Cross-media campaigns are here to stay, thus the need for advertisers to understand how to combine channels to achieve campaign goals most effectively. In this article, Lucy Gill, our Sales Director in the UK, shares her insights on linear and digital TV and how to combine the channels to achieve optimal reach.

What is the language of TV?

The language of TV refers to the metrics used by TV buyers to quantify and verify TV campaign performance, such as TVRs/TRPs, reach, frequency, universe, etc.

TV is still a hugely effective and dynamic medium with a large audience – a big broadcast medium that advertisers cannot ignore. Most traditional TV buyers use the metrics above to quantify the impact of TV advertising and as the currency to plan TV campaigns. On the other hand, when it comes to digital TV, a whole new set of metrics, such as CPM, on-target percentage, viewability and engagement, come into play.

With all these metrics available, it is challenging for advertisers to compare traditional TV against digital TV in terms of like-for-like KPIs. Therefore, we encourage advertisers to focus on reach as the common language for the two channels.

It has been proven in various studies, including our Linear TV and streaming study, that linear TV can work very well in combination with the emerging digital TV offerings. Therefore, the need to have a common language to evaluate and optimise campaigns is more important than ever, especially given the pressure linear TV is under.

This is one of the reasons why I look forward to collaborating with more advertisers – to help them understand how they can get the best value and effectiveness out of their media planning by combining linear and digital TV.

How the language of TV helps advertisers understand campaign efficiency

The first step is ensuring that your message reaches your target audience at the right price. The goal is essentially to optimise campaigns, or eliminate inefficiencies, to achieve optimal reach at an optimal cost-per-reach point. However, it is essential that advertisers optimise based on reliable insights, given that there is still no ‘catch-all’ cross-media currency for linear TV and digital TV.

Guesswork is not a road to riches! The language of TV must be applied to comparable digital TV formats to make a fair cross-media assessment – you, of course, cannot ‘reverse match’ digital metrics like CPMs, impressions and clicks into the linear TV environment.

When looking at linear TV, the key metric is reach – quality reach. So, advertisers need to understand two main things:

  • The reach generated by their campaigns
  • If the digital TV reach is comparable in quality to the linear TV reach

TV has a proven impact on ad viewers because it is a large screen, high-quality and non-skippable environment. Digital TV campaigns must live up to the same standards to expect and assess the same effect. In this way, instead of trying to make sense of the numerous metrics that come with linear and digital TV separately, cross-media reach insights help advertisers evaluate their campaigns on a common ground and optimise accordingly.

The new normal in the TV landscape

I’ve learned from TV that it is still a very robust, qualified medium, which nearly all advertisers trust and have established as the primary foundation of their media plans.

I also think that, if anything, media planners need to evolve the way they think about TV for three main reasons:

  • TV is no longer a siloed medium
  • Digital TV is growing rapidly
  • It is getting extremely challenging to capture consumers’ attention

There is much value that digital TV can lend to linear TV, especially in terms of targeting and incremental reach. Of course, that’s why the linear TV broadcasters all have their own scaled BVOD services. But even outside of BVOD, some of our clients have measured the incremental reach delivered by a Connected TV campaign on top of linear TV (Magnite measuring the incremental reach of CTV to linear TV) to get insight into how it complements linear TV. In other words, there is growing value for advertisers in understanding cross-media reach!

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