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David Barker 

Adaptable mindset is key to unlock the full potential of TV

Adaptable mindset is key to unlock the full potential of TV

How consumers watch TV has gone beyond traditional habits, so approaches to advertising must follow suit

Renowned for creativity, mass reach, and brand building, TV’s influence on advertising is undeniable. Over the course of this year, UK adults are expected to spend almost 4.5 hours daily with traditional television media, but time spent with digital is set to surpass this, amounting to nearly six hours per day.

Approximately 12 million viewers adopted a new video streaming service in the past year, and the rapid uptake of over-the-top (OTT) and streamed content is redefining how brands and agencies engage desired audiences.

With the TV landscape populated by a growing number of screens, platforms, and consumer habits, advertisers must optimise how they engage with audiences to accommodate this significant split in consumption – meeting them wherever they are and on whichever screen they’re using – to make ad budgets stretch further.

How consumers watch TV has gone beyond traditional habits

Approaches to advertising must adapt, too, as consumer behaviour changes.

Full-funnel measurement across OTT and linear will be critical for brands looking to sustain return on advertising investment.

The diversification of TV means advertisers are able to extend campaign reach across digital channels as well. The question then becomes how can they use TV to develop smart, cross-screen strategies and navigate the increasingly interconnected world of advertising?

Ensuring digital ads work in tandem with TV campaigns is no simple task. The impact of cookie deprecation and the ongoing restrictions to mobile IDs has called identity management into question.

Because identity is key for cross-device targeting,  the industry is laser-focused on answering the need for effective, privacy-conscious solutions that maintain advertising performance.

Innovative technologies and fresh approaches to advertising are necessary for brands to implement comprehensive omniscreen ad strategies. Through expanding their digital channels, brands can reach otherwise inaccessible audiences.

Viewers using subscription-based services that don’t support ads, for example, can still be targeted with relevant advertising on associated digital devices that reflects their viewing preferences.

TV attribution delivers comprehensive measurement

Traditional TV advertising relied on broad demographic information such as age and gender, but nowadays brands need to reach specific audience segments to maximise results. Achieving this requires a TV data provider that offers large-scale datasets, as well as in-depth insights into behaviours and preferences. Only then can advertisers tailor audience segments to their brand objectives and resonate with consumers.

And once you’ve identified your audience, there’s still work to be done. From the moment a viewer sees an ad, it’s critical for advertisers to understand their journey all along the conversion funnel.

Typical TV measurement doesn’t fill all of the gaps between ad exposure and a transaction, but doing so is key to optimising ad campaigns. Brands must define the signals most important to them – whether that’s website visits, geolocation, or app usage – and onboard solutions that connect these signals with TV exposure. With this information, brands can successfully guide consumers through the purchase funnel.

It’s not just where they are, but when they are that matters

On-demand video content has enabled viewers to define their own primetime, which  means advertisers need to be smarter when connecting with TV audiences. By building a holistic view of ad campaigns, brands and agencies can leverage TV data across their entire advertising strategy.

For instance, they can identify which genres and shows attract a high proportion of live viewers, then use this to select the optimal moment for retargeting audiences on their smartphones, desktops, or preferred devices.

Retargeting viewers doesn’t only strengthen ad campaigns, it also helps brands stay competitive in an increasingly saturated media landscape. With technology that monitors TV ads in real-time, advertisers can learn when a viewer has watched a competitor’s ad, then quickly retarget them with one of their own ads on a digital device.

Being proactive, brands can seize the opportunity to engage target audiences in a relevant and timely manner.

As the TV landscape evolves and audiences adopt new ways of viewing entertainment, the complexity of the advertising industry will no doubt increase. Brands and agencies must look for innovative ways to overcome current challenges, such as identity and attribution, using omniscreen capabilities.

Owning an adaptable mindset is essential for harnessing the full potential of TV and engaging viewers across devices.

David Barker is senior vice-president, global partnerships at Samba TV

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