Advent of TV ACR
While revered by advertisers for most of its celebrated life, TV hasn’t been all that measurable. Brands have always been willing to pump vast amounts of their advertising budgets into running TV campaigns (undoubtedly the most affecting of media), but being able to clarify exactly who had seen their ads and how they subsequently were influenced has never been easy. Nielsen panels used to be the method of choice – but they relied on people telling you what they did or how they felt. The problem was that they didn’t show you. Hearing how audiences behaved and seeing how they did can, all too often, offer very different outputs. Now, however, more and more TVs are incorporating Automated Content Recognition (ACR) technology, giving them the ability to identify with perfect accuracy what TV content is showing in households – what people are actually watching. In addition, device-mapping techniques have also made it possible to see how users behave online and offline once they’ve viewed certain TV content, such as an ad. This has opened up key opportunities to brands and completely changed advertising forever.
TV-to-Digital: Reconnecting the funnel
One way in which brands can capitalize on this is through cross-platform campaigns that use TV has the springboard. Advertisers can now retarget the mobile devices of customers who have seen their ad or a show that the brand wishes to associate with, for instance, and serve mobile campaigns at just the right time. By going this route, brands can effectively reforge a broken marketing funnel. It used to be the case that, because of the disconnected nature of TV and digital, the former could only do so much in terms of driving conversions from viewers. TV has always been excellent at ‘priming’ viewers for action – such as making a purchase, or charitable donation, or even simply visiting a store or website. This is largely due to the emotive nature of your favourite TV show or an affecting ad. But digital is often where the actual conversion takes place, and in the time between viewing a TV ad or show and visiting an e-Commerce site, for example, many potential customers can fall out of the funnel. By running real-time retargeting campaigns that target ‘primed’ viewers of specific TV content when on their mobiles, however, this leak in brands’ funnels can effectively be closed. For the first time the priming medium of TV can be used with the conversion medium of digital in perfect tandem to drive customers through the entire path-to-purchase.
Not only is it possible for brands to reforge their marketing funnel to optimize the speed at which it converts (as well as minimize leaking), the new connectedness of Smart TVs and mobile devices can offer them an analytics feedback-loop never available previously. It’s now within their capacity to fully understand how their TV campaigns have influenced customers’ behaviour by (anonymously and through aggregation) assessing how their online activity changed. In addition, location-based mobile analytics can help brands get a picture of their targets’ offline actions too. All-in-all this has made TV advertising’s effect as measurable as mobile’s has been for years. In an era when advertisers are looking for as much clarity on where TV sits in their plans as possible, this is of revolutionary importance.