Are TV and online the last two great areas of growth for marketing?
As someone who has been in the digital marketing space since 1994, I’ve waved the flag that online is the future as long if not longer than most, but I’ve never said it was at the expense of TV. I feel as though TV is actually on the precipice of becoming even more important than it has to date, and it’s a result of digital being embedded in the experience.
TV has been the domain of the MSOs for far too long. They’ve maintained an oligopoly (for all intents and purposes) on the TV industry. They’ve created a collection of interfaces, and they’ve fought uniformity for a very long time, in order to stop the ability for the consumer to switch. You get a set-top box and that box stays with you for 10-15 years, and only when you move -- or they’re forced to update it -- do they change it out. That means you’re stuck with the same experience for a very long time, and they’re not forced to innovate in any way.
It’s the opposite of the mobile phone business, where we see consumers switch phones every couple of years in order to stay on the cutting edge of technology and keep up with their friends and family. It’s easier to switch since you can port your number, and the competitive environment is driven by innovation.
The iPhone drove a new era in mobile -- and Apple may just do that again in TV.
Of course Apple is only one company trying to get a foothold in TV, and that kind of excitement is priming that space for a revolution as well. Between Apple, Google, Samsung, Vizio and the other TV manufacturers who are looking to redesign the interface and interaction of TV, it’s safe to say things are going to change A LOT in the next five years. Even Microsoft and its Kinect console are ready to radically change they way we watch TV. Maybe Microsoft is just leapfrogging the Web and headed to the TV marketplace to compete with Apple? Any way you look at it, things are about to get exciting.
The television is the centerpiece of the home, and being connected to the Web gives it an infinite set of choices and directions to go. Online as a medium is almost an outdated term because we’re rapidly seeing the fruition of the “digital home” that was promised for years, and the TV transitions to the centerpiece of that environment as well.
This sets up marketers for a period of focus. If you want to speak to consumers, Internet and TV are your two primary vehicles to do so. Print, radio, outdoor and everything else you have to choose from are secondary options. These are additional touchpoints that provide extensions of the messaging you create through the two primary screens in your marketing plan. Factor in mobile as a support vehicle, and the three-screen experience is the primary planning model you have to work with.
As a former media planner for many, many years, this gives me a strategy to think through. You craft a plan where you introduce and engage your consumer across TV and online, with mobile as a frequency and proximity vehicle, as well a vehicle for the activation of your secondary media such as outdoor and print. With tools like Shazam you can even activate radio effectively. You build a media recommendation that has the lion’s share of your budgets spent against TV and online, and you negotiate mobile as an extension of your publishing relationships, then supplement with additional targeting in the mobile space. The remainder of your media is spent against frequency efforts, and all of a sudden you’ve created a 100% targetable, trackable media plan.
As a data junkie and a media guy at heart, I love the way that sounds. Don’t you?