This week, Nielsen announced the results of a study conducted by its Nielsen Neuro team confirming a correlation between the most emotionally engaging moments on television with spikes in mentions of those shows on Twitter.
When viewers are engaged with what's on TV, they turn to Twitter to talk about it. While that may seem like a no-brainer, one implication might surprise you.
These research results show that the more engrossed a given viewer is, the more likely he or she is to tweet about it -- which contradicts the idea that social media is a distraction for the bored and disengaged. The results also support the notion that today’s consumers are truly looking to share their best experiences, even those they’re just watching on television.
All this hints at a future full of potential for advertisers, television producers and technology companies: one where shared experiences and contextual conversations make everything a little more personal and powerful.
If the most stimulating shared moments in a television event truly compel the most-engaged viewers to stand out from the crowd and, well, share, then technologists should be able to get good at helping marketers find those viewers. By combining what’s already known about those viewers with this kind of emotional color commentary, marketers will be able to deliver messaging that truly speaks to specific individuals.
This kind of predictive accuracy is the reason marketers have been excited about social media since the beginning. But how can advertisers actually leverage this kind of data to create a more holistic view of the people they’re speaking to?
It turns out Nielsen also hinted at the answer to that question in the last few days -- when the company announced its acquisition of eXelate, a data company that gathers information about things like purchase intent from 200 different partner sources.
By working to assemble a more complete picture of television viewers, Nielsen is gearing up to be a contender if and when a more contextual television-advertising world emerges. In the meantime, with the help of eXelate, Nielsen will be able to help advertisers make the kinds of insights Twitter can provide about consumer engagement into actionable audiences that can be advertised to in digital channels.
After all, if you know a certain set of viewers is engaged with a prime-time show you advertise on, then longstanding research shows these viewers will also be more engaged with your commercials. Pair that kind of insight with data about who’s actively shopping for products like yours, and you’ll find a set of low-hanging sales that can be had for very low incremental cost. If this list of ready-to-buy consumers is large enough, you'll find valuable efficiency for your advertising.
If you’re not sure about whether programmatic advertising is “real,” or if you’re unconvinced about the powerful role social media will play in the future of advertising, tune in. You’ll find lots of old-school companies just like Nielsen positioning themselves to eat your TV dinner.