We are hearing more frequent rumblings that marketers are mulling over whether they should continue spending heavily in digital at the expense of TV. Over the past few years at Gaggi Media we have seen a significant shift of spend out of television towards digital, in some cases up to 100%. We believe there are times when the pendulum swings too far to digital, which results in weaker impact. We are all looking forward to the future, when TV and digital are converged, but what about today? Many marketers, having scaled back on TV to focus on digital, are now tossing out the ‘either/or’ debate to utilize the power of TV and digital. The world’s largest advertiser, P&G announced this week it would reallocate spending to TV alongside its digital efforts. We are seeing this in our own agency. Here’s why the convergence of TV and digital is slower than some might think—and, why brands need to use TV and digital together.
Phasing-In of New Tech
Although advances have brought internet into TV, the technology of targeted TV is still in its infancy. eMarketer forecasts that by 2018, programmatic TV ad spending will still only account for 6% of total TV ad spending in the United States. The phasing-in of connected TVs, which will allow for more integrated experiences and more targeted buying, will happen at the leisure of the consumer who might not be ready to upgrade their TV just yet. Marketers are working with a major blind spot because they can’t connect the dots yet, but that doesn’t erase the impact of TV.
One instance in recent Canadian history that showcased the power of TV and digital together was in 2010 when Canada hosted the Winter Olympics—before anyone owned a connected TV. The Winter Olympics hosted in Vancouver was nicknamed Canada’s Digital Olympics, a title it certainly earned. The Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium (OBMC), led by CTVglobemedia and Rogers Media aimed “to make the digital Games a reality”. Everywhere Canadians turned, the Olympic Gamers were there: more than 2,250 hours of TV including 14 live streams, and 2,350 hours of online coverage were planned. The Digital Games aired live feeds in Cineplex Odeon theatres and at special Olympic outdoor fests. Viewers could also interact with athletes and other viewers through live blogs and social media without time delay. This was the first time Canadian viewers had seen such a seamless, immersive viewing experience, but we haven’t seen it again on the same level since. Marketers really need to find smart and creative ways to use the two viewing experiences together until they are no longer separate. The results of a 100% digital campaign can be excellent, but the addition of TV will take the campaign to new heights.
TV, right now, doesn’t have the ability to be measured with the same metrics that we’re measuring digital with. Online video allows for marketers to measure ROI through dozens of metrics, such as video completion rates, CPA’s CPE’s and so on, that simply don’t translate verbatim to TV and the technology to capture that data in TV hasn’t fully hatched yet. That absence of data that GRPs don’t provide can make measuring TV challenging. Interestingly, a sure-fire way to measure the ROI of TV is to remove it from the budget, and compare its impact to the brand. In a study by ThinkTV, a consumer electronics company cut their TV spend “to focus all their ad dollars on lower funnel digital activity.” As a result, search terms decreased by 50%. The decreased spend in TV also created an ever increasing cost-per-acquisition in paid digital media. The study stated that the brand decided to re-invest in TV to re-scale and lower the cost-per acquisition.
When TV and digital come together, advertisers and agencies will benefit from the huge value of measuring, tracking and optimizing all video campaigns, regardless of the screen they are viewed on, in the satisfying media world of real time. There will be more media supplier clout fighting against similar obstacles such as fraud, viewability and ad blocking to name a few. Advertisers want and need this integration now, as their insatiable thirst for ROI and customer information never dwindles. TV, though it may change over time, will play a major role in brand awareness that cannot be replaced 1:1 with digital, and nor should it be. Today, TV and digital together are media’s power couple; the coverage of live events is a perfect example of the synergy of TV and digital, with the Olympic Games shining the brightest. When marketers run 100% digital campaigns, they’re only operating at the bottom of the funnel and the awareness that moves consumers through their journey begins to suffer. We need to fight for marketing dollars beyond digital, because there is proof, time and time again, that brands see real results.
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