Is traditional TV advertising dying—or a driver of dramatic business growth?

by | Jun 11, 2021 | Marketing, Public Relations

These days, everyone’s obsessed with digital, especially when it comes to advertising. As a result, there’s no shortage of people declaring traditional TV to be dead and gone. But if traditional TV is truly dead, why did advertisers spend more than $70 billion on the channel last year? And that number is actually predicted to grow over the next couple of years.

Why is traditional TV still a smart choice for ad dollars?

Advertising is a powerful and integral part of our daily lives. It keeps the economy churning. Worldwide, TV reaches more people than any other content-based channel, with most Americans ages 35-plus watching more than five hours daily. Savvy advertisers, particularly those focused on performance, know that TV can reveal their core customers and find new audiences.

Performance advertisers still find strong returns on traditional TV. Every brand wants to spend their ad dollars where they’ll reap the greatest reward. Digital proponents may rave about its ability to reach highly targeted audiences. But the more tightly you target, the more likely you are to make faulty assumptions about who your audience really is, thereby ignoring valuable consumer groups.

For example, our Marketing Architects team discovered many unexpected customer segments making new purchases while sheltering at home during the pandemic. While a TV campaign is a big investment, when you buy efficiently it’s worth gaining this type of insight. Plus, advertisers are reaching a broader audience, which is how brands grow.

Marketing Architects pioneered the All-Inclusive TV Advertising model, described in the book, “All-Inclusive TV, How Booming Brands are Reimagining TV Advertising.” The model includes five elements that comprise a well-orchestrated TV ad campaign: Strategy (expert research and planning); Creative (pretesting and production); Media (top-tier airings); Conversion (tech for lead acquisition) and Analytics (multi-model TV attribution).

Upfront costs for a national TV ad can cost millions of dollars, which is why TV has long been viewed as a channel restricted to the biggest brands with even bigger budgets. We take on upfront costs to give performance brands access to TV. But to make the investment worthwhile, you need compelling creative, powerful calls-to-action and lead acquisition tools, accurate measurement models and more.

It’s typical for traditional TV advertisers to see their metrics improve using the All-Inclusive TV model. In most cases, advertisers see their average order value increase. Sales begin to lift then take off. A proprietary artificial intelligence (AI), called Annika, enables advertisers to suggest the appropriate media buys with greater accuracy and speed than is possible for even the most experienced ad media buyer.

Annika sorts through the madness of the media marketplace to find the best buys at the best prices.

Tips for choosing a TV advertising agency

Companies best-suited for All-Inclusive TV advertising want a measurable return. They want to prove their customers are coming from TV. To determine if TV advertising is right for you, ask these questions:

  • Is your audience there? You need a broad audience for traditional TV to work well for you. Brands serving a niche customer type may find more success on other channels.
  • Do you have the right distribution? If you’re going to be on national TV, your operations should also be national.
  • Is your online presence ready? People will be flooding your website. If you’re not equipped to handle the extra traffic, you won’t be able to fully capitalize on emerging opportunities.
  • How will you track and evaluate your campaign? Clear goals, and the ability to measure progress, are essential. A worst-case scenario would be launching a campaign and not knowing whether it worked.

To find a TV advertising agency that’s a good fit for your needs, ask them:

  • Will you help me produce my creative in addition to buying media? You may experience delays and higher costs if you’re using multiple service providers who are not well integrated with one another.
  • Can you help pretest my messaging? Testing an ad before it goes on air will help ensure you move forward with the right message, which can be all the difference between success and failure.
  • How well do you understand my customer? Done right, TV gives you a better pulse on your customer than digital channels. Its broad reach can help alert you to changing consumer behavior that would otherwise be outside the scope of your attention. Our strategy platform gathers valuable data to ensure our clients’ TV campaigns pivot when their customers do.
  • How do you determine results? Transparency and accountability are key. Look for a partner that will give you access to campaign data. We have a third-party audit our information and also encourage clients to run additional analyses whenever possible. You shouldn’t have to rely on your agency’s word to know how your campaign is performing.

TV advertising is a big move. It’s important to use your money wisely and spend where there is accountability. You can get big results without breaking the bank.

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Chuck Hengel
Chuck Hengel is CEO & Founder of Marketing Architects, Inc.

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