TV advertising may have been the way of the future once, but that was 60 years ago! Technology and consumers move, fast, and businesses need to keep up. Over the last 15 years, the transition has taken place online, as digital media replaces traditional advertising avenues like TV. Why is everything moving towards digital spaces? What does digital media offer that TV advertising does not? What doesn’t it!
Not just any demographics either, better demographics. Because of the nature of digital platforms, advertisers and companies can know a lot more about their potential consumers than in the past. Interests, age, gender, jobs, and more — all of these can be tracked and measured to better serve both t
he consumer and the company. It allows businesses to make more targeted ads, to better find and serve their prospective consumers. It helps consumers see things that are actually of interest to them, and not some other avatar that doesn’t match them.
Let’s say Nike wants to promote its new special shoe designed exclusively for trail running.
TV advertising would work something like this. The company and their advertising department would create an ad. Then they would shop around to find a channel/network/program that is about the outdoors, maybe even find a show that’s about trail running to best match their audience. Not bad, but digital can do better.
Digital media can give Nike the option to serve ads in front of specific people, not just the audience of a specific show. Using platforms like Google Ads, Nike can get in front of people who like hiking, are interested in HIIT cardio fitness, and frequently purchase exercise clothes. All of which speaks to an audience that likes the outdoors and trails, is interested in running, and spends money on this activity.
Which of those two do you think gets better results?
TV (as it was) is on the decline. The number of 18-24 year-olds who watch television decreased dramatically from 2012 to 2017 and that trend has only continued. Meanwhile, in April 2020 4.6 billion people were online, almost 60% of the entire globe. The number of people online has increased every year as infrastructure develops and access becomes easier and easier. There’s not much else to say here, the people businesses want to reach are online and less and less watching TV, the reach is there.
Truly one of the biggest selling points for digital advertising is the ability for real-time optimizations! In television, you create your ad, film it, distribute it and let it run. Making changes often necessitates the creation of an entirely new spot and that can take time and money. In digital media, access to the tools used to create and distribute ads is at your fingertips. It also means that should something come out of nowhere and disrupt your plans (hello COVID-19!) you can immediately pivot your messaging to accommodate new developments. It also means you can react, in real-time, to the ads that are performing the best for your business, moving funds to what works and reworking what doesn’t.
Another thing that digital avenues allow that TV advertising simplest cannot do is create a user experience. As Dan Avi wrote in Forbes recently,
“Commercials are less important. The user experience is now fundamentally the brand. An easily navigable app for a bank would define the brand as “friendly” better than a TV commercial or a brick and mortar location. A hotel online booking experience that allows for “À La Cart” options can replicate a “home away from home” atmosphere.”
An guess what? When a consumer interacts with a digital ad they can make a purchase almost instantaneously, as that ad will take them directly where they need to go to complete the transaction. When it comes to TV the viewer has to see the ad, think about it, remember it later, decide to go out and drive to the store, find the item, wait in line, and then buy it.
Whether in apps, ads, YouTube pre-roll, or through your own website, in digital spaces the user engages with the brand or company directly. In TV the ads happen to the audience, in digital the ads happen with the audience’s engagement. It doesn’t hurt that you know there is someone on the other side looking at it, who knows how many millions of ad dollars have been spent to air on TVs with no one watching.
To be clear, it’s not that traditional advertising doesn’t work, it’s just that digital media works better, and the way the world is going it will be the predominant channel for advertising efforts going forward – so don’t miss out! Get your brand running on digital media channels now and grow where your customers go. Leverage the creative minds and expertise of Helix House to make your digital efforts sing!