By Nicole Andani

Many North Americans still watch over three hours of television daily. But that amount has been declining1.

More importantly, the manner in which consumers watch has dramatically changed. Traditional TV watching has now changed to “personalized content on the go”. Programming is being streamed or PVR’d and viewers are absorbing media through multiple channels beyond TV alone, such as smartphones, mobile apps, tablets, social media and Apple watches.

The “yell and sell” infomercials of years gone past do not work in this day and age. The 28:30-minute product demonstration doesn’t check all the boxes for today’s consumer in terms of interaction, engagement and viewing on multi-media devices called the “second screens”.

The ending of linear buying
Our industry went from infomercials and short form spots and scarcity to retail domination, followed by online as independent sales platforms on their own. With many known retailers going under or shrinking, combined with Amazon being a disruptor and in many cases a competitor, it is well-known that consumers are going online to learn about a product, service and access reviews before making a purchase. Just look at how each of us shops these days.

Moreover, the order itself may not even be placed on Amazon and its ilk. Instead it may be made on the landing pages or sites of retailers advertising deals or to special rewards programmes and points sites.

That linear purchase we became so accustomed to (1-800# or web site URL for the win) is therefore no longer. Customers are increasingly going online for brands that align with their lifestyles, ethical or political standpoints and then taken on a journey to comparison shop amongst multiple platforms.

SEO working with TV
The higher the price point, where the investment is greater, the more engaged the consumer wants to be with the actual brand in question and those that have already purchased it. Therefore, search engine optimization (SEO), namely the Google Ads or keywords searched, are more important than ever to be found. And TV ads, including PR, are a huge part of driving that brand-related search.

It’s nothing new that SEO and TV ads must work well together. One trick we’ve learned is to boost your search bids on Google Ads a few minutes after an ad or PR segment is aired or to move online ads to the top of the search engine.

Media agencies are definitely challenged to seek ways to incorporate TV (DR short and long form) with multi-channel outlets like Facebook, Instagram, mobile apps and programmatic advertising in ways to attract the demographic, convert the sale and retain the customer by re-marketing to them.

But the “Spray and Pray” model still widely being used by many running TV campaigns, whether traditional or DR related is no longer working. Consumers want content—and ads—customized and personalized to them and their interests. However, with new analytics available, that old philosophy will be abandoned by marketers to adopt more specific tools about optimizing ads to get the best return on investment (ROI).

The new recipe
Direct Response TV (DRTV) was once a powerful platform on its own. But it cannot exist now in 2019 without affecting, driving or cross-selling to newer platforms: it’s all about the integrated campaign.

DRTV works well with digital mediums and serves as a connection between “old media” and new media. We can see that TV needs digital and digital needs TV to create a better brand experience for the customer’s journey.

Guthy Renker has done it best with PROACTIV in terms of acquiring the “lifetime value of the customer”. So, it boils down to the convergence of online and offline mediums, between DR + DA (digital advertising). This recipe allows the opportunity for a brand to be seen, to build, to gain exposure and generate consumer confidence and ultimate brand engagement. At that point, it’s about having a good product that tells a good story and invites the customer back again to rinse and repeat.

Nicole Andani is vice president, international sales and marketing, Northern Response (International) Ltd. ( Nicole is a global marketing and brand consultant, writer, speaker and mentor.

1 Catherine Martellini, “Internet: Four Global Trends to Watch Out For”, CMF Trends, July 26, 2019.

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Lloydmedia, Inc is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and is a multi-platform media company which delivers a total audience of more than 100,000 readers across four national magazines, three industry directories, and a range of events and online marketing.