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After H&M's Super Bowl Ad, Is T-Commerce Poised to Take Off?

The Movement's in the Spotlight, but Marketers Need to Up the Game

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Savvy marketers are all a-Twitter over David Beckham. But it's not the video of the soccer star running through the Hollywood Hills wearing nothing but a pair of H&M boxer briefs; It's the debut of real-time shop-able TV in that Super Bowl commercial.

The big-box retailer partnered with Delivery Agent to allow consumers to use their remotes to purchase items as they appeared in the ad. As the soccer star struts his stuff, folks with Samsung Smart TVs received a real-time, on-screen call to action prompting them to buy the things they like. Can this strategy carry over to long-term sales? QVC, HSN and AsSeenOn.com have built multi-million dollar empires the old-school way.

Marketers are approaching t-commerce in a myriad of ways. Sons of Anarchy blazed trails with after-the-fact sales, relying predominantly on super fans who want "as-seen-on" merchandise. In the case of Shazam, they are enabling emotional connection and impulse buys that are driving a ton of music sales. And with H&M's Beckham commercial during the Super Bowl, the t-commerce movement is finally getting a little time in the spotlight. But for t-commerce to be sustainable, marketers have to up the game.

Here are three key things that need to happen for t-commerce to thrive.

Use Big Data to Increase Lifestyle Targeting. For the past 50 years of TV, we've been relying strictly on panels to determine viewership, and that in turn drove advertising spend. Now cable companies like Comcast and NBC Universal's NBCU+ service, powered by Comcast, can collect data about viewers, the shows they watch and the sites they visit online. While the personally identifiable information isn't shared, they can still merge demographic data with psychographic data and place targeted household-level video-on-demand TV ads that can be bought and sold like digital. How much longer until this becomes part of the live feed? Not long.

Brands can also use this information to find a show whose fans are within their target consumer segments. By knowing more about the fans of the show, brands can deliver unique messaging via product integration and organically infuse creative into the show. For example, Ford hit two very different targets with "American Idol" and "White Collar" fans, using two different in-show integrations. This type of integrated lifestyle targeting encourages fans to become ambassadors of the brand as much as the show. Supercharge it with a relevant 30-second TV spot, and brand favorability, impact and recognition increase. This, in turn, drives a higher chance for success for the t-commerce promotions that occur alongside the show.

Leverage Consumers' Preferred Platforms With a Unified-Screen Strategy. A unified-screen strategy means threading through a narrative and providing content in context at every point in the customer journey, meeting the consumer where he already is and providing something of value to him on that particular platform. Keeping this in mind forces brands to take their marketing goals, think about the full funnel and really consider the ways that viewers use their preferred social networks.

Music lovers will "Shazam" music during a show. Fans who want to see exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from celebrities love Instagram. People who love watching TV with other fans will hang out on Facebook and Twitter. The question is how effectively t-commerce can incorporate these channels with paid and owned media, to both raise awareness and simultaneously activate a call to action that drives purchase.

Ladies and Gentleman, Synchronize Your Adverts. For a unified-screen strategy to really shine, all touch points need to be properly synchronized. That means timing each moment in the customer journey with the platform best suited for that message. Not only do you meet the customer where he hangs out, but you also gently guide him down the funnel.

Here's one example. The rumored Twitter commerce could be a huge boon for advertisers savvy enough to use their TV spots as promotional platforms to drive transactions on Twitter cards that have been synchronized with those spots. Connecting emotionally with a viewer through the storytelling in the spot, they can now use the Twitter Commerce card as a touch point to drive sales

Brands that can use these tactics to meet the target demographic where those people are already engaging socially -- and with strategically synchronized content -- will be able to guide the customer journey in whole new way. H&M's shoppable Beckham boxers are just the beginning of this brave new world.

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