What’s working, what isn’t, and how can we do better?” These are questions every marketer asks about their campaigns. And, thanks to media feedback loops created from readily
available and timely data, they can confidently answer them.
A feedback loop is the process of action-information-reaction: how an advertiser reaches consumers, how
consumers learn about the brand, and how they engage with
it (whether a sale, app download, site traffic, etc.).
Traditionally, data access has been abundant in the digital realm, making for easy measurement and optimization.
With offline channels — most notably TV — marketers
have had to rely on retrospective data, and feedback loops
are only as accurate and timely as the data involved. But recent analytical technologies have changed, making TV just
as measureable and optimizable as digital.
Close to 90 percent of TV viewers have second screens in
hand or nearby, which helps to produce real-time data trails
that marketers can learn from. Brands can now measure how
online and offline channels impact and influence each other
along the customer journey.
TV’s Kicker Effect
As second-screening grows — last year, 146.9 million
Americans browsed via mobile while watching TV — so
does active-participation TV viewing. This is when people
see TV ads that interest them and immediately engage with
the brand via digital.
Additionally, with TV content increasingly available
through video-on-demand (VOD) and over-the-top (OTT)
services, the division between online
and offline is disappearing. TV is now
simply a part (albeit a big part) of a
multichannel media mix. Advertisers
can’t afford to think in online and offline silos anymore.
Building an Effective Feedback Loop
The rise of second screens and the
real-time measurability of TV shorten
the distance between information and
reaction. Advertisers can measure
feedback loops that inform future
marketing efforts. But before they can
realize these benefits, marketers need
to keep some things in mind:
; Think holistically about media strategies. As humans,
it’s in our nature to compartmentalize — segment
things into different categories to make sense of and
bring order to our world.
In recent years, advertisers have started to smash the
false dichotomy of TV vs. digital, thinking about how
channels work together and influence each other. For
brands to take advantage of — and optimize — feedback loops they have to take holistic, complementary,
cross-channel approaches to their media strategies.
; Think strategically about calls-to-action. Studies show
that TV ads drive both online and offline response.
Some ads are particularly effective at driving branded
search or site visits, while others may promote social
engagement or telephone calls.
More brands are designing their TV campaigns
around the second-screening viewer, meaning they use
clear, strong, mobile calls-to-action within their TV
creatives. Adore Me was one of the first advertisers to
do this, with a spot featuring an actress saying, “I know
your phone’s out, so look them up.”
; Think about unified campaign insight. In reality, one
media channel is rarely the sole reason for closing a
sale. A TV spot might initially drive viewers to visit a
site, but they may then be exposed to sponsored search
listings and/or Facebook ads before the deal is finally
sealed. The whole process could take days, weeks, or
months. Technologies like marketing mix models
(MMMs) and multi-touch attribution (MTA) — or
a combination of both — help advertisers understand
how online and offline channels interact with each
other and impact business outcomes.
; Measure, Optimize, Repeat. To take advantage of the
knowledge gained from feedback loops, speed is of the
essence. Marketers must have real-time views into
response and channel performance — what’s working
and what’s not. Measurement and optimization is an
ongoing cycle: we can always get smarter, act faster,
and have more successful campaigns.
The opportunity to create and learn from feedback loops
is huge. TV is unrivaled for driving awareness, but it’s now
even more powerful by kick-starting an array of digital responses too. For advertisers, the chance to create, measure,
and improve media feedback loops has never been greater.
It’s time: act, inform, react. ;
TV, Second Screens, and the
Art of the Feedback Loop
By Kevin O’Reilly