Engaging CultureStrategy & Marketing

Why TV Is Still The Most Effective Advertising Medium

With the flood of articles and information about the move online, it’s easy to forget the power that television still holds when it comes to influence. Steve Newton from Newton Media tipped me off to a new study released recently in Adweek magazine confirming that when it comes to advertising, TV is still the king. From my perspective, this information also applies to nonprofits and religious organizations. Even though TV can be an expensive medium, it still packs a powerful punch when it comes to advertising. Here’s a few key findings of the study:

– MarketShare analyzed advertising performance across industry and media outlets like television, online display, paid search, print and radio advertising and found that TV has the highest efficiency at achieving key performance indicators, or KPIs, like sales and new accounts.  When comparing performance at similar spending levels, TV averaged four times the sales lift of digital.

– TV has maintained its effectiveness at driving advertiser KPIs over the last five years.  In a study using data from a luxury automaker, TV was the only medium to maintain its effectiveness (a 1.5 percent decrease in five years) while the other advertising media—both online and offline—declined more than 10 percent.

– TV marketers can optimize their spend by leveraging data sources, including high-frequency consumer interactions like website visits and inbound calls, to improve TV advertising performance.

– Premium online video from broadcast and cable networks out-performs video content from other publishers.

In layman’s terms, Adweek goes on to say: “The study found that “TV is the giant megaphone,” said Isaac Weber, vp of strategy at MarketShare. “When you want to get a message out, that’s still really the most powerful means to do it. The way that people view and consume television has changed … but I think the question is less about what has changed with television and more about what are some of the underlying issues with some of these other vehicles.” Added Howard Shimmel, chief research officer at Turner Broadcasting, “We’re not saying that digital is bad, but digital just can’t make up the reach that TV delivers. And digital, used in a way that’s complementary to TV, is a more effective strategy.”

That last statement confirms something I’d said for a long time. Radio didn’t displace movies, TV didn’t displace radio, and now the Internet won’t displace TV. They all find their level, and when you use them together in the right media mix, the results can be remarkable.

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  1. Thanks for providing us with this kind of data. I’m obviously too lazy to research it on my own :-).
    Your last paragraph is so well said I’ll probably steal it – and use it – a lot.

  2. I think you’re right that they all serve a purpose. I wonder if differing generations, however, make TV less of a valuable advertising platform for say Millennials than for GenX or Boomers. It’s all about knowing your audience, where they spend their time, how they gather their information and what mediums are natural conversation starters for them. I think there are benefits to all mediums and am not entirely convinced that TV has the best ROI for specific brands targeting specific audiences. Again, it’s all about being strategic and knowing your audience, not just throwing out a giant net hoping for a return.

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