In “Putting Viewership Data to Work for TV Campaigns,” the latest installment of “All Advertising Is Local,” the custom video series presented by Ad Age Studio 30 in partnership with Comcast Spotlight, we interviewed marketing experts to learn more about how advertisers can use viewership insights to reach audiences in the ever-evolving and fragmented TV landscape.
The challenge for advertisers is that television watching has gone well beyond traditional viewership habits. “It’s no longer just about the big four networks in primetime,” says Heather Coghill, senior director of audience insights at Comcast Spotlight. “Over two-thirds of all viewing happens outside of prime, and households are watching more and more networks than ever before.”
In its research for “The TV Viewership Report," Comcast Spotlight analyzed 9 billion hours of viewership data in Q1 2019. And despite audience fragmentation, the researchers found that average daily viewership had actually increased more than 20 percent, from 5 hours and 32 minutes to 6 hours and 25 minutes. So the opportunities for advertisers to reach consumers are still abundant.
“The rules for TV advertising have changed,” observes James Rothwell, VP global agency, brand and industry relations, Comcast Advertising. “People are watching more content in different ways. From an advertiser’s perspective, that means we need to be smarter about finding those audiences in the places that they’re showing up.”
According to Coghill, the average household watches 34 networks a quarter. Compounding that statistic is the fact that “those networks aren’t the same from household to household,” she says. The result is advertisers are now looking to audience-based strategies, such as on-demand viewing.
“Video on demand is going to prove to be the single-best advertising platform that we’ve ever invented,” says John Collins, senior managing director of Broadcast and iTV at Media Storm. “Because folks that have been watching video on demand have done one key thing: They’ve chosen to watch that particular show. With that choice comes attentiveness, and that attentiveness is so valuable to any advertiser.”
By pairing data with VOD campaigns, businesses can see if their TV spots have had an effect on potential customers with Comcast Spotlight’s new solution called Instant IMPACT. “When our TV spots are running,” says Joe Stroffolino, director of advertising and marketing for the Causeway Family of car dealerships in Manahawkin, New Jersey, “we can then look at our website analytics and see if there’s a spike in traffic within a half an hour of that spot running.”
The takeaway from this method, according to Coghill, is that “advertisers who acknowledge this change in viewership and build data-driven campaigns that incorporate more networks and broader dayparts are seeing results.”
By embracing TV’s new, broader reach, advertisers are in a unique position to cater their message directly to their audience, which benefits everyone. “TV is a platform that has the ability to move other metrics and make everything else around it perform better,” says Collins. “Because of its call to action, you can direct somebody to do a search, you can direct somebody to go to a specific website to take a specific action. And I think that’s very powerful.”
To download “The TV Viewership Report” by Comcast Spotlight for Q1 2019, click here.
About Instant IMPACT from Comcast Spotlight
Instant IMPACT is the latest addition to Comcast Spotlight’s suite of IMPACT attribution products. It shows the immediate change in web traffic after a Comcast Spotlight advertisement airs. Instant IMPACT provides insights about web traffic in the 30 minutes following the airing of linear campaign spots. With Instant IMPACT, advertisers have access to a custom dashboard to analyze web activity with filters for various campaign metrics, such as time of day and zone-level activity. Access and use the data to discover trends in website traffic—like number of visitors and visits—and see the lift following a Comcast Spotlight campaign.