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Don’t touch that dial

Just when I was wondering what to write about, here comes my new issue of Marketing News with a cover story that provides a follow-up to my last blog, where I stated that TV was not dead. The article titled Touching that Dial is from the March 30th issue of Marketing News.  It is one of the official publications that come with your American Marketing Association membership.

I encourage all AMA members to read this article I will also encourage my Media Planning students to read it too.  It provides a good lesson in the strengths and weaknesses of the medium. Yes it confirms what I said in my last blog, but it also explains why it is true by providing research that examines the issue. For those of you who don’t have access to the article written by Piet Levy, I will provide bullet points summarizing the article.

There is no denying that TV viewing has changed

  • The 200-plus channels have fragmented the market, diluting the number of impressions that can come with one TV spot. This lowers ratings and does not produce the mass reach that we were once used to.
  • In today’s economy there is increased pressure to get results, not just increase awareness.
  • Measurement of TV has always been difficult and continues to present challenges.
  • Americans still watch TV, an average of 140 hours a month, according to Nielsen. The average viewership for 2008-2009 TV season was up 20% from 10 years ago.
  • In comparison, Americans spend 27 hours a month on the Internet.
  • TV costs have gone down according to Nielsen costs for prime time, broadcast :30 spots have gone down an average of 17%.
  • The audience fragmentation has caused lower ratings but with that comes more negotiating power for media buyers. Yeah!
  • The creation of channels devoted to niche audiences creates the opportunity for more advanced targeting opportunities.
  • As DVR’s share continues to grow, marketers need to find ways to stand out with sponsorships and interactive promotions.
  • “It is crucial to marry TV to online for better impact and reach.” Everything should be integrated. (A point I also made in my last blog.)

In conclusion, as TV has changed, consumers continue to watch, and marketers should continue to find the most efficient ways to reach their target audiences. The fragmentation has reduced some of the numbers, but it also provides more opportunities to be more targeted and therefore more cost efficient. As said in my last blog, integrating your campaigns across several media with similar creative executions/messages will increase frequency, and that is what sells.



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