What’s happening to the routine of watching TV? Maybe it’s my age finally showing but it seems like “back in the day” watching TV required a routine. There were 30-40 channels if you had “cable” or 4 channels that were accompanied by a piece of modern art called “rabbit ears.” You had to be in a specific place, at a specific time, in front of a large rectangular electronic device to catch your favorite program. TV content was the only thing I remembered changing. It all started with Looney Toones, Tom and Jerry, eventually leading to Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek, or some other show too embarrassing to admit. In college, it was mostly Friends, Seinfeld, and the Simpsons. The one thing that didn’t change in all those years was where I watched TV. It was exclusively on a TV and if you were late, broke the routine, etc. you missed your show.
As an adult things have changed! I’m not sure how my parents ever watched anything consistently. With a 3 and 5 year old I can’t even watch the news when it’s scheduled and half the time it’s not on a TV. The paradigm has shifted. There are 1,000’s of channels in my cable package, I have subscriptions to Hulu/Netflix, all of my TV’s are equipped with an AppleTV, all of the content I have access to is accessible on my phone, computer, tablet, at the office, on a flight, and the least often leveraged TV in my own living room.
The shift in options is changing the way the modern person consumes content and it’s forced marketers to change the way they reach those people. Eyeballs have shifted to ConnectedTV, Full Episode Players (FEP), and Over The Top (OTT) on 100’s of different electronic devices that support the shift. Congrats consumers, you’re in the driver’s seat! Apologies marketers, your jobs just got A LOT more difficult.
The silver lining is now we may be able to toss the adage of “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t which half” in the trash. Marketers may have to diversify their campaigns to include ConnectedTV, Full Episode Players (FEP), and Over The Top (OTT) to get the reach and frequency they have always aimed for in their marketing objectives. This is going to be the only way to reach the now coveted Millennial consumer because Millenials take content consumption to a new level and they are deep into these platforms. As marketers realize the game has changed they are also seeing big benefits. They know someone watched the commercial instead of wondering if the DVR spoiled that expensive ad investment. Better yet, they can buy based on completion or knowing that the target consumer watched the commercial. They also have a FAR better idea if the person watching the commercial is in their target market because the consumer data is a lot stronger and a lot more reliable for these platforms. So maybe the Marketer isn’t getting the raw end of the deal, maybe they stand to benefit as much as the consumer.
Marketers we work with are tuned into these changes. We are working together to find the right blend of traditional TV, ConnectedTV, OTT, and FEP. This new day is ripe with opportunities. Recently one of our Automotive clients moved up in local market share reports from fourth to first in 3 months by simply adding ConnectedTV. It was a small carve out of ad dollars from their traditional budget to these new vehicles and in just over 3 months we were able to drastically improve their store sales.
These changes and moves are not ever easy. When you embrace them, leverage the newer platforms, and focus on growth in these emerging technologies you can find a new market opportunity. In a perfect world, the consumer can watch reruns of the Kardashians wherever they please, whenever they please, while the marketer can target this person more specifically, exclude those who are not in the target market, and track actions the consumer takes from the campaign. Humph…. Maybe we are in a perfect world. Welcome to the Matrix!
–Brock Berry, Founder and CEO of AdCellerant