In Depth

Integrated Campaigns Worth Overcoming Hurdles

The importance of running advertising campaigns both on television and on the Internet was underscored by a new survey that shows viewers spend a significant amount of time surfing the Web while watching primetime programming.

“This trend of going online while watching primetime television represents a significant opportunity for advertisers who want to target viewers with a message to visit content online,” said Matt Reid, director of strategic initiatives for Integrated Media Measurement Inc. “The landscape is moving at a steady pace from multiplatform advertising to simultaneous multiplatform advertising.”

The IMMI study looked at the multitasking behavior of television viewers and found that TV watchers spent an average of 9.3% of their time online and simultaneously watching the tube.
Among viewers watching broadcast TV, 11% also are surfing the Web. For cable viewers, it’s 8.2%.

IMMI noted the amount of multitasking done by broadcast viewers increases as the week goes on. On Mondays, a low of 5.8% of TV watching is done with the computer booted up. That figure jumps to 15.9% on Thursday, which is also the day many advertisers like to reach viewers because so much shopping is done over the weekend.

The survey also found that women, who do the bulk of the shopping, do the most simultaneous viewing.

IMMI conducts its surveys of multiplatform viewing by giving panelists a special cell phone equipped with technology that records the digital signatures of the media to which it is exposed. This allows IMMI to capture multitasking with some precision.

Despite this type of research, advertisers still don’t feel they have enough information or the proper metrics to effectively integrate their advertising in traditional and digital media.

A survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies found that in addition to the lack of metrics, the biggest impediment to effectively adopting digital media was that key people at a company, including senior management, simply don’t have a deep understanding of digital media. They also are reluctant to move marketing dollars away from techniques that have worked in the past.

At the same time, many organizations are structured in such a way that integration across the entire company is difficult.

“To effectively utilize digital media, and promote its integration with traditional media, marketers and advertisers must overcome the two obstacles that continuously arise: education and measurement,” said Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA. “Only once the industry takes steps to become savvy will integrated marketers be able to fully embrace all that advertising today can offer a brand.”

At the agencies surveyed, the client-related challenges they face in integrating digital media into larger campaign were led by a lack of client awareness about the benefits of developing a more integrated approach and a lack of client cooperation across operating channels and divisions.

Agencies had their own internal issues, including a shortage of digital know-how, structural problems and politics, but the respondents said those were smaller issues than the ones they deal with working with their clients.

The executives who participated in the survey made suggestions about improving the way their organizations take advantage of digital media.

Their suggestions included becoming as educated as possible about new and digital media; setting clear goals and business objectives at the beginning of a project; understanding the consumer; being willing to test and learn; and committing to metrics and analytics.

“Marketers must use the full range of effective media choices to their best competitive advantage,” said Nancy Hill, president and CEO of the 4A’s. “Effective media strategy isn’t one-size-fits-all. The very best media strategies take into account the opportunities inherent in all channels, and agencies and clients alike need to work together to educate internal and external constituents to demonstrate the value of well thought-out multichannel approaches.”