TV: The Ultimate Connector Of Consumers And Content In 2017

Prediction: Consumers are going to continue living connected lives—on their terms.

OK, nothing new there, but this year, just like the years before it, the very meaning of “connected” will continue to transform and so will the ways we engage with it.

Consumers have officially gotten the memo that they can turn their laptops, tablets, and phones into TV devices, so while this timeless medium may take many different forms, it will easily assert itself as the all-device connector of consumers and content. And, of course, where there are consumers and content, there are advertisers and brands vying to get their attention.

This means that 2017 will undoubtedly see a significant shift in the way TV is delivered, what it looks like, and how advertisers will be able to use it like never before to initiate consumer engagement.

TV Ads May Finally Be Personalized
Marketers have been eagerly chipping away at this initiative over time—from email and display to ecommerce experiences. The last big medium left, of course, is TV. Targeting people with individualized TV commercials using cable or satellite boxes is, quite literally, the future of TV. But addressable TV advertising has been held back while the market waited for consumers to catch up.

Now, with more homes having connected devices and more device options for watching TV, it’s safe to say the market is officially ready. Addressable TV can better pinpoint and aggregate an advertisers’ target audiences, allowing them to introduce more personally engaging ad units, and even more, actually measure the impact of these advertisements and their effectiveness beyond ratings.

According to Brightline IQ, Advanced TV commands a 2.5% click-through rate, as compared to desktop rich media at 0.10% and instream video at 0.46%. Now that’s something worth exploring.

Advertisers Will Ramp Up Investment In Local TV Buys
Brands spend millions to connect with consumers through multiple channels and targets, but it’s not always easy to show which investments performed most favorably. Further, today’s always-connected consumer means that brands of all sizes, in all places, need to be more mindful of a very important consumer detail: their location.

TV ad spending in local markets was an effective strategy for both candidates in one of the biggest events of 2016, the presidential election. Beginning in September, iQ Media found that Clinton spent 71% of her ad budget on local ads and 28% on national. Similarly, Trump spent 85% on local and 15% on national. While other factors were at play, both played a ground game to speak to a more targeted audience.

Advertisers Will Become Part Of The TV Content
The idea of the second screen is not a new one, but how advertisers use that other device to their advantage will come into focus this year. Mobile devices have become a companion to many people when they watch TV, whether it’s browsing related content or discussing it socially.  

As with anything in media or video, it’s all about crafting a good story and inviting your audience to participate. In fact, research shows that brands that invite their audience to take part in their story receive an overwhelming 78% approval rating, as compared to those that continue to rely on more passive tactics. Not to mention, 31% of TV viewers browse the internet for content related to what they are watching, while they are watching. 

Advertisers Will Increase Spending On TV Mega-Events And Sponsorships
Each year is inundated with major tent-pole events that get advertisers’ creative and financial juices flowing. From the Super Bowl and NASCAR to March Madness and the World Series, these heavily watched TV events give brands access to concentrated audiences over a series of consecutive days or weeks.

Advertisers know that TV is not going anywhere anytime soon, so they are also thinking about creative ways to leverage TV mega-events to captivate their audiences. According to Tivo, sports is the genre that sees the least amount of time-shifted viewing, only snagging 18% in time-shifting share, as compared to other genres, which see 50% to 72%.

Brands Will Use Real-Time TV Measurement To Make Smarter Buys
As digital and TV collide, it’s no surprise that buyers and sellers alike are demanding better measurement options. And the industry is making moves. ComScore and Roku joined forces in October to help customers leverage the vCE currency for measuring OTT and helping advertisers see when and on which device a consumer viewed an ad.

When it comes to linear TV, marketers will begin to demand more data at a faster rate in order to keep up with their digital, programmatic counterparts and have an apples-to-apples comparison. In fact, noted in an Advertising Age article from last year, “The Video Advertising Bureau, whose members include TV networks and pay TV companies, is recommending that observers and advertisers use average audiences as the standard to compare traditional and digital platforms.”

The good news for marketers is that this connected world presents a ton of opportunity to innovate and find better ways to engage their audiences, even on traditional mediums like TV. The real trends and innovations in 2017 reflect the speed at which the industry continues to change in response to this connectivity and how quickly consumers’ behaviors and preferences adapt to—and even drive—this ongoing evolution.

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