Second Screening Can Actually Make TV More Effective

Blair RobertsonMore often than not, it seems the Internet is spoken of in terms of TV’s decline. But in many instances digital measurement can be used to help identify which TV spots drive the most engagement. One company working to bring a real-time component to TV measurement is TV Squared. Here Blair Robertson, Chief Analytics Officer TVSquared, explains how brand advertisers are increasingly able to aggregate data from a variety of sources to see the true impact of their TV advertising.

How is TV measurement broken today and what needs to be fixed?

To say that TV measurement is broken would imply it was done efficiently in the past and, unfortunately for advertisers, they never had the means to do it quickly, easily and accurately.

Traditionally, TV advertisers relied on audience data to gauge campaign performance. But this data was received six+ weeks after a campaign aired. Advertisers had no timely way of knowing how spots performed or make “on-the-fly” changes to improve on-air campaigns. With the rise of digital – and the timeliness and targeting it provides – it’s no surprise that some advertisers turned to other more measurable, albeit less effective, outlets.

But in recent years, analytical technologies have finally turned TV into an optimised marketing channel. Leveraging same-day spot and response data (from the web, call centres, apps, SMS, mobile, retail sites, etc.) allows advertisers to target, measure and optimise TV campaigns just like they do with digital. Combine TV’s massive reach; with same-day insights on how campaigns impact ROI, and advertisers have a very powerful tool to work with.

We hear a lot about TV viewers both leaving the room and being distracted by other devices. Generally speaking, how effective is TV advertising in 2016 in your opinion?

The majority of people use a second-screen when watching TV – and that’s the very reason why TV advertising has the potential to be even more effective today vs. the pre-smartphone era. This is the new way to watch TV; it’s active-participation viewing. When people are interested, they will immediately engage with a brand.

That’s why it’s so important for brands to leverage TV measurement and optimisation technology to get in front of the right people, in the places and times they are most likely to respond. And to also understand these feedback loops to make sure they have the most effective media mix.

Does improving attribution for TV advertising lead to brands increasing or decreasing their TV spend?

That depends on the brand. Almost all brands are happy to increase spend as long as they know that it’s generating positive revenue. However, maintaining a target rate of return at increased investment levels requires better targeting – understanding the networks, days, dayparts, programs and creatives that drive the greatest engagement and improving advert performance in-flight. These brands make TV spend go further which in turn incentives them to spend more.

When it comes to brand building, some brands think in terms of entire lifetimes rather than direct response. Is that now changing and what type of timeframes do brands typically have in mind when it comes to running a TV campaign and generating a sale?

I’m finding that more brands are interested not only in the short-term impact of TV, but its medium and long-term effect as well. Brands are becoming much more strategic with how they think about TV – and its role within the entire media ecosystem.  This can be challenging from a measurement perspective, if you wait until all the long term data is in then you can miss medium term opportunities for optimisation so we recommend a hybrid approach using a short / mid-term view to get the ‘what should I do now’ view and then a mid / long-term view to determine the total brand value.

It’s no longer about just measuring the immediate impact of a single spot (although that is certainly important!), but also using analytics to improve the performance of campaigns while they’re still on air, optimise media spend, inform planning and buying and understand the long-term impact of TV on a business.

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