Why aren’t more brands using mobile in TV campaigns?
May 14, 2012
Buick's second screen experience for NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice"
It is no surprise that mobile users rely on their devices to look up information and interact with brands while watching television, leaving marketers with a plethora of opportunities to target consumers. However, it seems many companies are missing out with the opportunities that TV offers.
From searching, using social media and interacting with ads, consumers are undoubtedly multitasking while watching TV. In turn, marketers need to be thinking about ways to interact with these highly-engaged users by promoting SMS programs, application downloads and content that gives users value that they cannot find elsewhere.
“Many brands simply are not thinking about mobile content, but among those who are, many are making a mistake in thinking that consumers are only using their mobile devices while on the go,” said Rick Gardinier, chief digital officer at Brunner, Pittsburgh, PA.
“Upwards of 80 percent of mobile users are using a device at some point while watching TV. This is a huge missed engagement opportunity,” he said.
“Marketers are thinking of mobile as a single-channel experience and that is a mistake,” he said.
According to recent data from the Nielsen Co., 40 percent of tablet owners surveyed said that they had looked up information about a program while they were watching. This means that not only do marketers need to be looking for ways to incorporate mobile calls-to-action in TV ads, companies also need to have a solid mobile search strategy in place.
Additionally, when using voice recognition apps such as Shazam and Viggle, brands need to think about how the piece of extra content gives users a true value.
In Shazam’s case, asking a consumer to pull out their mobile device, open the app and tag content is already difficult, and if a consumer is only going to get redirected to a static landing page, what is the value in that?
Instead, a brand could tie a Shazam tag to an in-store coupon to not only give consumers an incentive, but also drive in-store foot traffic.
For example, General Mills used a Shazam campaign to promote Pillsbury crescent rolls around the holidays (see story).
When Shazamed, the ad led users to a page where they could find recipes and more information about General Mills. To make the ad more interactive, the company could have tied the content to a coupon that users could redeem at grocery stores.
Additionally, retailers have a big opportunity with mobile and TV advertising.
“Brands with a national footprint that are looking to drive traffic to brick-and-mortar stores are the ideal candidates for a mobile TV campaign,” said Jack Philbin, president of Vibes Media, Chicago.
“To get the most out of their big TV ad spend, retailers can create a compelling mobile engagement that provides an incentive to visit a store. This is a natural way for brands to capture customer intent and also gets better ROI data specific to their TV media spend,” he said.
In addition to incorporating mobile into traditional TV spots, more companies are using mobile calls-to-action in live TV.
For example, Macy’s recently took advantage of its SMS program to tie in with its sponsorship of NBC’s “Fashion Star” show.
Macy’s sent SMS messages before the show to remind consumers to tune-in and shop looks from the episode after the show aired (see story).
The Fashion Star-themed SMS message that Macy's sent
By using real-time polling and quizzes via SMS, push notifications and mobile Web sites, brands can gauge what types of messages consumers are most responsive to.
Although still new, the possibility of tying real-time offers with Bluetooth technology could also cause a splash with interactive advertising.
“As set top boxes evolve, the interactivity of the applications that they support may improve,” said Alex Romanov, CEO/president of iSIGN, Richmond Hill, ON.
“An example may be voting for a favorite chip flavor to get a voucher for a free bag of chips emailed to you or texted to you,” he said.
“Interaction will be limited to whoever holds the remote and may prove difficult given the format of remotes. If set top boxes were to include support for the wireless standards used in mobile devices, phones could interact with them. This may come later.”
To ramp up an SMS effort, a mobile call-to-action could be placed on TV and encourage users to opt-in to the program. In addition to asking a consumer to participate in the live program, a text message could be used to deliver mobile coupons and encourage app downloads.
CBS uses on-air calls to action to drive app downloads, but what about a post-download engagement?
Social media can also be an effective way to connect with consumers who are watching live TV. Not only are consumers watching TV with their mobile device in hand, they also want to share their experience with friends and family.
Social TV apps such as GetGlue and Viggle are aimed at working with brands to reward consumers for checking-in to their favorite shows.
For instance, Viggle, which is a social TV app that was launched earlier this year, lets consumers earn reward points for each live TV show that they check-in to – the points can then be redeemed for gift cards. The company claims to have more than 625,000 users.
The Weather Channel integrated into the Viggle app
“I think the future will all be about engagement — creating an immersive experience with the content and doing it across mediums,” Vibes’ Mr. Philbin said.
“Brands have a great opportunity right now — and in the future — to connect with the consumer in a highly-integrated way,” he said.
“This movement toward engagement, for consumers, will trigger immediate offers that can provide incentives for immediate purchase from tablets and smartphones.”
Although there is a massive opportunity for mobile marketers with TV, some experts question how effective multitasking consumers are.
Additionally, without a solid ROI attached to campaigns, marketers and agencies might be hesitant to put big budget money behind mobile initiatives. Similar to other digital marketing efforts, mobile and TV interaction can be difficult to measure.
“There is a human issue with watching TV, downloading an app and waiting for it to download. By then, the ad is over. I do not believe people can truly multitask,” said Eric Johnson, president of Ignited, El Segundo, CA.
“It is clumsy and creates a problem with the programmer and users not paying attention to the rest of the program,” he said.
Additionally, with streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and Apple all changing the way that consumers watch TV, it can be difficult for companies to know which digital channels are worth investing in. With broadcasters and networks struggling to revamp business models, mobile gives advertisers another chance to capture users who are creating their own TV-watching schedules.
“It is still in the early days with figuring out how all these devices interact with each other,” Mr. Johnson said.
“In the long run, the more you can make connections to all marketing channels, the better you can create more impactful, memorable moments,” he said.
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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