It's Time To Connect TV & Social Advertising At The Hip

I spent the early part of this week at Re:Think, the Advertising Research Foundation’s annual conference on the latest developments and innovations in advertising and marketing science. Among the highlights were presentations on Monday morning of “grountruths”: basic research on how advertising works and, particularly, how it drives provable business outcomes for marketers.

What were some of the findings? First, that advertising works. It may be taken for granted by most of us, but study after study showed that when advertising is measured at the ROI level, well-delivered and appropriately targeted advertising can be proven to drive brand and sales growth.

A second finding was that advertising campaigns that are delivered on more channels -- particularly when TV is one of the channels -- do better. Also, the more different marketing channels utilized -- adding social and radio and search, for example -- the better the overall results of the campaign. Bottom line, in advertising campaigns, the more screens the better: 1+1+1 = 4 or 5.

This research was a great set-up to a main stage discussion I had later on Monday with Brad Smallwood, Facebook's VP of marketing science, to talk about the importance of outcomes, ROI and zero-based budgeting in the future of advertising.

Our discussion quickly settled on the need for TV and social ad platforms to now be powered by massive, matched single-source data sets so that cross-screen campaigns can be planned, delivered, measured and optimized on a true data-driven basis, an area that Facebook is now working on.

Why is this important? Television and social are, by far, the two largest-reaching media channels in a marketer’s arsenal today. Nothing else can reach as many people as fast with sight, sound and motion advertising.

What could this mean? Shifting social and TV cross-platform ad planning from simple allocation exercises to predictive, software-driven decision-making built on massive, single-source data will be a game-changer. The use cases are endless. For a start, you could imagine uses like coordinated story-telling, where stories are started on Facebook and carried on to the same audiences on TV, or vice versa.

We will see campaigns with coordinated, cross-platform managed reach and frequency, where TV spots extend reach from Facebook to specific target audiences, and vice versa. We could see cross-platform data and segmentation carried from one platform to the other, where people who prefer certain types of movies on TV are targeted with campaigns for upcoming theatrical releases of the same genre.

This is only the start and the opportunities are endless. What do you think? Are we ready to truly connect TV and social?

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9 comments about "It's Time To Connect TV & Social Advertising At The Hip".
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  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 18, 2016 at 11:54 p.m.

    TV is the place to get away from being social, an escape from reality even in the reality format, at least while watching where you don't need anyone to be absorbed into a 2 dimentional story with other people. Of course, you can always knit or raid the fridge or read MP while watching.

  2. Jim Nico from The Social Network Station®, March 19, 2016 at 10:26 a.m.

    I believe that the natural evolution and affinity between Twitter and TV is ideal

  3. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia, March 19, 2016 at 7 p.m.

    JIm, I agree that Twitter and TV fit very well together. However, the reach and volume of users on Facebook make it the platform that can deliver the largest cross-screen reach and impact for marketers by far. But, by no means would that be mutually exclusive to Twitter being connected to TV as well. It will happen with both.

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, March 21, 2016 at 8:42 a.m.

    Dave, until the amount of TV-related social activity per TV telecast---counting the time imediately before and after the telecast as well---reaches something approaching a meaningful volume, many advertisers will continue to treat each medium as a separate, not a linked "synergistic" opportunity. So far, Nielsen is showing that only a very small percentage of a given TV show's audience tweets about it---- or receives tweets focused on the show. Moreover, the proportions who tweet about commercials is even smaller. Whether this will change is open to question, but until there is a lot more volume than is seen now---an occasional exception aside----this is more a theoretical exercise than a reality. Not that I'm not in favor of exploring, mind you. Were I an advertiser with a product or service that might benefit from social activity linked to my TV campaign, I'd be looking into the realities and possibilities now, rather than later---just in case.

  5. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia, March 21, 2016 at 10:01 a.m.

    Ed, very good points. I'm less concerned with the "social TV" behaviors than just the need to coordinate ad campaigns across social and TV viewing, treating social as if it was another content channel on TV, for example. An advertiser might buy spots this week on NCAA March Mandess, Judge Judy and Nat Geo, even though virtually no viewers may actually watch all three, to insure that it maximizes total target audience reach with minimal duplication. Marketers should be able to do that across TV and Facebook as well.

  6. Henry Blaufox from DragonSearch, March 21, 2016 at 10:01 a.m.

    Dave, yes to the proposition that brands should try cross platform - TV with social. It is not necessary, or advisable right now, to do this carpet bomb style though. Determine desired metrics, make sure they can in fact be accurately measured, and do so to get as accurate a view of results as can be done. Then do more once it is known what works, and what doesn't. It's just like all other analytics driven digital spend. As Ed Papazian notes directly above, adoption right now is limited. Let's see what the status is a year out.

  7. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia, March 21, 2016 at 10:35 a.m.

    Harry. I totally agree. I think that carpet bombing is exactly the last thing users want, or marketers should try. By using large, matched single source panels, we can analyze users' cross platform activities and determine how best to do stgory-telling or coordinated reach and freqency and move those learnings direclty into activation. On the adoption front, I believe that the time to do it is now. Many tens of millions of Americans are both watching TV and using Facebook on a daily basis. While they're actitivy might not be direclty related, they are heavy users of both platforms. That is olenty of scale for all major US consumer brands.

  8. erinn piller from shaw media, March 21, 2016 at 3:35 p.m.

    I agree with most of what is being said here. Curious to know more about the research that was shared at Re:Think that helped inform this article. Are these studies available?

  9. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia, March 23, 2016 at 10:12 a.m.

    Erinn, details of the research discussed at Re:Think haven't been released yet, but should be over the next month or two subject to client' permissions.