Welcome to the Interact Congress Blog. We have invited some leading European guest bloggers to share their observations on interactive marketing and communication skills within the integrated experience. The blog also offers you a first opportunity to interact with your peers.

For more information about the congress, please visit www.interactcongress.eu

Friday, 4 May 2007

Using TV to unlock the power of the web

Back in the mid-nineties the online marketing industry’s research agenda was all about how online could build brands, proving that the exposure to banners worked in a way comparable to press or outdoor. Did banners build brands? Yes. At the time, the research was revolutionary, uncovering a mathematical certainty and a truth of this new media channel for the very first time. Fast-forward to today and it’s about the brand building power of all media; mashed up together in a new diet of consumer behaviour, what should the advertiser’s mix be? Where exactly does online fit?

When i-Level teamed up with Yahoo and Hitwise at the end of last year to look at the new mix of media, their insights were rich and deep. They were digging into the relationship between TV and the web, and how marketing activity on TV triggered an uplift in searched online.

First up some of the basics were proved: online was “a highly effective medium for driving brand awareness and message association,” explained i-Level’s Amanda Davie at the IAB Europe Leadership Council in London today.

Next it went further, confirming that the combination of online and offline delivers the best yield and drives better awareness. It then examined the way that on-air mentions of the Sky brand drove immediate searches and web activity. Back in the late nineties Yahoo stumbled on this and created their ‘Buzz Index’ to gauge how popular a brand was so it’s no surprise they were one of the three partners behind this piece.

This collection of research studies, which included the Sky television network, looked at the behaviour of experienced online advertisers. Sky already put in 11% of their overall advertising budget into online, and the AA motoring breakdown service put 14% of their spend into online. By helping experienced online advertisers improve their media mix, this also reveals the reality that ‘best practice’ is still evolving.

“In the search marketing industry we’re still in our infancy”, explains Davie, “and much of the research we all use comes from the US. But here in Europe there’s a difference in the media mix and what we were trying to do was learn about how search could work with classic media advertising.”

Most revealing of all according to Davie was that “TV advertising can change the way the media mix works, often reducing the cost of other media”. As an agency, i-Level are clear that this work fundamentally changed their advertisers’ use of each media channel.

Two of the often cited powers of online advertising are measurability and accountability. But here with ‘search’, the data can actually be used to measure the impact of other media spends within the media mix. The studies tell us lots about the way people use media today, sliding seamlessly from one channel to another. The challenge many media planners still face is that they are not tracking the activity a campaign creates when that activity is in a different channel.

For experienced online advertisers this will be a familiar story, but for many marketers, understanding the relationship between the media channels urgently needs more attention. Audiences have shifted, new marketing channels have leapt into the mainstream, the strategic media is ripe for radical reassessment, yet many campaigns begin by dusting off the previous plan and applying only minor changes. With audience behaviours changing on the vast scale that they are, this approach prevents the planner from being able to address the real picture.

• Point 1: Online builds brands
• Point 2: Online and TV together build brands more effectively
• Point 3: Understand the precise role of each channel and you can completely change the mechanics of your campaign

Need more? Contact your national IAB for more research studies or Yahoo, Hitwise and i-Level for more about this.

No comments: