How retailers are driving growth with TV advertising

By Angela Voss, chief client officer, Marketing Architects

What is the purpose of marketing? The question is arguably unfair, and it is accurate to counter that marketing has many goals. And that presents a challenge. 

Retail marketers have dozens of competing priorities. As multichannel buying gains popularity, they’re being asked to manage the customer experience in-store, online and on mobile. Furthermore, the evolution of retail media has caused a reevaluation of how retailers can make money. After all, Amazon is now the third-largest digital advertising company, and many small to mid-sized brands are looking to replicate its success. 

Plus, new data privacy laws require updates to how customer data is collected and stored — data that’s been critical for marketing insights for years. And then there are supply chain challenges, increasing competition, the consumer focus on sustainability and the marketer’s imperative — i.e., keeping up with ever-evolving technology. 

Still, even with these factors in play, marketing principles haven’t changed. Growth depends on building a unique brand with a unique offering, one that is discoverable when a consumer is ready to purchase and one that stays top of mind.

But these big-picture objectives aren’t easy to achieve. A shift toward immediate, attributable results has meant deprioritizing reach and brand building, essential for long-term growth. This shift has also meant less focus on channels that have driven long-term effects, such as TV advertising.

While TV is designed to help brands stand out from the crowd, thanks to its high visibility and broad reach, TV can also provide the accountability marketers demand. It can build a brand, drive online and offline sales and ultimately grow market share. However, driving brand and sales with TV advertising requires getting all elements of a campaign right.

Balancing reach and targeting with media buys

Large brands have historically purchased inventory in the TV upfront. But while this ensures access to inventory from well-known networks, this media is often expensive. 

Knowing this, smaller and mid-sized brands are taking another approach. They lean into targeted media buys, especially on streaming and CTV, hoping to make the most of every dollar and drive an immediate response. However, often keeping only performance in mind, these brands run the risk of leaning too far into targeting by treating TV as a pure digital play, losing the brand-building benefits of TV’s reach.

To avoid overpaying but still capitalize on everything TV offers, brands are using artificial intelligence and automation to find efficient buys to balance reach and targeting. For many brands, this means perfecting a mix of linear and streaming in their media plan. Others might focus only on linear. When technology can help identify the most cost-effective options, driving sales without sacrificing brand-building opportunities is possible.

Producing creative that drives brand awareness and sales activation

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking a TV commercial can only offer brand-building or only drive sales. However, strong creative can increasingly do both. 

Achieving this outcome means taking the time to research and produce compelling creative with messaging designed to resonate with target customers. With a channel as impactful as TV, there’s nothing more painful than paying to produce and then airing the wrong creative to millions of potential customers. Ignoring the brand-building impacts of TV can damage a brand — even as it drives short-term sales. No matter what, it’s crucial to include a call to action, whether that’s a web URL, a QR code or a code for viewers to text, essential in evaluating the impact on sales.

Pretesting can help identify the best possible creative route for both brand perception and how likely the creative is to drive consumers to act even before an ad airs.

Using multiple attribution models to understand TV’s full impact

Setting up campaigns to track both long- and short-term results using multiple attribution models is critical to grasping its outcomes. Data can be deceiving, especially when it comes to TV attribution, and mismeasuring the effects of a campaign can have frustrating consequences. 

To understand TV’s total impact on a business, marketers are looking at the immediate effects of each airing — web traffic, sales lift and other key performance indicators. And as a campaign continues, they are taking the time to conduct a brand study to determine how awareness or purchase intent has changed. 

One way they are doing this is by looking at the average lifetime value of their customers. TV often drives higher quality leads that order more and stick around longer. TV’s effect on other channels in the marketing mix is also noteworthy. For example, TV has been shown to improve the performance of digital campaigns significantly.

Finally, marketers are thinking about the big-picture goals. Improved pricing power, stronger partnerships and revenue growth. TV supports all of this, and considering every angle of a campaign helps marketers decide whether TV is working for their business — or how they can optimize it to make it work even more effectively.

Sponsored by: Marketing Architects