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TV and Digital Advertising: Lies We Believe

August 28th, 2019   ||    by Callie Wheeler

For the modern brand, TV and digital advertising are just two of many required marketing channels. Depending on the industry, target audience, and location, decidedly un-trendy channels like direct mail may even be part of the equation. But you can count on this: digital and TV are almost always going to make the cut for major brands.

But as obvious as this should be to all of us, there are still quite a few lies we believe about the relationship between TV and digital advertising. Once and for all, let’s clear the air and prove that the two mediums are not the mortal enemies headlines would lead us to believe.

Lie #1: Pick Your Poison

Some of us seem to be under the impression that you have to pick sides, as if your brand is going whole hog into one single advertising channel. Not only is this a lie, it’s one advertisers don’t buy into. A VideoAmp study reported by Marketing Charts found 85 percent of advertisers view television and digital as either extremely or somewhat complementary. Only seven percent saw the two as competitors.

The two are seen as complementary because savvy brands understand television is often leading viewers to digital channels. Bill McCabe, president and CEO of Eicoff, makes this connection clear: consumers don’t just randomly search for a product or brand—something motivates their search. This prompt is usually a television commercial or other traditional advertisement, like a billboard or magazine ad.

Lie #2: Media Consumption Is Down

Another popular lie we believe is that traditional media consumption is decreasing, as we picture Gen Z consumers forsaking sitcoms for Snapchat and reality TV for community involvement. But Nielsen research showed us that media consumption is not only increasing across all mediums—social media and internet use included—but for traditional TV, too, with live television consumption up.

Lie #3: TV Only Works for TOFU

While it’s true that one of television’s greatest strengths is brand awareness, top of funnel (TOFU) marketing is just the beginning. Accenture found that the medium offers ROI on its own and in combination with digital efforts:

  • For lower-funnel brand impact, television is only matched by paid search, with display, paid social, and digital print all lagging far behind.
  • Television campaigns can drive impact for up to three years after they end.
  • TV benefits other efforts, with 27 percent of paid search’s ROI influenced by TV’s “halo effect.”

The Truth About TV and Digital Advertising

So what’s the truth? Television advertising and digital advertising are important elements of a brand’s strategy, and when used thoughtfully, they ultimately work well together. TV’s unparalleled reach, brand-building power, and credibility can be augmented by and benefit digital’s targeting and nurturing strengths. Put simply, they’re better together.

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