While digital growth in South Africa is now all pervasive, TV remains the ultimate reach builder.
Attending the Future of TV advertising conference held in London late last year (Dec 2016), it became clear that clients and media agencies – Unilever, Group M, OMD, Publicis, Dentsu Aegis, among others – agreed that traditional TV remains a critical component of the media mix on a global basis, but also that the landscape is changing fast and broadcasters are having to adapt to remain relevant.
The challenges are well documented. There’s a shift from linear channels to on-demand (time-shifted) viewing and viewing impressions are moving to non-advertising supported platforms such as Netflix. Then there’s the issue of multi-screening across devices including phones, tablets etc and time spent on digital platforms, such as search and social, all of which are impacting traditional TV viewing.
So, what are international broadcasters doing to mitigate the impact of these challenges on their advertising revenue streams?
Global broadcasters are exploring how best to bring the benefits of programmatic trading into the TV environment. It’s early days, but real progress is being made in automating administration and exploring the possibility of real time dynamic ad insertion. Taking the learnings from digital to eliminate obstacles and streamline the buying process makes total sense.
While TV’s ability to reach mass audiences remains attractive for many advertisers, addressability is becoming increasingly important for those wanting to target tighter market segments. In Britain, Sky’s Adsmart product can now send different ad executions to Sky homes based upon their various demographics or postal codes. Addressability means that broadcasters can charge higher CPMs for tighter targets, and can also bring in a new set of smaller, regional advertisers.
Effective targeting requires a critical understanding and management of consumer/audience data. By way of example – last year Sky invested in a DSP called Data Xu to assist them in better understanding programmatic advertising, enabling early campaign engagement and building deep data partnerships with their clients.
The evolution of TV
So yes, TV advertising is evolving internationally and responding to the challenges by bringing some digital learnings into the broadcast landscape to improve their product set and sales offerings.
One of the critical debates at the conference took place around how to measure advertising effectiveness across multiple screens. Should a YouTube advert seen on a small mobile phone screen on a train on the way to work be given the same score/attribution as the same advert being watched on a 50” HD screen in the comfort of your lounge? Of course not! Researchers are working feverishly to find the holy grail – an integrated, cross platform, multi device, media measurement system that can provide marketers with sensible metrics to gauge advertising effectiveness.
Building critical awareness
Also, all the parties agreed that this shouldn’t become an either/or debate ie. should I use TV or digital. They are both effective tools and should be used for what they excel at. I would argue that the reach and impact of TV make it still the best medium for brand building (at the top of the marketing funnel) – and it’s important to remember that brand building is not only required to reach the consumer buying your product today, it’s also about talking to the person who might buy it tomorrow. Digital is great for conversion and activation once TV has done its job and built the critical initial awareness and influenced brand preference.
Which brings me to South Africa and what’s happening in the local marketplace. While digital growth in South Africa is now all pervasive, TV remains the ultimate reach builder delivering an average reach of 72%, the highest reach recorded across channels. According to Monique Claassen, director of media and digital research at Millward Brown, “TV remains critical in building reach in South Africa. Studies from our CrossMedia database clearly show that, while non-TV media can perform alone, they do much better with TV priming (TV flighted first in a campaign). A campaign can be up to 40% less effective at driving impact if TV is excluded, compared to launching with TV first in a multi-channel marketing approach, which can deliver 35% more impact than TV alone”.
Clearly this is all very good news for TV as an advertising medium, but certainly as broadcasters we need to be constantly evolving to keep pace with technology and the new connected consumer. At DStv Media Sales we are considering a variety of innovations (including those described above) and exploring how we can best integrate these into our local offerings over time – watch this space! n
Chris Hitchings is CEO of DStv Media Sales.
This story was first published in The Media’s Rise of the Screens issue, March 2017. Read the digizine by clicking on the cover.