5 Ways Retailers Can Optimize TV Advertising
The end of summer ushers in back-to-school advertisements, getting parents thinking about school supply deals. Falling snow and jingle bells on the small screen give permission to start holiday shopping lists. However, retail “holidays” are no longer limited to Christmas or Back to School.
Macro and micro holidays have emerged (think Amazon.com's “Prime Day,” Alibaba’s “Singles Day”, Wayfair's "Way Day"), creating more opportunities for retailers to gain share of shopper wallets. TV advertising has been a stalwart marketing tool, but to fully take advantage of prime retail seasons, marketers must think differently about measuring and optimizing campaigns. Consider these five tips:
1. Think differently about TV.
For decades, there were no real-time aspects when it came to TV advertising. That’s no longer the case. Linear TV has evolved into a performance marketing channel that can be measured and optimized in real time, just like digital.
With the right technology, retailers have the ability to understand TV better. They can know what days, times, networks, programs and genres are working, and which aren’t. Advertisers can target TV audiences — segments that will actually respond — with tailored messages. Insights such as who’s watching, when they’re watching and how they respond are easily and accurately reported on.
2. Use a dynamic baseline.
A baseline is the level of activity that would happen in the absence of TV. Traditionally, advertisers use static baselines based on historical data to measure campaign impact. However, this look-back approach leads to inaccurate insights and costly errors. Baselines are inherently dynamic, impacted by a series of external forces, and change every minute of every day. For TV to be a true performance marketing channel, advertisers need to leverage analytical models that continuously calibrate for a dynamic baseline.
3. Drive “in the moment” actions.
Eight-five percent of customers start shopping journeys on digital devices, and more than 87 percent of TV viewers watch with “second screens” within reach. It’s clear that shoppers are active-participation viewers, engaging digitally with TV ads they see. To drive immediate response, retailers should re-evaluate calls to action (CTAs). Today, the touch of a smartphone is all it takes for consumers to engage, and because of this, CTAs have become more digitally focused, with something as simple as “search now.”
4. Analyze and optimize performance as you go.
Traditionally, advertisers waited weeks to measure the success of TV campaigns, relying primarily on ratings data. Retailers can no longer afford to wait to understand how TV initiatives perform. When a retailer knows the aspects of a TV buy that drive response (and the ones that don’t), it has the insights to make continuous optimizations to improve performance. And, depending on the TV buy, it may be able make changes in-flight. Media spend is more efficient when retailers are empowered to make agile decisions for TV.
5. Make TV and search work together.
Too often, advertisers keep online and offline marketing initiatives separate. This siloed approach doesn’t make sense; there's a strong relationship between channels, especially TV and search. TV ads have become a primary driver of digital activity, and the minutes after spots air are when consumer intent-to-buy peaks.
Having the top search position significantly increases clickthrough rates, and an increasing number of brands “sync” TV with paid search to secure the top position moments after an ad runs. Not only does this maximize TV-driven response, but it ensures efficiency of spend. I’ve even seen retailers sync paid search with competitors’ TV ads to capture some of that traffic!
TV is a crucial step in the customer journey, giving retailers the opportunity to increase brand awareness and drive sales. With the help of technology, retailers can apply TV ad best practices year-round to ensure campaigns generate maximum response.
Daniel Gulick is an insights engineer at TVSquared, a company that provides same-day measurement and optimization opportunities for TV advertisers.
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