How NBCU and A&E's Partnerships Might Revitalize TV and Radio

Both areas have been hard at work competing with digital media

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This month two major television networks, NBCUniversal and A&E, announced partnerships with platforms that not only help measure ad engagement but guarantee audience viewership. In the past, digital media has forced more traditional mediums like TV and radio to the backburner, but now in 2018, these “oldies” are measuring up—literally. The attention given to deliverability is becoming the perennial focus when it comes to advertising and audience engagement.

Radio and TV have ramped up their metadata content and reporting solutions to adhere to what advertisers and brands not only request, but require. Measurements, KPIs and ROIs are needed to gauge participation across target audiences, and digital media isn’t the only one offering these services anymore. Some of the oldest mediums in the game are getting into comprehensive campaign reporting, too.

Digital saturation

While digital advertising remains a very crucial part of brand campaigns, the market for advertisers is as saturated as ever. Consumers are subjected to over 4,000 advertisements a day, spending over half of their days on digital media. Even among brand giants, it takes a lot of creativity and effort to stand out amongst competing consumer audiences.

In spite of this increased competition and overall oversaturation, digital advertising, accounting for 72 cents of every new ad dollar spent, is here to stay. Yet, in tandem with digital spend, we’re also beginning to see agencies spread funds back across older mediums, too.

We saw this play out last year with P&G, when the brand cut their digital ad spend citing their ads were being seen by “a bot and not a person.” Altering ad dollars accordingly may be in a brand’s best interest when it comes to encouraging the highest consumer engagement.

Digital advertising, accounting for 72 cents of every new ad dollar spent, is here to stay.

To start, brands should always be defining campaign goals. What are you trying to achieve: awareness, consideration or action? Once you hone in on what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s also important to remember that good creative makes a big difference. Brands should be ensuring that their creative teams are thinking with the campaign goals in mind and with the understanding of the platform (in this case, TV or radio) it will be on. If you’re allocating funds for TV and radio, your campaign work should reflect those mediums, goals-wise and creatively.

ROI has always been the name of the game

Like most things in business, everything often comes down to budget. In the past year, brands have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch full-scale digital campaigns, only to prove lackluster return on ad spend. With new ways to measure ad accuracy, retention and engagement, more traditional (and inherently cheaper) platforms could serve as a better allocation of internal funds.

According to Nielsen data, every dollar spent on radio advertising returned (at its lowest) $3 back to brands, while other industries saw (at its highest) $17 in 2017. Paired with the current ability to measure and target listeners, the possible ROAS could be greater for a small business or even bigger brands trying to test out their target demographics or newer campaign initiatives.

When it comes to ROI, understanding who your customer is when listening or watching radio/TV is crucial. Maybe your brand is looking to shift its target segment? Or maybe just maintain a current customer group? Or is the focus strictly on trying out a new target segment? The answer to these questions can help determine the best approach in adding marketing solutions to your strategy.

Also, local matters! Radio’s local and regional targeting allows you to reach consumers when they’re in that local mindset. Same goes for TV. These are significant proof points when considering ROI for particular segments of campaign work.

Have we forgotten the numbers?

TV and radio top Nielsen charts, reaching up to 93 percent of the population per week. With more eyes and ears, the likelihood of brand engagement is higher by default, but through proper targeting, these audiences can be sliced to see or hear the things that matter the most to them.

Not only can radio and TV provide a portal to help your target audience be the most engaged, but if paired with the correct frequency and spot placement, it could be a recipe for success for brands. Although listeners are loyal, they do tire, so it’s important you are airing your ad at the right times for the right amount of times.

Radio and TV are far from dead

For TV and radio, the more you know about your listener/viewer—behavior (e.g., time of day, formats, day of week, time spent listening/watching), demographic profile and location—the better your understanding of the consumer journey and the better refined and effective your campaign will be. While some may have forgotten radio and TV’s allure, the current prowess of both mediums will make it hard for decision-makers to ignore.

With cheaper and more genuine targeting within a larger sampling pool, marketers, advertisers and agencies can have a leg up because, at the end of the day, don’t we want consumers to engage genuinely in 2018 rather than passively see, hear or click? Wasn’t that advertising’s purpose to begin with?