Lead Forensics

A Dashing Duo: TV and Online Businesses

04 January 2019

Online businesses are now the heaviest investors in TV advertising, according to the latest research presented by Thinkbox at its event, Clickedy boom: why online brands love TV.

A host of experts converged to share and discuss the reasons behind television’s ever-evolving power as a short- and long-term driver of response and growth, with Nick Hirst, Head of Planning at adam&eveDDB, citing the mass reach and emotional impact offered by the small screen as key. However, he warned that brands “need to be ready; in an infrastructure sense, you can’t have things falling over when you get a 200-300% increase in traffic.”

Test, learn and respond

Alluding to the fact that the average viewer spends 39 minutes a day on the internet whilst watching TV, Hirst said: “If people are going to be sitting on their sofa checking [your website], and it’s not slick and it falls over, then they can easily move on to something else.”

Amy Tocock, Head of AV Strategy at PHD, said that whilst TV advertising can be expensive – especially if the focus is on a longer-term, brand building strategy – there are “cheaper routes in,” going on to say how a “short-term, response-driven approach” centered on a “daytime-only, broader adult audience” plan and “tightly-targeted multichannel stations” represents a cost-effective way for online businesses to enter the market without investing tens of millions.

She stressed the importance of “testing and learning”, with regional targeting one way of trialling TV’s effectiveness before harnessing its power of scalability to evolve and build your brand.

Following on from this was Hannah Wilson, Head of Marketing at Gumtree. Sharing her tips for online startups new to TV, Wilson highlighted the need to find an agency that “really gets your brand and what you’re trying to deliver.” She also stressed the need for flexibility, and a planning structure that means agencies can react to the demands of fast-paced markets and dynamic business models.

Scalable brand building, with PurpleBricks

Encapsulating all of the points expressed by the panel, the audience was treated to a fascinating case study on how TV was utilised to deliver mass reach, fame and trust for Purplebricks.

Adopting a scalable approach, the exclusively-online estate agent invested in television from the start: first implementing a regional test phase on ITV; then widening coverage by including more areas; integrating Channel 4’s regional framework into the strategy; introducing smaller, cost-effective multi-channel stations once the brand achieved national reach of 90%; and finally supplementing its television campaign with a consistent presence on radio.

Additionally, PurpleBricks’ TV activity has improved the performance of its digital channels; enhancing the efficiency of PPC by driving cheaper branded search, whilst also lowering the cost-per-click by increasing ‘non-paid’ traffic through increased brand recognition. Television creatives also provided source material for effective display ads, aiding the development of a unified brand identity that helped create a sense of scale.

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