This week, the UK TV industry’s marketing body, Thinkbox, continued to “practice what they preach” by promoting the power of TV advertising…. using TV advertising.
In the latest iteration of Thinkbox’s TV campaign, we are presented with a tongue-in-cheek representation of startup culture and the growing challenges it presents through a story told by the Tooth Fairy, who starts as a one-woman enterprise. As the Tooth Fairy struggles to grow her business purely from social media and word of mouth, a TV campaign is a catalyst to catapulting her out of her shared workspace and on the road to global domination. The resulting claim is “TV advertising. The results are legendary”.
How accurate is this claim, and is TV right for all businesses?
All Response Media viewpoint
Thinkbox’s agenda to promote TV is an obvious bias, and at All Response Media, we always take a neutral approach to media selection based on the client’s product, audience and business stage.
Whilst we certainly wouldn’t claim TV is going to instantly send small to medium businesses to the dizzy heights of the FTSE 100 and skyscraper offices, there is definite merit in considering the use of TV for the next growth stage of a business. TV offers considerable scale (with reach second only to out of home media), but it isn’t always right for every advertiser. Here’s what to consider before advertising on TV:
- Are you ready for the demand? TV can offer considerable response opportunities, but it’s important to ensure you’re ready to service an influx of new customers. Ensuring your website is up to scratch and optimised for conversions, your call centre is fully staffed, and product supply is well stocked are just some examples of considerations.
- How targeted is your audience? Looking to target shoppers within a strict 20-minute drive time of your business? It’s unlikely linear TV will offer the niche targeting you require. Whilst Sky AdSmart can offer postcode level geo-targeting, the higher cost per thousand (CPMs) mean other online video options may be more viable, or even local press, radio, or out of home.
- Entry costs. There are no “minimum spends” associated with entry to TV. For example, we recently launched a London advertiser with a £15k test. However, we recommend advertisers look to allocate enough budget to test a broad range of variables over a significant period. As a starting point, £50,000 over 4 weeks should provide enough insights to optimise on variables such as day of week, daypart, sales house, and programming performance. We can measure the efficiency of these individual variables through our proprietary TV measurement tool, ARMalytics®.
- Creative. The most thought-out media plan on earth cannot overcome a poor TV creative, meaning investment on creative is a must – but it doesn’t need to cost the earth to work with a good creative team. A budget of c. £20k+ will be sufficient for a basic but functional TV advert.
- What else works? Whilst we wouldn’t recommend fully mirroring current site performance trends, it makes sense to plan towards what’s working. If only 10% of your weekly sales take place on a Monday, it is worth limiting (but still testing) activity here in the first instance.
TV can offer considerable scaling opportunity for SMEs, but it won’t be the overnight success the Tooth Fairy was subject to. It’s important to question if TV is indeed the right choice: if the business is in good operational health to service the demand and if the business has resources to invest in a solid creative for a successful TV launch. Our RAPs tool within ARMalytics® enables our clients to scale TV through identifying and optimising towards the most effective and efficient elements of their TV plan.
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