Craig Lowther: Why TV Advertising Trumps Online.

Guerillascope recently hosted an exclusive event for advertisers new to TV, demonstrating the transformative effect that television advertising can have on SMEs in pursuit of scalable business growth.

One of our guest speakers was Craig Lowther, an entrepreneur with considerable experience of the role TV plays in growing a small business. He sat down with Matt Hill, research and planning director at Thinkbox, to compare the impact of both TV and online advertising on his seven businesses.

“I’m a complete TV evangelist, I love it. I love the fact that I can spend thirty grand and go and walk the dogs on the beach; all the work is being done for me by the creative.”

For Craig, having gone through the whole digital revolution across the last 14-years, there is no doubt which medium has proved to be the most effective in his experience. Asked how important advertising on TV has been to the success of his businesses, he was unequivocal in his response:

“It has been, without doubt, the cornerstone, the most pivotal medium I’ve used.”

Craig explained how, upon launching his first venture, he and his fellow directors were excited by the possibilities offered by Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. However, budgets began – and continued to – creep up, with print and radio advertising also failing to provide the return on investment he sought.

Despite this, PPC advertising initially delivered a splurge in business and value as a result of penetrating a new market and engaging new customers. Yet he quickly found that the campaign reached saturation, and the company was soon struggling.

Down to their last £50,000, Craig decided it was time to take a risk. “Let’s give TV a go,” he urged his directors. “As a sort of last throw of the dice, we made an advert with Space City for £12,000 and spent £14,000 on airtime.”

Initially, Craig was concerned about the ramifications of his decision. “I remember sitting in my parents garden waiting for the phone to ring… About half an hour after the adverts had rolled out, I hadn’t received a single call. I thought, ‘oh my god, it’s a disaster’. What had actually happened was the contact centre had been blown out of the water, so much so that they had to pull in people from other departments."

"That was the watershed moment for me; it made me realise: ‘wow, TV is really powerful’. With a really small budget, we made something like £120,000 in cash within the first week, so we reinvested it and reinvested it and reinvested it.”

Craig’s early experiences with TV advertising formed the framework for what has become an exceptionally successful growth strategy. PPC activity was significantly reduced to the point where now, in his words: “The only thing we do with Pay Per Click is protect our brand name…I spent something like 25p every time somebody Googled my brand name – and they Googled it because they had seen us on TV."

“What we found with Pay Per Click was that you have to micro-manage so much. There’s an art form to it, and you end up having to pay somebody to come in and do it for you. With TV, it just sits and plays out!”

This strategy continues to serve Craig and his businesses as effectively as ever, with the entrepreneur in no doubt that he’s established the perfect approach.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment from Craig, where he discusses the importance of finding the right TV advertising agency. Want to learn more about advertising your business on TV? Give Guerillascope a call on 0800 088 6789 today!