Internet Contributes to TV Use

Jun 4, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The results are in: Television attracts qualified consumers.
The Great American Media Migration has not adversely affected television audiences. However, radio is suffering through its worst decade in memory thanks to, among other things, video’s invasion of the car. Yellow Pages usage has been quickly eclipsed by “Google-ing,” and newspaper readership … well, you already know that story. Television stands alone as the only growth medium, thanks to the Internet.
We recently wrote about the concept of triangulation, the practice of an advertiser employing a television advertising campaign on a TV outlet, plus a Web campaign on that same TV outlet’s Web site, combined with the optimization of the advertiser’s own Web site.
When these media are linked electronically, triangulation occurs. Triangulation benefits have been proven over the last decade, and a new study by NBC Universal adds statistical proof.
The study, an analysis of Nielsen Media Research data by Alan Wurtzel, president of NBC Universal TV Research and Media Development, reports that viewer ad recall of a triangulated ad campaign is 50 percent higher than average, and those customers are also 20 percent more likely to buy what was advertised.
Skipping Surprises
This revelation is important as we continue to see the day-by-day migration of the American consumer. The most recent shocker unveiled in the NBC Universal study was that households without DVRs skip more TV commercials than those with DVRs. The study shows the drop in TV ad effectiveness in homes with DVRs is less than 3 percent, while non-DVR households had a drop of 7 percent. Television viewers’ use of remote controls to avoid commercials by changing channels and muting is the main reason for the drop in ad effectiveness in non-DVR households.
So why do we all worry about the DVR-zip effect when most viewers will simply remote-zap ads they’re not interested in?
Isn’t it our responsibility to produce compelling television creative that buyers react to and watch?
Let’s not simply let technology do our job for us. Embrace technology and make it your pet.
For example, DVRs are bringing high-income consumers back to television in droves. Time-shifting has let busy high-income viewers watch the same shows as the rest of us, which is a television marketer’s dream come true. Case in point: NBC Universal reported that while “DVRs allow users to easily pass by TV ads, they have increased TV viewing by 12 percent. NBC Universal estimates that 10 percent of American households have a DVR, a number expected to grow to 35 percent by 2009-10.”
Believe me, this is good news for television marketers, especially on the local spot market level.
How do you implement triangulation for your clients? Here are the three easy steps:
First, write and design your TV commercial to serve as a retail driver and a Web driver message. To do this, you need to include the key proven elements for a successful TV message and then add your Web site to the end of the message as the “closer.” Forget listing addresses and phone numbers, since viewers know this information is readily available on your Web site anyway. Also, make the Web address prominent. Many trendy producers are placing the Web address in a smaller font in the lower left or right corner of the screen. This is a mistake, as most viewers “see” only the middle of the screen. When done properly, significant new customer Web contact occurs.
The second step toward triangulation is to harness the power of local television station Web sites by buying ads on them. These highly promoted Web sites are teeming with local customers who are worth far more to you than out-of-town traffic. Think these sites don’t matter? Consider this: Search engines, especially Google, are responsible for driving more traffic to news and media Web sites than ever before, according to a new Hitwise U.S. News & Media Report that states broadcast media sites received 35.9 percent more traffic from Google since last year. Search engines accounted for 17 percent of traffic to broadcast media Web sites. In short, television media Web sites are seen as very credible and informative.
The third element of triangulation is your own Web site, which must be optimized to attract more local organic Web traffic by including the key words, phrases, images and terms that are most often used by consumers to search the Internet. Also, the first page of your site needs to be “retail-friendly,” meaning the consumer should not have to drill down to find out about the basics of your business such as product offerings, locations, phone numbers, etc.
Finally, the triangulation of these media must be activated, which is achieved by linking the three elements electronically so that a person driven to any one element can easily “click over” to the next.
Better Than Mobile?
We hear a lot of buzz about third-screen media and how popular it will be. Could the concept of triangulation be a better option? While the potential for mobile video is said to be huge, the medium has been slow to develop (though content companies are continually experimenting with different forms) and a successful business model has yet to come into play.
An eMarketer study shows the total number of global mobile TV and video subscribers stood at 40 million in 2006, and predicts that number will surpass 750 million in 2011. But while short multi-episode cell phone series are growing in popularity, advertising dollars have been slow to migrate to the small screen. Advertisers last year spent $421 million on mobile phone advertising, compared with an estimated $48 billion spent on broadcast television advertising, because demand for mobile content is still very low.
Maybe a smart alternative to running to the latest media tool is to use our current tools in innovative ways. In our consultant firm, we are charged with the responsibility for delivering more results to a client without the luxury of a bigger advertising budget.
Since television viewership stands alone as the direct beneficiary of Internet usage, and since the Internet is beginning to look a lot like television, there will be more ways to combine the power of the two to generate better results for clients. n
Adam Armbruster is a partner with Red Bank, N.J.-based retail and broadcasting consulting firm Eckstein, Summers, Armbruster & Co. He can be reached at adam@esacompany.com or 941-928-7192.


  1. Good post, thanks

  2. Just a heads up… your blog looks extremely peculiar in Safari on a Mac

  3. I came across a link to your site on another blog, and I should say… Your site is tons better. You explain things better, thanks

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