technology has changed how we consume TV, but measurement has not kept pace

BY February 29

If you’re immersed in the media world, then you certainly have an opinion about whether or not TV advertising is dead, or is dying, or is as vital a part of the advertising economy as ever.  Let me start off by making my position clear:  whether TV (advertising) is dead, dying or thriving does not matter.  We are focused on the wrong debate.

As marketing executives, our goal is to find our customers – current and prospective—and convert our ads into sales for our companies.  The problem with traditional TV is that while TV consumption has changed, especially with the advent of streaming and the use of multiple devices, our measurement of its effectiveness for our bottom line has not.

Let me say it again, technology has changed how we consume TV, but measurement has not kept pace with this change.

How we measure the ROI of a TV ad needs to change.  Marketers are stuck in a rut, still measuring impressions rather than impact.  The focus should be on conversions.  Do your ads convert into sales?

Marketing executives wring their hands as they divide dollars between digital and TV spend, hoping that by sheer dumb luck or fate their guess will bring a hefty return on investment. More and more they lean toward digital because of the analytics. What those same marketers often fail to do is see all of their marketing data and analyze the big picture.  If we help marketers connect the dots from their TV ads to their web traffic, from display ads to sales, they gain a clear view of what their marketing efforts are really producing.

Clarivoy has a deep focus on the automotive industry, where our clients see that 60-70% of their leads come from what we call brand searches.  (A brand search, sometimes called navigational search, is when someone searches for a company by name, for example, “Chevrolet”.)  When consumers search for an advertiser’s specific brand name, it indicates that some stimulus prompted that search, likely a TV or display ad.  Now, before you continue reading, stop and make a note to ask your analytics person, “what percentage of our website traffic comes from brand search?”  I bet they are higher than you may expect.  (Please comment below and let me know what you discover.)

The TV industry has failed to promote the notion that TV advertising is a tremendous driver of website traffic. It has failed to educate marketers that TV remains a viable and profitable channel for reaching customers.  Media executives need to underscore this truth:  TV is still the dominant factor in driving traffic and sales.

For example, over the past three to four years local auto dealers have dramatically shifted their budgets, increasing their digital budgets and decreasing their TV spend.  Why?  Because digital is easier to measure.  However, what they don’t realize is that the bulk of their web traffic happens as a result of a brand search, which is driven by both TV and display ads.

Marketing professionals need unbiased insights into the true impact of their endeavors. Instead of tunnel vision, imagine having an expansive view of all aspects of your marketing efforts.  The right marketing technology can uncover the relationship between TV ads and sales, helping you reach and analyze consumers across all devices and channels.

So, yes, technology has certainly disrupted the media space.  Now, we need to allow technology to disrupt the measurement space too.