As TV broadcasters make it easier for brands to buy targeted audiences, they can now attract small and medium-sized businesses that have never advertised before with the allure of affordable effectiveness.
Research commissioned by ThinkBox and compiled by Data2Decisions has studied how effective TV advertising was for SMEs, studying the outcomes of more than 300 campaigns from 78 brands.
It found that out of the 78 small brands analysed, 66% of total spend was allocated to TV, a medium that returned 80% of all ad-generated sales.
It compared this to the combined spend of online advertising (including search, affiliate marketing, display and CRM), which accounted for 17% of total advertising spend but generated 6% of sales.
The research advised SME advertisers to rethink the idea that TV advertising does not “saturate” as much as online channels - and that as overall marketing budgets increase, so should TV’s share of said budgets.
It added that this channel is best used by SMEs for brand awareness rather than activation and that the optimal length for creative is generally 20 seconds. It did note that this will “differ depending on the complexity of the creative message”. Burst campaigns were found to be more effective than “dripped” activations over longer periods.
As brands grow, they are being urged to ensure more consistent TV presences all year round.
Further advice saw SMEs being urged to seek out price variances in ad pricing and seasonal sales effects to get the most out of their spend.
Matt Hill, director of research and planning at Thinkbox, said: “Smaller businesses can trust that TV will deliver for them like nothing else. Based on actual business performance, this study shows the huge impact TV has on small business growth and offers valuable practical advice on how smaller businesses can get the most out of TV and enjoy its supercharging power.”
Katherine Munford, managing director of Data2Decisions, added: “The 'Supercharge' study demonstrates that smaller businesses can confidently invest in TV – it was found to be the most effective channel to drive brand growth. The study also provides some simple guidelines on how smaller businesses can successfully implement TV to maximise return on media investment.”
Earlier this year, The Drum attended ThinkBox's retreat in Nottingham Forest to learn how it is courting media buyers on the effectiveness of TV as a marketing platform.
In 2018, the UK commercial TV broadcasters accumulated £5.11bn in advertising revenue, matching 2017’s income, according to the research. It has remained stable but could see greater income by lowering the barrier to entry for SMEs.