Research firm eMarketer released data in mid-October 2018 that highlighted the fact that digital media and advertising is poised to officially take over traditional media spending in 2019. Details from the study noted that digital advertising spends during the first half of last year actually exceeded market expectations with a total projected spend for 2018 coming in at just over $111 billion dollars. As more and more brands and marketers continue to increase their investments in digital media and digital advertising channels, eMarketer notes that they are doing so at the expense of more traditional advertising channels (Linear TV, radio, print, out-of-home, etc.).
The firm predicts that in 2019, digital media will account for 55% of total ad spending in the United States. This shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise to many, as most digital advertising mediums and channels have long offered better tracking and measurement than say, print advertising or radio. Digital is simply more trackable, allowing for brands to conduct more detailed analysis regarding their return on investment when compared to traditional media. Furthermore, many traditional media channels like out-of-home and television now have digital alternatives that provide more sophisticated audience and customer targeting and often produce far better results.
Connected TV vs. Linear (Traditional TV)
The television medium has forever been the pinnacle of advertising in many ways; Super Bowl commercials still cost a fortune and TV ads have a way of resonating with customers that other mediums simply can’t replicate. However, traditional TV audiences are shrinking as more users join the growing audience of “cord cutters” and choose digital television options like Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV, Amazon and others.
Connected TV allows franchise advertisers to reach those cord cutters and streaming TV viewers on their internet-enabled Smart TVs, over-the-top devices or game consoles like PlayStation 4. Advertising inventory on these devices is sourced directly from TV content owners, premium distributors, and/or Connected TV supply-side platforms. As a result, franchise brands can programmatically purchase and run advertising on high quality TV content to both maximize reach and control frequency across these devices.
To help maximize reach and viewership among the most desired target audiences, advertisers can also leverage additional first-party and third-party data when executing Connected TV media buys which often results in higher ad completion rates for video content when compared to other digital devices like tablets and smartphones. In short, Connected TV can replicate the traditional TV experience while offering a higher level of efficiency and better ROI.
Digital Audio vs. Traditional Radio
Streaming audio sites like Spotify and Pandora offer a much more tightly-targeted option for running radio advertisements on non-traditional radio channels. Brands can either work directly with the streaming provider or purchase radio spots on these channels programmatically and target their core audiences based on key demographic info, channel content and more. In addition, digital audio buys can also be supplemented with display ad inventory or branded channel takeovers to create a more holistic advertising experience. Much like other digital channels, performance reporting for digital audio is often much more granular and detailed than what is provided by traditional radio stations.
Digital Out-of-Home vs. Traditional Billboards & Signage
Out-of-home advertising on places like billboards or in taxi cabs has also made a major digital transformation in the past 5 years. Rather than running a single printed piece of media for a particular time period, digital out-of-home options have increased available inventory, lowering costs and increasing opportunities for placement. Digital OOH buys can also be placed during key times throughout the day so that they appear in front of your target audience when those users are most likely to be in the area to view the advertisement (i.e. Digital billboard buy during evening rush hour commute). Opportunities for Digital OOH placements go beyond billboards and can include placements in shopping malls, movie theaters, gas stations, sporting events and more.
By tapping into digital alternatives like Connected TV or Digital Out-of-Home for your media buys, franchise businesses can create a more unique media mix that better connects the dots between top-of-funnel awareness campaigns and lower-funnel customer action (i.e. purchase) campaigns. From more exact targeting to better channel integration and better performance measurement, it’s no surprise that digital mediums continue to chip away at the market share of more traditional advertising options in enhancing the ability of brands to make their marketing dollars go further and generate a better ROI. As we head into 2019, there’s little question that the shift from spending on traditional ads to spending on digital ads for advertisers will only continue to grow.
As Senior Director of Marketing, Josh Allen is responsible for planning, developing and managing Location3 and LOCALACT brand strategies, with a focus on establishing new business partnerships among franchise systems and multi-location brands. He also works with Location3 client partners to establish key initiatives for increased franchise engagement and growth. He is an active member of the International Franchise Association and has previously been featured by the American Marketing Association, Franchise Update Media, MediaPost and more discussing franchise digital marketing strategy.