In 2019, mainstream TV and radio advertising is finally accessible for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).  Until now, SMBs have been largely locked out of the powerful brand-building and revenue-driving power of TV and radio advertising due to their high costs and huge commitments.
However, behavioural and technological shifts mean it’s time for SMBs to think again. Did you know, for instance, that today more than 180 million hours of YouTube video is being watched on TVs every month?

YouTube’s new ‘TV screens device type’ feature now allows advertisers to specifically target this YouTube audience watching on a TV and buy it programmatically Buying it this way means that advertisers can buy on TV with the low buying commitments  and targeting options associated with more familiar programmatic channels and means that the big screen is fully open to SMB brands.

On top of this, Sky’s Adsmart product has developed hugely, allowing advertisers to target specific audiences across a huge range of channels for a minimum spend of just a few thousand pounds.


TV advertising is now fully available to everyone

What’s more, 24.3 million people now listen to more than 10 hours a week of digital audio and digital audio advertising can now be bought programmatically as well.

The ability to target effectively, be agile with spend and the low investment commitment that made programmatic display so appealing to SMBs is now becoming true for digital audio advertising as well, offering potentially strong returns on ad spend (ROAS).

While SMBs have built their brands using the traditional performance channels of pay-per-click and display, all these developments mean it’s time to start thinking about enjoying the ROAS that big brands are enjoying across radio and TV.

Big brands will generally be getting a better return on their advertising investment than SMBs, largely due to their use of such above the line media. By using these channels, they are not just gaining one advantage over SMBs, but two.

The chart above is based on a study by the marketing effectiveness consultants Gain Theory, using data from Ebiquity’s Campaign Database. Big brands using TV, radio and print are not only getting the benefit of channels that deliver higher ROAS in the short-term but are receiving a longer tail of benefit that keeps on delivering a return long after the initial impact.

A digital level playing field for brands large and small

PPC and display (in the form of retargeting) are an obvious play for all businesses. They make sure that you get a share of the intent-driven audience available, mopping up those that don’t convert with a bit of retargeting and stop all that intent-driven audience going to your competitors.

But by relying solely on such channels, SMBs are missing out on the rich brand experience of above the line media that feeds the consumer’s perception of your brand. This boost in perception that will fuel future conscious or unconscious preference towards your brand, is just not possible through direct response PPC copy or in the 0.7 seconds the average display ad is viewed for.

TV, radio, and print all have the ability to deliver longer interactions between brand and consumer, to deliver more information and a richer, more tangible experience than PPC and display. So, it makes sense that these channels are able to deliver a greater return on the advertising investment in the long-term. 

It’s now time for SMBs to finally start to enjoy these same benefits that their larger cousins always have.  The promise of digital providing a level playing field for brands no matter what their size is finally coming true.