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If TV is missing from your media plan, you’re missing out

TV Masters is a free course from Thinkbox designed to deliver a comprehensive understanding of today’s TV and TV advertising

Last year, 1,243 companies advertised on TV in the UK for the first time or returned after being away for five or more years. That’s an increase of 50% on 2019.

One reason was the fall in the price of TV advertising in 2020 when the pandemic hit made it accessible to brands that had never considered the medium before. Another is the rise of advanced TV as the geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioral targeting it offers makes TV attractive for brands of all sizes and advertising needs.

And yet there’s still a lingering sense in some quarters that TV doesn’t matter as much anymore. That it’s old-fashioned. Non-digital. Un-sexy.

Omni-channel is the marketing buzz-phrase of our times. It is defined as “marketing that focuses on delivering a consistent, personalized experience for consumers across channels and devices.”

For a long time, omni-channel was more like omni-digital-channel. There were a number of reasons for this. Established media advertising like TV tend to be measured differently; the challenge of tracking a customer journey offline makes attribution less straightforward; individually targeted messaging wasn’t really an option. In other words, established media like TV were seen as incompatible with the “consistent, personalized” part of omni-channel.

Two things have happened. The first is that TV has undergone its own digital transformation. That’s what advanced TV is: a combination of the dynamic, one-to-one ad delivery of online, along with its huge volumes of first-party data, together with the high-quality, scalable and brand-safe environment of TV.

The second change is that brands are increasingly realizing that top-of-the-funnel, awareness-building activity – all the stuff that TV is great at – doesn’t need to be personalized. Targeted, great. Relevant, brilliant. But personalized? Not really. In fact there is even a suggestion that personalization at this stage might be bad for brands, because trying to be all things to all customers might weaken their sense of the brand’s identity.

At the same time, the idea that online media have pushed TV into the background is simply wrong. For all the hype – and, sometimes, scandal – around video platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, TV accounts for two-thirds of the average UK adult’s video watching. Even 16-34 year olds – the digital natives who apparently don’t watch TV – do almost half (45%) their daily video watching with TV. For years, every new online channel has been heralded as “the new television”. But for marketers looking for reach, scale and effectiveness at the top of the funnel, the new television is…well, television.

What TV can deliver for your media mix

The other important factor to consider about TV is how well it plays with other media. A 2019 study showed that TV has by far the highest multiplier effect of any media channel. Added to a media campaign, it boosted the performance of the other channels by as much as 54%.

What TV can deliver for your career

Lockdown has made us all think about up-skilling. We’ve seen how important it is to add more strings to your bow in case unexpected circumstances – like a pandemic – require your brand or client to adapt their strategy, or mean you have to make an unexpected career detour. So, it’s more important than ever for agency and brand practitioners at all levels to be well-versed in the world of TV. Not only does it make you more well-rounded and effective in your role, you also never know when TV might turn up on the agenda for your next meeting.

TV Masters can help

Even as the falling cost of TV advertising was making it available to entirely new swathes of businesses, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, Thinkbox, was realizing there was a new barrier to its use. Understanding of TV advertising among marketers and agency staff was slipping, a result of younger staff’s media consumption habits, TV being taken for granted, TV knowledge being siloed, and global tech giants taking over agencies’ and advertisers’ mental space.

So Thinkbox launched TV Masters. It’s a free, six-part course designed to deliver a comprehensive understanding of today’s TV and TV advertising. It’s relevant to all levels from students to the C-suite. And it’s also CPD certified and IPA CPD hours eligible.

The six on-demand video-based modules look at: the evolving UK video landscape; TV’s role in video advertising; planning and buying TV; advertising effectiveness; TV partnerships; and advanced TV advertising.

So far the course has been a huge success, with 6,263 people signing up since it launched in October 2020. It’s attracted practitioners from every marketing discipline, and 95% of people graduating recommend it.

TV remains a crucial channel for marketers with a reach like no other. Don't miss the chance to learn how you can get the best results from your TV marketing. Thinkbox’s TV Masters course is now open for enrolment. For more information, click here.