It’s time to pay attention to TV again!

Advertisers have spent several years sharpening their digital marketing toolkit. The rapid advancement of technology has allowed advertisers and marketers to understand what their customers and audience are saying online, in addition to using data analysis to monetize on these stories. Needless to say, digital media buys have become more measurable than its “traditional” counterpart –  television, prompting the overall attention to shift from TV to digital. TV has become the black sheep of the marketing family, while digital has become every marketer and advertisers’ shiny new object with events and , seminars conducted to further understand it. The reality is that advertisers have isolated TV in the last few years, instead of using digital advancement to better understand and integrate both traditional and digital media. Have people stopped paying attention to TV because of its complex measurement?

Efficiency vs Effectiveness

TV remains the highest consumed media platform globally, including Asia Pacific. It is no surprise many advertisers continue to run TV campaigns for its efficiency, but the question lies on its effectiveness, mainly due to its measurement. GRPs and reach measures have been the de facto currency for TV measurement, but does it actually depict the success of these TV campaigns?  Drilling down to a specific market such as Southeast Asia, the current state of TV measurement continues to be an ongoing debateyet its share of advertising in TV will continue to grow from 54% in 2015 to 55% by 2020.  For me, numbers don’t lie, it’s evident that advertisers still see that TV as an efficient platform in the Southeast Asia region as it has the capacity to build reach , establish brand awareness and associations and drive sales.   If the organization’s TV campaign’s primary goal is to only reach people, television ratings are tremendously helpful for media buying because advertisers can reach out to a large audience at one given time. However, if the TV campaign aims to foster some kind of behavioral change from the audience, then GRPs can be limiting to measure the ROI based on those results. Advertisers need to start analyzing their TV ad campaigns based on audience reaction to determine the best cost per conversion or even the best returns. That way, advertisers are truly transforming an efficient medium into an effective one.

I mean, shouldn’t we measure TV the same way we measure digital as well?


TV has evolved too, yet it is not measured the same way

Remember when traditional buying standards on digital media were based on number of visitors and impressions? Soon companies were selling “likes” and “fans” to boost the supposed reach of these digital platforms, with little regard on its accuracy and credibility. This form of measurement has been criticized in favor of measuring audience behavior instead. For example: Looking at number of comments or clicks can be a key performance indicator for a digital campaign. We have a come a long way since then, the buying model for digital media has evolved to look at engagement and reaction from audience instead, to help advertisers get a greater value from their investment. We should start applying the same lens with TV as well.  TV remains the most dominant advertising medium globally, attracting 39% of spend in 2014. TV has evolved in the last several years as well, with companies moving beyond brand awareness and looking to drive sales and revenue  by leveraging on the second screen phenomena. In today’s changing times, audience are now enhancing their TV programme and commercial experiences by updating themselves and seeking additional information through their tablets, mobile phones or laptops. Marketers are slowly transforming the TV viewing experience into a more interactive one , and as digital and TV are beginning to converge, it is possible to quantify the value from TV buying and planning today.


Instead of isolating one medium from the other, there should be more synergy between the second screen and TV in order for advertisers to further understand how their audience or customers are responding to the TV ads.  Using this second screen platform, advertisers can now measure the impact of these TV ads and use it to further optimize their TV ad performance.

This is when companies can truly capitalize from their TV campaigns so that they can grow their TV performance and build a more sustainable buying model. So the next time you plan your marketing campaign, instead of looking TV and digital separately, why not think about how you can integrate both digital and TV to maximize your ad spend?

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