How to Overcome Fragmented TV Viewership to Achieve More Effective Campaigns

This article is sponsored by Experian.

TV has long been considered one of the most powerful tools for marketers to tell brand stories in ways that engage and activate consumers.

But changes in viewership habits over the last five-plus years and the inundation of marketing messages have ushered in new questions about how to best leverage TV within a brand’s marketing strategy. Linear TV alone won’t cut it anymore, as it misses out on valuable prospects who have cut the cord while wasting exposure on others.

“People have so many content choices, places to consume content, and numerous devices in which to access content that it’s a challenge for brands to get their ads where a consumer’s attention might be on any given day,” said Kevin Heindl, director of partner and advertiser solutions at Experian. “Treating media channels as isolated campaigns, with their own audience definitions, greatly hinders opportunities to learn from the performance of these campaigns in a comparable manner.”

Addressable TV offers a powerful solution for marketers to cut through the noise and find the segments of their audience they no longer reach through linear. It also creates opportunities for marketers to fail – particularly when it comes to coordinating multi-touch experiences across screens and stitching together the right audiences.

The lack of cross-device campaigns limits a brand’s ability to see the effects of multi-platform marketing against a consistent audience. Of course, not all platforms offer complete access, but where possible, brands should try to take advantage of learnings it could provide.

So how can marketers make sure they are capitalizing on this opportunity and not creating customer experiences that miss the mark? Here are three steps marketers should take to overcome fragmented TV viewership, illustrated by examples from the automotive industry.

Step One: Build the right audience by identifying what the best customers look like. While this sounds like a fundamental objective, many brands continue to miss the mark when it comes to understanding customer identity. Why? First-party CRM data doesn’t offer a full 360-degree view of their customers that can unlock powerful insights about channel, message and timing.

“The key to an effective campaign is to make sure you are actually delivering a relevant and actionable message,” said Laurel Malhotra, director of OEM marketing at Experian. “The best way to do that is to deliver consumers the right message when they need it. For example, something as simple as identifying whether a customer is likely to utilize a loan – rather than leasing – can help tailor the finance offer message to meet their unique needs.”

Partnering with data providers who have access to powerful third-party data helps manufacturers and dealers better understand an audience’s financing preferences, historical vehicle purchase patterns and media consumption habits – which can deliver long-term consumer knowledge that will inform smarter campaigns.

Step Two: Pick your channels: Market to the audience, not the content. Buying a car is expensive. As a result, a purchase decision usually comes after extensive research. TV impressions served to uninterested consumers are unlikely to lead to a new car purchase – which creates significant wasted ad spend.

Rather than focusing on linear TV campaigns that segment your audience based on broad demographic panels, the right mix of addressable TV opportunities minimizes waste by linking ad spend directly to the desired audience.

“Addressable TV allows us to reach the right people and hit them with relevant messages, regardless of the shows they are watching or where they are watching,” Heindl said. “When brands deliver ads based on a specific audience, not just broad demos associated with content, it creates the ability to ensure your impression costs are spent with limited waste across different channels.”

This surround-sound effect can be particularly powerful. Research by Experian shows that a multichannel customer can be 3-4x more profitable for a brand than one executed through a single channel.

Step Three: Measure the impact of ad spend, recalibrate and repeat. As consumers come to expect personalized experiences, accurate campaign measurement becomes a critical tool to help build agile campaigns that can keep up with consumer movement.

For years, linear TV has primarily focused on maximizing eyeballs. Addressable TV opens the door for marketers to collect exposure data that ties back to offline actions taken by consumers – such as car sales.

“For example, at Experian, we provide mid-campaign forecasts that connect to actual transaction data, in a compliant manner, so marketers can see how test and control audiences are performing across channels,” Malhotra said.

Closing the reporting loop with transaction data empowers marketers to accurately measure the lift in sales performance versus a control group and even recalibrate ad spend to the supporting channels that will drive incremental growth. With any audience segmentation, the desire is to be right the first time. However, with most addressable TV campaigns you can learn from your successes – and your mistakes – and adjust for the next effort.

Over time, this audience-first approach empowers marketers to increase campaign efficiency –reaching the right consumers in the right channels and at the right moments to maximize TV ad spend.

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