebiq have teamed up to provide you with our top strategies for activating data-driven TV this holiday season.
‘Tis the Season for Cross-Screen TV Advertising
Viewer fragmentation has left advertisers searching for new ways to approach their media mix. As consumers spend more time watching streamed content, with some choosing to “cut the cord” on cable, marketers need to adapt to changing viewership patterns. Yet while viewership is changing, most viewing still takes place on linear TV. According to Nielsen’s The Gauge, over 60% of the Total Usage of Television remains on cable and broadcast – 36.5% and 24.4% respectively, as of June 2022. By activating your message across all TV media types – cable, broadcast, indexed TV, addressable TV, and OTT/CTV – advertisers can better engage their target audience at key moments throughout the shopper journey, driving greater return on ad spend and other KPIs.
One way you can reach your target audience and reduce media waste is through advanced TV. Cadent Aperture Platform allows advertisers to build audience segments using first- and third-party data and activate across all TV media. Leveraging third-party data from trusted providers such as Cuebiq enables you to expand your TV targeting beyond traditional demographics and reach the right audience, no matter how they are watching.
Why Location Data is the Gift that Keeps on Giving
When collected, analyzed, and shared responsibly, location data is an incredibly powerful tool that helps brands understand consumer loyalty, customer journey, and visitation trends. Location data unlocks information on where consumers are going, giving brands the ability to conquest competitors and target based on brand loyalty.
Cuebiq helps advertisers understand real-world behavior patterns to inform more effective and efficient media campaigns. The company collects location data from devices that have opted-in to sharing their data for use cases including audience targeting, measurement, and aggregate analytics. These location-based audience segments are based on deterministic visitation behaviors to brick-and-mortar locations and build a clearer picture of consumers’ offline patterns of behavior, such as store loyalty, as well as anomalies, such as visiting during limited time offerings. Cuebiq’s methodology for building Holiday Shopping and Winter Holiday Travelers audience segments incorporate both patterns and anomalies, made possible by Cuebiq unique access to persistent quality data, at scale, over time.
To build location-based segments, Cuebiq analyzes visitation behavior and “tags” devices accordingly. For example, a consumer’s device could be tagged as Walmart shoppers, Big Box Retailer Shoppers, or Business Travelers when they visit these locations over a specified time – the number of visits and length of time criteria vary depending on the segment. Both Holiday Shopping and Winter Holiday Travelers audience segments focus on changes in these patterns, which could include visiting a store on Black Friday or traveling during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
By using Aperture Data Marketplace, advertisers can access Cuebiq’s location-based audience segments and activate seamlessly across indexed TV, addressable TV, and OTT/CTV.
Ready to activate data-driven TV for your upcoming holiday campaigns?
Connected TV viewership continues to grow, as does the number of subscription-based and ad-supported streaming services available to consumers. However, Connected TV (CTV) ad spending is still considerably less than that of linear TV. But let’s take a step back to better understand the full CTV advertising landscape.
While the streaming wars remain tenuous, with changes in format – both Netflix and Disney+ are planning to launch ad-supported tiers, and subscription churn leaving subscription counts in flux, many advertisers are moving full stream ahead with investment in the channel.
This shift in ad spend and viewership will continue to increase as the linear and digital TV ecosystems converge. In fact, eMarketer predicts that US linear TV ad spending (including addressable, programmatic, and upfront investments) will grow to $68.35 billion in 2022 but will then decline over the coming years. Ultimately, CTV’s appeal of growing viewership and improved measurement is too strong for advertisers to ignore.
To help you determine how to incorporate this channel into your media mix, here are three things you must know before investing in CTV advertising.
1. CTV offers advertisers a huge opportunity to reach consumers with advanced targeting
Reach people where they are watching with a more granular approach to audience targeting. Fragmentation remains a pain point for many advertisers, so as consumers continue to spread their attention across an ever-growing number of screens, devices, and platforms, it’s time for advertisers to follow where the eyeballs lead.
With a wide variety of data and audience targeting solutions, advertisers are faced with choice overload. Fortunately, Cadent Aperture Audience Data Marketplace seeks to minimize friction and enable advertisers to activate audience segments from their preferred third-party data providers.
2. Ad fraud is cause for concern among CTV advertisers, but the risk can be mitigated
U.S. advertisers are expected to lose $23 billion to fraud this year, based on forecasts from Juniper Research. And like all digital media, fraud exists in CTV. According to DoubleVerify, the number of fraud schemes spiked by over 70% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021.
But just how prevalent is ad fraud on CTV? GroupM and iSpot.TV determined that there will be $1 billion in CTV ad waste this year. While these numbers are not exact, that amounts to roughly 4.3% of all ad fraud. Unfortunately, as CTV viewership grows, the advertising industry will need to be more vigilant in combatting ad fraud.
As an advertiser, it is important to understand if and how your CTV media has been evaluated by key verification, viewability, attention and brand safety markers – not all CTV or platforms are created equally. Cadent integrates with leading third-party verification and viewability providers to help you effectively combat issues like fraud.
3. Measurement for CTV provides advertisers with digital-level insights
Measurement is often seen as the defining characteristic that sets CTV apart from other TV advertising channels. Yet over the course of the past year, debates around “multiple currencies” have dominated the industry dialogue as agencies and advertisers raise their concerns regarding industry standards and the challenges of interoperability.
At Cadent, we not only minimize the impact of fraud from a delivery and viewability standpoint, but we take it a step further by tying CTV performance to real business outcomes. Through Aperture Platform, Cadent enables measurement from the leading third-party measurement providers to best support our customers.
Today’s marketers also need solutions that allow you to match planning, delivery, and optimization to results on a campaign-by-campaign basis. Cadent Aperture Viewer Graph was created with this challenge in mind. Advertisers do not have a single need and measurement in a “black box” is as inefficient as no measurement at all. Through Aperture, Cadent seeks to foster a more open, effective TV advertising ecosystem.
Interested in learning more about CTV advertising through Aperture Platform?
As many marketers know all too well, the next TV revolution has arrived, and with it has come an endless stream of both challenges and opportunities. Recently, Cadent VP of Advertising Solutions, Andrew Horlick, and Catalina VP of Omnichannel Media Solutions Jessica Lan spoke with Adweek about how the convergence of data-driven linear TV, addressable TV, and connected TV is changing the face of omnichannel marketing.
Unduplicated reach is the ability to reach an intended audience across various platforms and channels, with the intelligence to know you are not reaching the same person with more than the intended frequency.
It’s becoming more and more difficult for marketers to know what their target audience is watching, which devices they’re watching on, and how best to reach them. There’s so much content available across viewing platforms to streaming services that it can be hard to keep track of it as a consumer, let alone as a marketer.
One study found a single consumer uses almost 5 TV sources, many of them being on-demand. A single viewer can start the day watching news on her phone, stream a reality show on her desktop during a work break, and curl up in her living room to see a sitcom on a broadcast network in the evening. Appointment TV just doesn’t exist in the same way as it once did.
All marketers want to reach the most relevant audiences for their products and services, and they want to do it at effective intervals and frequencies. But why would it matter if someone sees a spot just slightly too often?
First of all, once a consumer decides to respond to an ad, additional exposure is just a waste of campaign dollars. Even worse, however, repeated exposure can lead quickly to ad fatigue, and once that boredom (or even annoyance) sets in, the effectiveness and ROI of the campaign is going to suffer.
What are the challenges in maximizing unduplicated reach?
The first challenge is the same one that faces every advertiser at the start of a campaign: identifying the target audience in a granular way, from age and gender to more sophisticated attributes like purchase behaviors or attitudes.
Once that’s done, however, comes the admittedly difficult task of establishing effective cross-channel coordination, since running multiple campaigns on different platforms and networks can make sorting out ROI seem like an impossible task.
What can a marketer do?
Take an integrated, holistic approach to your media plan. For the sake of efficiency, budgeting, scheduling, buying, and measuring should be coordinated across broadcast, streaming, and digital.
Don’t abandon traditional techniques like geotargeting—just apply them consistently across all channels. And standardize audience segments whenever possible, align your goals, and formulate your plans using all the data at your disposal.
Advertisers obviously need to understand how their reach and frequency affect their bottom line. That can be hard: data technology is still evolving, and the industry is still adapting to previously unimagined planning and measurement needs. The Media Ratings Council’s Cross-Media Audience Measurement Standards, drafted in finalized form in late 2019, are an important step forward, but certainly not an all-encompassing solution.
Balancing frequency and reach
Another key aspect of unduplicated reach is reaching your whole audience – not just the segment watching TV via their linear cable feed or only those streaming via an app on a smart TV.
Finding the careful balance between frequency and reach is important. TURF Analysis, or Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency, is a tried-and-true technique that lets marketers assess which combination of ad campaigns allows them to appeal to the greatest number of customers possible, according to the IAB. Running analyses like these can help marketers get a better handle on who they’re reaching and how frequently they should be reaching certain segments of their audience.
Maximizing reach is always going to be a basic goal of any marketer, but that’s just one part of an increasingly complicated, multi-platform equation. Luckily, in a world of multi-touch attribution and opaque conversion models, the right tech partner can help.
Dana Bhargava, Head of Experience Planning & Media, Sanofi Consumer Health, took the virtual stage at Cadent’s Future of TV summit to speak with Jamie Power, Chief Data Officer, Cadent, about getting started with OTT and CTV, reaching fragmented audiences and much more.
Catch a video of the session, plus a full recap of the conversation, below.
Jamie mentioned that during the pandemic, people became more health conscious. How exactly did Dana’s brand supported that behavioral shift?
“Our goal at Sanofi has always been about empowering people to take control of their health,” Dana said. And in trying times, it becomes even more important to communicate that message. Sanofi’s OTC products were impacted by pantry loading earlier in the pandemic, and the brand had to make sure that its distribution channels were clear and that its products were available for customers who depend on them.
The pandemic has accelerated consumer behavior in certain ways, some unexpected, Dana said, putting marketers on their toes: “It’s both scary and exciting at the same time because it really stimulates change within an organization and sets an organization on fire to go chase those areas where we know we’re not going to be able to keep up.”
Reaching fragmented audiences across screens
With so much fragmentation today, Jamie, asked, was Dana satisfied with her insight into understanding audiences across screens, whether it be reach building or frequency building. Dana replied no, that with all the wall gardens out there, “we live in a world where we really don’t really understand duplication at all,” adding, “Some duplication isn’t bad, some frequency isn’t bad. I think there’s work to be done there. Certainly I think we really need to understand that. CTV OTT is just one part of it.”
This whole idea of bringing data to TV is really the start of evolution of all of our channels to make them all more accountable. And I think we have to work as an industry to start breaking down some of these walled gardens.” -Dana Bhargava, Head of Experience Planning & Media, Sanofi Consumer Health
Ad environment is key
Sanofi has always had strong guidelines on content, Dana said, and some those content guidelines don’t exist in other channels. And this year, as social media platforms struggle with brand safety, the issues becomes increasingly important to Sanofi, which Dana said could continue to drive shifts back to looking for those environments where you can have some kind of guarantee of where an ad is actually showing up.
Why buy an ad in a skippable environment? For many marketers, it comes down to going where their audiences go. Dana said, “Audiences still continue to be there [in skippable ad environments]… Audiences are there, and there’s content in which you want to align with.” Sanofi thinks about using the first three seconds of its ads in that context really carefully, and they consider the specific customer journey stage the person might be in.
Building a foundation for OTT and CTV within a brand
Sanofi’s approach to investing in specific channels, Dana said, is one that is investment agnostic and aims to understand consumers and their consumer journeys, being able to deliver against what an audience is looking for as opposed to having a sort of siloed approach to planning.
Dana said she thinks about using CTV and OTT to increase reach against audiences that might be harder to find in linear TV today: “CTV OTT can be a great add to driving incremental reach against all those precision tactics that you have,” adding that the medium can create quality environments that you want to run in, more opportunities for you to put longer-form content out in front of unskippable content, and importantly, increased scale against a lot of those precision audiences.
Any emerging medium is going to have a ramp up period while marketers try it out and decide if it’s worth the investment. Being a champion for mediums like OTT, CTV or addressable TV within an organization can be difficult, especially if it’s outside of the traditional box.
If you can really focus on what you’re trying to accomplish and what the role of your channels are, it will almost tell its own story as to why you’re [trying the new medium],” Dana said. If your goal is upper funnel awareness, then you need to drive reach and share of voice against your competitors, which you can’t do successfully without other carefully orchestrated tactics. Dana added, “Contextualizing the spend against what its role is always helps to have those conversations internally.”
How does a decades-old iconic brand keep multiple generations of fans engaged?
Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, Mattel, and Jim Tricarico, President of Sales and CRO, Cadent, took part in a virtual fireside chat session for Brand Innovators to discuss. The executives, both with years of experience supporting children’s properties, shared insights on connecting with audiences and staying on top of changing viewership habits.
Read insights from Lisa and Jim’s conversation below, including Barbie’s multi-platform approach and why storytelling is a critical part of keeping multiple generations engaged with the iconic brand.
The following has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
Jim: I just want to say that this is a little bit near and dear to my heart, for those who don’t know. I was the EVP of Sales for Nickelodeon for many years, and Mattel was our largest account. So thank you, Lisa, for joining us today.
Lisa: My pleasure, it’s great to be here. Jim, I want to echo what you said, obviously we’ve had such a great, long standing partnership with Nick and it’s fun that our paths have crossed.
Jim: I’m going to jump right in. I’ve always been amazed by the legacy of Barbie and how, for so many generations, Barbie has maintained its incredible place in kids’ and adults’ hearts. How have you kept a brand like Barbie so relevant for so many years?
Lisa: It’s certainly not easy. Barbie has been around for 61 years and certainly throughout the decades, we’ve had many highs, but we’ve also of course had a couple of lows.
I would say what remains true is when we connect to culture, and when we stay true to the original vision behind the brand, which is to inspire the potential of girls, we usually are in good stead. It’s amazing and as you said, it’s really exciting that there’s a timelessness to Barbie, that we’ve spanned multiple generations. I would argue today, we’re actually more relevant than ever before.
Jim: Tell us a little bit about how content has kept Barbie relevant and who you’re trying to reach.
Lisa: Content and storytelling is so critical, certainly now more than ever as everybody’s sheltering at home. We’ve made a conscious effort to be choiceful in the ways that we try to reach consumers, as well as the storytelling narrative itself.
About six or seven years ago, we had an opportunity to make Barbie more in the front and center of our stories… We realized that what girls and consumers were really looking for was more information about Barbie herself, they wanted to get to know her, they wanted to know who her family members were, what she did for fun.
What remains true is when we connect to culture, and when we stay true to the original vision behind the brand, which is to inspire the potential of girls, we usually are in good stead.
Today, Barbie is the number one YouTube channel for girls. We have over 11 million subscribers and one of our best pieces of content is Barbie Vlogger, where she entertains the kids and mimics what cool hip influencers are doing on YouTube. But at the same time, she also sometimes talks about important topics that are teachable moments. We’ve recently been resurfacing some of our vlogs about feeling sad because there are kids at home that are struggling with emotions right now and don’t know how to articulate how they’re feeling. And we want them to know that’s okay and that’s normal.
Jim: Tell us a little bit more about your Thank You for Heroes program that you’re running now.
Lisa: Mattel introduced a macro program called Play It Forward, where we’re trying to bring all of our brands together to give back to certain communities in times of need. We launched Thank You Heroes as a campaign underneath Play it Forward a few weeks ago with Fisher Price. They introduced action figures, celebrating real folks out on the front lines right now like doctors and nurses and firefighters.
Jim: How have you adjusted Mattel and Barbie’s media to meet the ever changing viewership habits of today’s kids?
Lisa: Obviously there’s been so much disruption in the media landscape, I think what we found early on is there isn’t one linear path. Kids are consuming multiple platforms almost at the same time, and there are multiple screens in front of them. We really just try to go wherever our consumer is spending their time and where their viewing habits are.
We do a lot of analytical work, and we look at that annually to see the media levers that we’re pulling. What’s driving both short term sales, as well as a long-term sales benefit that helps us get more guidance on where we want to invest more. But it’s absolutely a combination of top of the funnel to bottom of the funnel activation.
Jim: How important is co-viewing to you?
Lisa: We are finding more and more that there are shows where there is co-viewing. So we think about our advertising with that multi-audience in mind. We think about what’s the right messaging for those types of programs when we do media buys. And then, what I like to say is our content does have adults in mind. We think about kids, but we also think about adults.
Again, I mentioned earlier, some of our content has teachable moments. There are moments in our Barbie blog where she’s doing fun challenges, and one is called the Baby Food Challenge. Her eyes are closed, and Ken feeds her baby food and she tries to guess what it is. That’s something that’s very appealing to the kid audience. But when she’s talking about feeling sad, one of her episodes is about why do women say they’re sorry so often, that really strikes a chord, not only with kids, but also with adults. We’re definitely always thinking about multiple audiences.
Jim: Talk a little bit about your insights team inside Mattel and how that helps direct your marketing and continue to keep Barbie so relevant.
Lisa: We’re very proud of our insights team. We talk to consumers almost every day. Now we’re doing this virtually, but when we are literally in our offices or when we’re able to go outside of our offices, we also like to go to people’s homes.
We’ve got a really robust learning center at Mattel itself, where we invite kids and families in to test products, talk about themes and issues that are going on in their lives. I think that key to success is to always listen and be in lockstep with what’s happening, not only with consumers, but with society and culture.
Jim: Tell us what’s next for Barbie.
Lisa: We’re actually starting to brainstorm our 2022 product line. We’re talking now about the post-COVID generation kids and what that looks like.
What I can share is that this generation of kids not only is incredibly resilient, but really cares about the world around them. And so we’re going to be thinking more about infusing even more purpose into our product and our communication programs. This is a group of kids that has a ton of empathy. You can rest assured there’ll be more play sets and themes around the medical profession in Barbie’s world coming up. And of course we’re always looking at what’s an authentic way for us to focus on sustainability, more intently.
Playtime is not canceled, I think the more that we can think about ways to bring comfort to our kids in this extraordinary time, the better.
Lisa: We’re working on a virtual execution of a festival or a convening moment with inspiring speakers and role models and activities to celebrate the fact that girls today, now more than ever actually, need to continue to be inspired and need to see that there are many possibilities out there for them. We’re that girls in underserved communities are really struggling right now with what’s happening with COVID. So we’ll be doing a lot to raise awareness about these underserved communities and ideally raising funds to work with organizations to help give these girls the tools that they need to achieve their dreams.
Jim: With that, I just want to say thank you for spending this time with us. What’s the message you would love to leave everybody with today?
Lisa: I’d love to just remind everybody that certainly for all of us, we’re in this together. For any of you with kids at home or that have kids in your lives or in the neighborhood, now more than ever it’s important to celebrate playtime and we’ve got to get creative. Playtime is not canceled, I think the more that we can think about ways to bring comfort to our kids in this extraordinary time, the better.
These are unprecedented times. As sports fans’ favorite teams go on hiatus, viewers go elsewhere to fit their content needs. Likewise, brands and agencies are adjusting their media plans to reach their audiences at scale without live sports content and tentpole events.
Cadent’s high-indexing linear, OTT/CTV and addressable television solutions help advertisers find missing sports audiences whenever and wherever they are viewing TV. And they can still maintain cost-effective coverage within a full national footprint.
Cadent accesses inventory across 90+ cable networks and leverage its unique combination of audience and historical data to capitalize on those placements that will be the most efficient and effective for brands.
Consumer behavior is always shifting with the introduction of new technologies, so how should today’s marketers think about TV?
To start, marketers should recognize that TV has adapted to be more relevant, targeted, measurable and flexible, with better return on ad spend than ever before. With TV driving real business impact by influencing consumers throughout their journey to purchase, those marketers who take advantage of the medium’s new capabilities will get an early start on a more effective and versatile branding instrument.
In this last post, we’ll illustrate how data drives results, especially when tapping TV’s emotional power, making it key to today’s media mix.
The Power of Digital + TV
Advanced TV uses datasets to reach consumers on the big screen at home as they research and set their buying criteria. TV indexing uses data science to find correlations in content and consumer interests so marketers can deliver specific messages to the segments most likely to buy. Sequencing messaging via email, digital display and Addressable TV instills brand loyalty. These approaches should be used across the consumer journey – in conjunction with digital tactics – to reach people at the right time with the right message.
A company selling an electric toothbrush, for instance, uses traditional broadcast TV to raise awareness, reaching a broad swath of the public, some of whom will not be interested in the product. Afterward, the toothbrush brand could use data to find consumers with a particular income who recently researched oral care products, then target them with Addressable TV ads that compare the toothbrush to competitors.
Next, a marketer could target ads further to those who appear likely to make a purchase and offer them incentives like a coupon or time-sensitive offer through e-mail or display banner ads.
The main takeaway for marketers is that TV has evolved into a multifaceted tool that should be used to talk to consumers as they make their way through the customer journey. Because TV is digital-enabled and can share segments with digital, its tactics can be paired with digital by bringing more context, emotion, sight, sound and motion to the equation, creating a cadence of messaging that leads the consumer to brand loyalty.
Marketers can start testing now to see how taking advantage of TV’s full capabilities can boost their return on ad spend.
While you might assume that merely being satisfied with a brand’s performance is enough, the real reasons for loyalty go deeper. Looking at data from hundreds of brands across categories, research from Harvard Business Review found that on a lifetime value basis emotionally connected customers were more than twice as valuable to marketers than highly satisfied customers.
While delivering a satisfying customer experience is table stakes, brands need to cater to consumers’ emotional needs, like feeling a sense of freedom or standing out from the crowd. For marketers, that means understanding customers on a deep level and offering them messages and creative that resonate so the consumer will talk up the brand to others and become a repeat purchaser. In other words, it’s all about nurturing existing customers.
TV is great for reaffirming a purchase and nurturing the emotional connection with a consumer. For instance, a car ad can reaffirm a lifestyle that fits with the reason the customer bought the car. And if you set your segments up well from the start, your segmented messaging will do double duty, reaffirming the purchase for loyalists and attracting new customers.
Leaving the Best Impression
One way to achieve loyalty is by effectively sequencing messages. Think about how you want your favorite brand to reach you. See their ads too often and you’ll get sick of them. You might want to hear about offers, but only if they’re very relevant. A sign of appreciation, like a coupon or just a thank you message, is a more welcome means of reaching out.
With many different channels available, one hazard of using traditional TV advertising for this purpose is the risk of overexposure. A spray-and-pray approach makes it impossible to deliver personalized messages. Addressable TV offers a new vehicle for messaging that is targeted to the household level. Testing can reveal the optimum sequence of messaging via email, digital display and addressable TV that helps instill loyalty.
Segmenting Brings Success
As McKinsey illustrates, consumers can hold vastly different views of your brand. The choice is often which segment to focus on for maximum efficacy. First-party data can help identify different groups of customers, ranging from dissatisfied to evangelists. Observing behavior and preferences and unearthing their emotional connections with a brand can help execute such segmentation.
McKinsey recommends looking at traditional customer survey data and linking those results to anonymized online activity to see how such consumers behave. For instance, do product upgrades help turn moderately satisfied consumers into very satisfied consumers? Which messages have resonated with them most? As with everything else in marketing, only rigorous testing will unearth the answers to such questions. Testing won’t make your marketing perfect, but it will point you on the right side of the continuum between ineffective and very effective.
At the loyalty stage, advertisers should look back at the entire journey. Now that you know something about the customer, how would you segment them, and how would you tweak messaging to encourage the customer to buy from you again?
Looping Back to the Beginning of the Journey
Advertisers that are successful at fostering loyalty have this stage in mind through the entire customer journey. Through relevant messaging, excellent creative that resonates with the audience and great brand experiences, the customer is likely to start the journey over again.
Strengthening consumer loyalty is very important to the health of a brand and can be a potent tool for acquiring new customers (hence the Net Promoter Score). Take the time to thank your customers. They’ll thank you back.
Read previous stage of the journey, Purchase, and check out our conclusion to our series, all about what modern marketers should make of TV in context of the modern customer journey.
Marketing guru Seth Godin said the formula for building brands with TV was simple: “Find a large market niche that’s growing and not yet dominated. Build a factory. Buy a lot of TV ads. The ads will lead to retail distribution and sales. The sales will keep the factory busy and create profits.” The profits, of course, went to buying more ads.
In the digital age, TV has evolved into a multifaceted tool that can be used to speak to consumers as they flit between stages of the customer journey. A successful TV mix is one where you’re simultaneously generating awareness about your product and you’re catering more specific messages to segments that are most likely to buy.
TV awareness campaigns look very different than those of the past. They perform more efficiently because they’re informed by data and targeting, and instead of providing large audiences for single shows, TV now provides large audiences by stitching together audiences for smaller shows, meaning marketers can reach audiences more relevant to them at scale.
The safe choice: network TV
Digital media companies like to note that TV’s reach isn’t what it used to be. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has pointed out that the social network draws “a Super Bowl on mobile every day.” But network TV executives might counter that a Facebook view is only about three seconds. Some 103 million people watched this year’s Super Bowl, and that audience stuck around for hours. In our fractured media environment, it’s difficult to corral an audience of millions of people to watch anything.
A bigger, and often unheralded difference, is that TV audiences are more engaged with the content than they are for other media. Eye-tracking research by Dr Karen Nelson-Field at the University of Adelaide in Australia, found that in an average second, TV advertising drew twice the active viewing of YouTube and 15 times that of Facebook.
That’s why marketers continue to use TV. As Rich Lehrfeld, SVP, global brand marketing and communications at American Express, told MediaPost, “When we run a heavy TV schedule, we see a lift in sales and product awareness. We need to run two weeks of digital to get the reach of one day of broadcast.”
Network TV executives are aware of TV advertising’s power. That’s why despite falling audiences, CPMs rose 10 percent this year, according to Media Dynamics.
TV advertising builds awareness, but there are ways to get more value for your buy than with traditional TV models. One alternative is to use data to find the same-sized audiences for a lower price. The ability to do so is based on the recognition that advertisers no longer need to buy TV shows as a proxy for their audiences; they can target actual audiences that are relevant to the brand. Such audiences aren’t necessarily gathered around a TV set but are consuming content via multiple digital devices.
Put it this way: would you rather advertise during The Walking Dead or advertise to a group of your customers who happen to be watching The Walking Dead and other programming?
Cadent’s network solution, for instance, aggregates inventory opportunities to provide access to national audiences. A fast-food chain we worked with recently wanted to be associated with a high-profile sports event without the premium-package cost. Our network solution delivered a full, national campaign that targeted sports and news network coverage of the event. After running more than 20 ads across the programming, the advertiser got 128 percent delivery of its full media plan.
The upshot is that like other aspects of the marketing funnel, awareness has been transformed by digital innovation into a multi-faceted phase of discovery. There are more ways than ever before to reach an audience with an effective awareness campaign. And TV isn’t a zero-sum proposition – marketers can choose both network TV and aggregating smaller audiences to reach the right person with the right message because these tactics are complementary and work well in unison.
As we’ll see, there are many new ways advertisers can use TV advertising to move people through the purchase journey.
Television has long been considered an effective vehicle for brand marketing and a core part of the marketing funnel. Today, we know the linear construct of the funnel doesn’t accurately represent the behavior of multi-screen, always connected consumers.
Almost 280 million people (85% of the U.S. population) will use the Internet at least once a month this year, according to eMarketer. Sixteen percent of U.S. internet users will go online using only mobile devices, and that number will grow to 19% by 2022. Eighty-two percent of U.S. internet users will regularly watch digital video, with many young people shifting their attention from cable to YouTube or streaming platforms like Netflix.
Consumer behavior has continued shifting with technological innovations, and so has the path to purchase. A consumer’s buying journey now has multiple paths, and brands must rethink how they engage audiences and sequence their messages. For example, consumers can easily bounce between the awareness and education stages due to online research and social engagement before coming close to the purchase stage. Eighty-two percent of smartphone users research in-store purchases on their phones before buying, and 45% read reviews before making a purchase. Consumers have many options at the purchase stage, too — they can visit a store, use a browser, a mobile app, or even a voice assistant to complete a transaction.
And consumers are hyper aware of the breadcrumb trail of preferences they are leaving, and in return expect a personalized buying experience that’s linked across all of those avenues. Data provides a path of information, and marketers have to decide what to do with it.
Why the immersive nature of TV is valuable to marketers
It’s television’s ability to emotionally connect with audiences that makes it much more than a brand awareness vehicle – it’s a versatile medium effective at reaching people in the digital age. Today, “TV” refers to an experience more so than a specific device sitting in the living room. And that experience can be found on-demand, on digital devices, and connected to catalogs of programming for any interest or topic.
But TV’s place as the most immersive medium is cemented. Viewers tune in expected to be drawn into another world. They know for the next hour they’re giving the programming their full attention, and they want the story arc, not just the story. Viewers come back, episode after episode, for weeks. Aside from music maybe, TV is the only media experience in which people expect to be transported emotionally to another world.
Evolving from awareness to something much more
TV has historically been used for brand lift, awareness and share of voice. But, as technology has transformed the journey to buy, it has also changed the way television can influence and measure. Today’s television – data-driven and targeted – can refresh and reinforce messages to specific segments, foster loyalty and advocacy, educate during the research phase, and sell products.
It’s time for agencies and advertisers to take a fresh look at TV’s purpose in the advertising mix. As consumer purchase behavior has evolved, TV advertising has adapted to be more relevant, targeted, measurable, and flexible. In a world where the consumer buying process spans multiple screens, TV can drive better return on ad spend (ROAS) than ever before.
In the next few posts in this series, we’ll explore the different stages of the customer journey and the role of TV advertising at each stage.
At our 2018 Upfront, Brand Advertising in Transition, our CEO Nick Troiano spoke to an audience of more than 300 media executives about the future of brand advertising. Sight, sound, and motion continue to connect with audiences as no other medium can.
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