Commentary

Will Mobile Become The Dog Wagging TV Advertising's Tail?

  • by , Featured Contributor, August 31, 2017

There is no question that the adoption, use and impact of smartphones among U.S. consumers continue to grow. There is no question that advertising and marketing on mobile devices continue to grow, and will for some time. There is no question that mobile advertising will someday -- perhaps in five to seven years -- overtake television in overall U.S. ad spend.

However, I think that it’s quite likely that mobile will become the dog wagging TV advertising’s tail well before it becomes the largest platform for U.S. ad spend. Here is why:

Data will power the future of TV. Television advertising will be increasingly data-driven and data-optimized. This is playing out now. TV audiences are down, but it’s still the largest- and fastest-reach medium by far. However, if networks want to charge more for less, they will have to deliver it in packages that are more targeted and more data-optimized to perform for advertisers. This is playing out today with initiatives like Linda Yaccarino’s NBCU and Fox, Turner and Viacom’s OpenAP initiative. 

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Mobile has the best data. No device is, or will, output as much valuable data for ad targeting and optimization as mobile devices. Today, more of the data powering audience-based advertising on TV is coming from TV set-top boxes, but set-top box data is limited to TV viewing. Mobile data tells you everything about its owner, from location to digital content consumption to purchase to household membership.

Combining TV data and mobile data is like adding 1+1 and getting 5. For advertisers wanting to close the loop between their TV ads and store visits – think retail, restaurants, movies – there is no data better to target and close the loop than with mobile data. For advertisers wanting to coordinate their TV campaigns with their Facebook campaigns to achieve a cross-platform kicker-effect, there is no data better to do it with than mobile data.

They will make measurement better together. When it comes to multi-platform advertising impact attribution, TV and mobile combined will rule the roost. Increasingly, advertisers are seeking trusted cross-platform attribution. First, they represent the two biggest ad channels. But, more importantly, mobile data will become the centerpiece and anchor of Multi-Touchpoint Attribution (MTA). MTA needs lots of data. MTA works best when the data is personal, not just “householded.” MTA also works best when you can directly link behaviors, and mobile data can now be linked with TV viewing data at scale, the rationale behind AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner and Verizon’s plans with Oath.

All of this convinces me that mobile will dominate how TV advertising is targeted, measured and optimized well before it dominates TV in share of ad spend. Basically, the tail of mobile data will wag the dog of TV advertising. Do you agree?

 
12 comments about "Will Mobile Become The Dog Wagging TV Advertising's Tail?".
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  1. mike donahue from connecting the dots, August 31, 2017 at 11:17 a.m.

    I agree, Dave.
    Now if only there could be more focus on 
    creating mobile ads that are as effective in telling brand stories and creating brand outcomes as TV ads do.

  2. Henry Blaufox from DragonSearch, August 31, 2017 at 11:19 a.m.

    Amazon is positioned to test and prove this hypothesis over time by tracking and collecting data (phone and in store beacon) at WHole Foods locations. They'll be getting data by the truckload from all that foot traffic, unless everyone turns off their phones upon entering. Of course, Datalogix, TRA and Nielsen Catalina will play their parts, too.

  3. Dale Knoop from TRE, August 31, 2017 at 11:38 a.m.

    I agree Dave. The presence of a mobile in the hand or at arms-length of the average TV viewer means that the 30 second commercial and indeed the notion of a commercial pod needs to be re-thought.

    If you have 1.5M viewers of NBA on ESPN on average, how many will buy Steph Curry's shoes, jersey, etc. right then and there w/o the hassle of trying to go find it?

    The hassle kills the impulse and Google is just waiting there to take you to the highest bidder and likely not the brand that originated the impulse.

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 31, 2017 at 12:05 p.m.

    I'm not so sure about mobile, Dave. Mush mobile usage occurs while people are on the go and they are less inclined to watch long form content with any degree of attentiveneee---even if available. Add to that the claim by mobile advocates that only very short commercials will work on mobile---again a function of short attention spans-----and couple this with small screen presentations and one wonders how many branding advertisers---who are the backbone of TV ad  revenues, will consider mobile as anything more than a fine tuned, targeting supplement to their regular TV advertising, not the main event.

  5. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia replied, August 31, 2017 at 12:42 p.m.

    Ed, to be clear, I'm not saying that mobile video viewing data is going to be a game-changer. Actually, the data that will be most impactful will be mobile data on "moving around" that will indicate store visits and that can be used to close the loop to retail advertising on TV. I think that we will see mobile usage data used to better measure and optimize TV ads.

  6. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics, August 31, 2017 at 1:40 p.m.

    The last part of this article struck me as key. TV data collected at the HH level via settop boxes won't allow multi-platform analyses of Reach and Frequency or any multiplatform attribution. You need persons data for TV to combine with persons data for mobile etc. Settop box data at the household level leaves TV in a silo. 

  7. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia replied, August 31, 2017 at 1:48 p.m.

    Great point Jack. It is critical for the TV industry to develop more robust and directly meausred person level data to truly become part of an integrated multi-channel media future.

  8. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics, August 31, 2017 at 1:40 p.m.

    The last part of this article struck me as key. TV data collected at the HH level via settop boxes won't allow multi-platform analyses of Reach and Frequency or any multiplatform attribution. You need persons data for TV to combine with persons data for mobile etc. Settop box data at the household level leaves TV in a silo. 

  9. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, August 31, 2017 at 7:47 p.m.

    You are giving more reasons to continue not to have a cell phone.

  10. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 1, 2017 at 10:24 a.m.

    I should add that even if mobile overtakes TV in ad spending, this will not be the case for branding ad dollars where mobile has a very long way to go before it competes with TV. Take out all of the non-branding ad spend and mobile is not nearly as imposing a media presence as the spending stats imply.

  11. Dave Morgan from Simulmedia replied, September 1, 2017 at 4:49 p.m.

    I agree with you Ed. It will be hard for mobile to compete with the mindspace with advertisers that TV and its 50 inches of lean-back, sight, sound & motion can deliver for brands. However, it is also very clear these days that all of the growth in advertising is in performance and call to action. So, I'm not sure that the mobile industry is going to worry as much about capturing the top of the funnel money as long as they keep winning money in the bottom and mid-funnel.

  12. Larry Wiken from WIKEN INT"L, September 1, 2017 at 11:23 a.m.

    Yes! However advertising on mobile will remain ineffective until agencies get over the  barriers of targeting and broadcasting for scale. And except mobile as a dialouge medium that enables consumers to 'talk' with their preferred brands.

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