In today’s digitally-focused advertising landscape, overlooking TV’s influence is easy. But at 38 percent, it still accounts for the largest share of U.S. media spending, topping digital by six percentage points, according to September 2015 figures from researcher eMarketer. As marketers increasingly focus on generating hard metrics-based ROI for every aspect of their campaigns, the challenge has been tying TV’s impact to real-world business results.
NinthDecimal, a mobile audience and location intelligence platform, is banking on TV becoming a bigger piece of the ROI puzzle. Today, the company announced the launch of a TV measurement solution in partnership with TiVo‘s research subsidiary. Called LCI TV, NinthDecimal’s new solution enables marketers to see whether or not a television campaign was successful in driving consumers to visit and make purchases at brick-and-mortar locations.
LCI TV is just one of four elements comprising NinthDecimal’s overall vision for television advertising. The other three are TV Campaign Planning — buying ads “based on where people who watch specific shows go in the physical world;” TV-to-Mobile Retargeting — mobile retargeting based on what audiences are watching; and TV Tune-In — promoting a show “on offline or digital media and [measuring] tune-in lift.”
This is new terrain; whereas the combination of sight, sound, and motion has long been known to have a powerful effect on upper-funnel brand metrics, the relationship between TV advertising and consumer behavior in the physical world has been less clear-cut. By contrast, most social media platforms and mobile-first, app-centric businesses have evolved around location from day one.
In a recent Street Fight interview, NinthDecimal’s president, David Staas, spoke about location serving as the “glue” that binds together different media channels. “Everyone talks about cross-device and the idea of being able to connect a mobile device to a desktop, but you can also connect all of that to TV, to direct mail, to out-of-home, to radio, and other forms of media,” he said. “Now you can begin to build that understanding of audience and measurement attribution of campaigns across all of that — the entire ecosystem, that omnichannel platform. That’s really what we’ve built today, an omnichannel platform for audience and measurement that’s solving that exact problem.”
Consumers’ omnichannel behavior frequently outpaces brands’ omnichannel marketing capabilities, making for tenuous links between all the media channels and devices in play. Using location-based insights to quantify the impact of TV advertising could go a long way toward determining TV’s ability to effectively drive sales, and in so doing, close one of the big open loops in consumers’ disjointed path between online and offline.
“The evolution of how people consume TV programs across multiple devices is transforming marketing strategies and measurement needs, causing marketers to re-evaluate their TV advertising spend,” NinthDecimal stated in the press release accompanying the LCI TV announcement. “These changes are creating a surge of demand across the industry for more data and new forms of measurement to more accurately evaluate the effectiveness of TV advertising, particularly in the area of conversion metrics.”
As TV becomes progressively digitized through the shift to streaming, on-demand viewing, the emergence of programmatic TV advertising, and the arrival of measurement solutions that better reflect the way consumer watch TV today, it may turn out that the billions marketers pour into TV campaigns every year yield more than just pretty pictures.
Annie Melton is Street Fight’s news editor.