Though many in digital advertising consider television to be “the next frontier,” we have already begun to conquer this space with technology that is bridging the gap between the two channels.
What is proving this out is consumer behavior. Today, consumers are checking their phone on average more than 150 times a day and are spending upwards of 2 hours and 51 minutes per day on this device. Mobile in-app consumption surpassed desktop this year, and the gap continues to widen. If you look specifically at the more tech-savvy millennial generation, they index even higher for mobile activities, making TV an antiquated strategy for generating brand awareness and demand.
It has become clear that the second screen is here to stay; television viewers often multitask with their mobile device or tablet while watching. In some cases, viewers are using their second screen to interact more deeply with the program they are watching, such as AMC’s Walking Dead Story Sync app or HBO GO. However, most consumers are simply using their second screen to multitask while watching television— shopping, checking Facebook and Twitter or playing games. Just look at the Top 100 grossing apps on the Apple or Google Play App Store to get a sense of where consumers are spending time.
This phenomenon has not only opened up an exciting new realm of possibilities for mobile advertising, but has also presented tremendous opportunity for brands to optimize both their television and mobile ad buys.
TV inventory is still in many ways considered the holy grail of branding. And why not? TV allows brands to be storytellers and arbiters of pop culture, which broadens overall awareness and deepens brand affinity.
However, the advent of DVR and the increasing trend of consumers getting their entertainment content over-the-top means that TV ratings and consequently, advertising impact, have taken a hit. The second screen actually offers brands the chance to recapture some of that attention by reaching consumers via two engaging channels simultaneously. And since mobile is a lean-forward experience where consumers are not multitasking on the screen, it’s even more likely that a brands message is getting through.
An April 2014 study by the Mobile Marketing Association found that engagement for mobile video advertising is very strong, with click through rates ranging from 1.41% to 2.66%, depending on the ad format. These engagement rates are more than 10 times more powerful than the most successful online campaigns, so engagement is very high. Imagine if the high volumes of video views and high engagement rates from mobile video campaigns could supplement television buys. Brands might actually start seeing the results they’re paying for.
The MMA study uncovered another interesting trend: there is a high-engagement, primetime window for mobile video. Ad completion rates peak during primetime television viewing hours, and the same holds true for click-throughs on phones, suggesting opportunities for much deeper engagement.
Both networks and brands have an opportunity to sync up their television and mobile advertising efforts to deliver an extremely powerful one-two punch of mobile video and television storytelling that maximizes the results from those coveted and expensive peak viewing time TV buys.
The proliferation of digital and mobile has changed the way we consume entertainment content, which means that television is no longer the end all be all of branding. But the second screen means that both television networks and brands can leverage that duality to create compelling advertising content with the engagement only mobile can deliver, creating a perfect marketing cocktail of awareness, engagement and ultimately, ROI. At the end of the day, that’s the goal of every marketer. Mobile video’s time is here and is playing an increasingly important role in the media mix.