TV is still relevant despite viewers increasingly turning to digital platforms to watch programmes, according to the co-founder of ad optimisation company TVSquared .
The relationship between viewers and advertisers has been increasingly rocky with the rise of adblockers and the ability to fast-forward through ads on digital TV.
Now, TV advertisers must use analytics in the same way as their online counterparts for success, says Hew Bruce-Gardyne of TVSquared.
This belief is the reason the Edinburgh-headquartered company was created.
“There was genuinely that need here,” the co-founder sound.
“People advertising on TV simply weren’t getting the quality of analytics for the performance of their buy.
“Using that would allow them to modify and optimise in a way that is just absolutely common practice for online spend.”
He still sees a place for advertising on television in the emerging digital landscape, saying the medium is “not dead yet” as TV ad spend continues to grow at around two to three per cent each year.
“It doesn’t compare to the rate of change and increase in advertising budget going through digital and online, which is now on a par with the TV budget globally, but TV is still there,” he said.
The reason that TV still has a place despite this huge growth, says Bruce-Gardyne, is down to viewer psychology.
“TV is generally a broadcast medium where you can reach your audience and deliver your message to them, which is a really important first part of the marketing journey.
“The other part is that when you think about iPlayer and catch-up TV there’s a very different perception.
“If I switch on a live programme I probably made the decision to watch that tonight and I know I’ve got to be there at 8pm and the ads are, not the price I pay, but part of that journey.
“That’s a reasonably accepted way of doing things because you’re watching someone else’s stream.
“If I’m making the decision to dial in and I want to see this particular programme right now because I’m available right now then advertising is a little more intrusive, and that’s why you’ll get skipping through ads.”
Ad targeting, while effective for some, can also create downsides for online platforms says Bruce-Gardyne, highlighting a pain point that many consumers can relate to.
“Digital has the ability to target at a much finer grain because it’s about individual marketing and you don’t always get that right,” he says.
“A common example is that I buy a jacket because I’m going away somewhere cold and for the next six months every site I go to is showing me that jacket.
“I’ve already bought it and it is targeting but doing it incorrectly. If I see a TV ad for it, it doesn’t have anything like the same poor connotations, so there is a contrast between the two channels.
“That’s what everyone’s asking – how do I use this platform effectively?”
The key to effective advertising he says is making sure brands are using analytics to stay agile and competitive.
“A key mistake is putting an ad out to market then sitting and waiting for the campaign to run and just saying ‘that’s it, I’ve committed my spend’.
“A good technique is to start a campaign with a number of different creative ads and to test to see which ones are working in which particular parts of your buy.
“Some stations might work better for one creative rather than another and even without changing how spend is allocated you could swap out a creative and say ‘OK I’m going to concentrate more on this message at this time of day’.
“You can do that without ruffling any feathers because you’re not taking money away from the station.”
He adds that instead of just trusting your buying agency to place the media for you, you should always be on top of your TV ads.
“It’s always worth having an independent view, a hard look at how it’s performing,” he says.
“Agencies work with us because they now realise they have to be able to provide independent verification of performance and this level of analytics to all of their customers.”