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Direct Response Marketing

Committee Corner: TV Everywhere … for Everyone

1 Mar, 2017 By: Kristofer Johnson, Mercury Media Response


Everyone is familiar with this oft-used colloquialism: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Most everyone in the marketing industry also knows the famous (or perhaps infamous) John Wanamaker quote: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

The keys for performance-based marketers, and what ties these famous thoughts together, are:

  • Are older consumers watching entertainment, and advertising, differently in this evolving media environment?
  • If so, how can marketers effectively engage their target audiences without sacrificing media accountability?

The popularity and availability of streaming video has exploded. Every day, we read another article about cord cutters and the death of linear TV. As a result, direct response advertisers are feeling pressure to be everywhere, without sacrificing a dollar of efficiency.

There’s good reason to get in front of consumers on all their screens — it increases brand awareness, message recall, and drives response. It’s critical to realize that the audience consuming entertainment, and therefore advertising, in non-traditional channels is increasingly diverse. Contrary to a widely held perception that only younger viewers are moving to streaming media, data shows that growing number of older (and wealthier) consumers are also migrating to new viewing options.

Knowing that there is a large, diverse, and growing audience for TV Everywhere, which advertisers should be supplementing their traditional television advertising with additional marketing options such as over-the-top (OTT) TV? These multiscreen strategies tend to perform best for advertisers that have saturated the market in linear TV and developed creative that will engage in shorter, mobile-friendly unit lengths.

There’s a lot to love about authenticated streaming. It extends reach by picking up audiences that you might miss in a traditional TV buy. This includes not only brand new viewers but also additional touches with consumers already aware of your brand — which is critical in the modern consumer purchasing process. You can include engaging content clips in addition to full-length programs. And because they are run as pre-rolls and mid-rolls, your spots are more likely to be seen.

Additionally, increasing the frequency for consumers in the same household — at times showing the same ad simultaneously on different devices — increases penetration on these selected, high-quality targets. The geographical parameters can even “follow” these subscribers while traveling, minimizing wasted spend.

There is some concern about intentional viewing of OTT compared with channel surfing on linear TV. But the jury is still out. Other challenges might be too much for some advertisers to overcome.

Here’s a checklist of OTT challenges:

  • Cannot guarantee target audience is watching
  • No instant results; must be run for a substantial length of time
  • Cannot be bought by daypart
  • Need at least four business days to implement changes, such as hiatuses and creative replacement
  • Ad separation is not guaranteed
  • No concrete or formal ratings, though internal ratings can be provided

As inventory opens up, so do opportunities for a diversified buy. Marketsandmarkets.com estimates that the OTT market will grow from $28 billion in 2015 to $62 billion by 2020, so marketers need a strategy to take advantage of this exploding channel. As the market evolves, multiscreen advertising will act as a strong supplement to TV strategy, but cannot drive a campaign alone.

The challenges presented by this type of advertising are far outweighed by the potential for growth and an increasing market. When looking at buying habits, marketers that think Baby Boomers and Generation X consumers are focused only on traditional television are missing a huge opportunity. While these groups represent approximately 45 percent of the total population, research from Experian shows they control an estimated 74 percent of spending on “non-essentials” and earn an average of 35 percent more per year than millennials. Yet, these older consumers are also engaging with new technology at increasing levels. TV Everywhere is not just a millennial phenomenon — marketers that disregard this trend do so at their peril. ■

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