J&C Blog

Find all the latest marketing trends on the J&C Blog.

Blurred Lines: TV for Demand Generation and Nurturing

Posted by Craig Greenfield on January 17, 2014

New technologies have emerged and changed everything, including how people discover products, shop, buy, share with friends and communicate with brands. This new landscape has helped to evolve consumers to become empowered participants who fluidly move across a seemingly endless marketing spiral—search, content, social, display and offline channels. With the rise of social media, the lines between paid, owned and earned media blur as participant interactions are tracked across a wide spectrum, leaving behind 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day.

Often, the various marketing channels that resonate with participants are complementary. This is particularly apparent with TV and digital; participants are increasingly leveraging their tablets and smartphones to search, tweet and browse while watching TV. As participants move across TV and digital, advertisers are increasing budgets to engage them. Television advertising remains the lion’s share of all global ad spend ($350 billion, 62.8% of total spend), and it’s showing no signs of losing steam. In fact, TV ad spend grew 4.3% globally in 2012, according to Nielsen. Internet spend is growing at a faster clip (9.9% year-over-year), but certainly not at the expense of TV (print is declining).

There was a time when these two channels—TV and digital—seemed at odds. But this year, advertisers have started to embrace TV + digital integration, creating complementary cross-screen experiences to better capture brand awareness driven by TV. And the lines are not only blurring around TV and digital advertising experiences, they’re also blurring around how the two mediums are planned, measured, optimized—and even bought. Propelled by advancement in measurement and technology, we’re seeing that TV can be used for both demand generation and nurturing.

TV for Nurturing

TV has always been viewed as a brand-building channel. And, as advertisers better integrate TV and digital planning, we’re getting a better idea of how TV specifically impacts a marketer’s ability to cultivate brand equity. For example, we’re better understanding how TV commercials impact search volume and click-through rates (CTR), e.g. how brand awareness generated by TV manifests itself online. To illustrate, we recently employed regression analysis to predict searcher behavior from TV TRPs for a major retailer—across a variety of different creative types. We found that branding, awareness-driven creative was most impactful in driving search volume, clicks and CTRs across brand terms for the client. CTR increases demonstrated the value of TV in prompting aided/unaided awareness and recall upon exposure to search ads.

Our findings show that digital ads (like search ads) work best when integrated with other efforts (like TV branding ads) to create a more powerful sales environment where brands can be seen and heard. By better understanding the associations that contribute to brand equity and how those associations tie back to business results, brand managers can nurture those associations and prioritize investments based on their impact to the brand and the business. These findings are also useful from an integrated planning and measurement perspective in that they encourage marketing activities that incorporate TV campaign flighting into search budget planning to capture incremental demand driven by TV commercials.

TV for Demand Generation

In addition to integrated TV and digital planning, the two channels could also soon be bought in similar ways—leveraging a direct response model. To illustrate, one of the hallmarks of direct response digital advertising—in paid search, bidded display and performance social—is the ability for advertisers to bid for inventory in a real-time, dynamic marketplace. Advertisers bid based on keywords, dayparts, channels, devices, position, etc., and they leverage programmatic platforms for real-time, cross-channel bid management. Direct TV (DRTV) advertisers have also historically bid for placements; however, there’s no automation. The DRTV bid is based on a phone call settled by a handshake, not an algorithm within a technology platform.

But recently, agencies, technology companies and networks are building and testing automated, bid-based platforms for buying addressable TV. To date, these platforms have been limited to remnant inventory. In fact, Google recently shuttered its TV Ads platform as it was unable to secure enough premium inventory in desirable dayparts from the networks who fear losing their grip. However, these developments have spurred speculation around the evolution of programmatic buying, and industry analysts have predicted that programmatic TV buys will be the majority of all buys by 2020.1

A direct response model also makes sense in light of the recent revolution in TV watching. Viewers are abandoning/limiting cable for Netflix, Apple TV, YouTube, Aereo, etc. In the past, TV advertisers could reach huge swaths of viewers at specific times when popular shows aired on premiere. Now, viewers watch content wherever and whenever they want, and much of this content isn’t even ad-supported (e.g. Netflix, HBO Go, Watch ESPN).

This fragmentation mirrors fragmentation on the Web and may require TV advertisers to adopt digital, audience-based targeting strategies to find viewers—which is much more difficult than it was in the past. So let’s take a look at digital, direct-response, audience-based buying. In paid search marketing, we buy specific audiences via keywords (which tell us the intent of the searcher; e.g. “I’m interested in ‘keyword: plaid pants’”). In performance display, we buy specific audiences via data sources (demographics, first- and third-party cookies). In TV, historically, advertisers bought an entire market, whoever the audience. Now, with addressable TV—especially household addressability—advertisers can buy specific groups/segments (like household income), thus cutting out waste. Addressable TV is changing the expectations of TV advertisers. TV advertisers, like digital advertisers, can now quantify metrics well beyond just impressions (eyeballs). With addressable TV, measurement strategies will evolve to bridge the gap between advertising theory and performance.

Everything in TV/video is on the cusp of change; the way TV and online media is planned and bought will certainly be part of this change. The evolution will be complex—and likely messy, requiring a hybrid approach. This makes it an exciting time for advertisers, agencies and networks to work together to develop models to bring TV/video buying fully into the addressable, programmatic, biddable age to better engage the right audiences at the right price. Direct marketing methods will become much more important as digital TV becomes a brand-building, data-driven marketing vehicle.

Thank you to Douglas Madden, Producer at Visible World; Josh Martin, Executive Vice President at Zenith Optimedia Direct; Daphne Pan, Senior Strategy & Analytics Analyst at Performics; Roy Wollen, President of Hansa Marketing Services; and the students at the Jacobs & Stone Multichannel Marketing Communications (MC2) Certificate Program for the valuable insights used in creating this article.



More and more B2B marketers are beginning to see that effective lead generation and nurturing survive on the importance of customer/viewer data. If your company is in the digital realm, converting social media into social CRM is a great driver for data collection that can inform more integrated and successful inbound campaigns. Start your strategy for turning social media and CRM into leads with Jacobs & Clevenger's personalized workshop, Transforming B2B Social Media into a Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing Machine.


1. “Convergent Audience Buys Projected To Supplant Conventional TV Buys,” by Joe Mandese, MediaPost.

Topics: Driving response

Recent Posts