As digital continues to rise, and mobile ad spend is increasing, should advertisers prioritise this format for the best performance?

Blair Robertson: Audiences now consume all types of media no matter where they are – at home or on the move – so brands should naturally cater to this growing trend. An advertiser’s first priority should be to understand the format and channel best suited to these audience patterns, from this point campaign KPIs can be set. Mobile ad spend is continuing to rise, yet TV is recognised as an influential advertising medium, driving effectiveness by 40% over time – TV on mobile, now that’s a combination. 

The optimisation process starts with TV campaigns. By measuring online activity following a TV ad being viewed – and attributing that action to a particular ad placement – brands can see which are driving the most digital response. As a result, advertisers can make informed media buying decisions across desktop and mobile that increase the efficiency of each campaign. Deploying digital advertising in harmony with consumer activity maximises conversions. 

What should advertisers consider before allocating ad spend across platforms?

BR: Advertisers need to know how each platform drives their ad campaign effectiveness. What is it they are looking to achieve? And in what timeframe? What benefit will the campaign bring to the wider marketing activity? The answer will lie in the data – measure, analyse, attribute and optimise. Only then will advertisers have a clear picture of what’s working, what’s not and where the opportunities lie. 

Since the advent of digital, businesses have focused on the short-term returns of their ad campaigns, as they’re most obvious. TV, however, is not only a primary driver of online activity – being responsible for 62% of all advertising-generated profit in the short term – but also creates 71% of total advertising-generated profit in the long term as well. So it’s not just the “safest” platform to drive return on investment (ROI), but the one that offers the highest of any media, at £1.73 for every pound spent in the short term, and £4.20 in the longer term.

How can advertisers stay ahead of competitors and hit brand objectives as the digital market becomes more aggressive?

BR: Ultimately, advertisers need to look into how their ad spend delivers on business objectives. Brands should start by assessing the strength of their core proposition in comparison to competitors, along with their messaging, and from this point, focus on how best to engage with target audiences. It’s in every advertiser’s interest not to waste money, which means setting key performance indicators (KPIs) from the outset of an ad campaign, to accurately measure performance. A food delivery service, for instance, might set the objective of boosting app activity, which can be measured by monitoring downloads following an ad spot airing. 

Whatever the desired outcome of a campaign is, brands can access a wealth of granular audience data through linear TV, to measure impact across the aggressive digital market. It’s essential for advertisers to capitalise on the areas where they can outperform the competition. 

How can teams use AI and machine learning to further develop advertising strategies?

BR: We’ve only scratched the surface of the capabilities linked to machine learning, but automation is a key component for optimising ad campaigns. When coupled with strong data analysis, it offers more advanced methods of gathering consumer data, which is crucial for delivering tailored ads that drive engagement. There are many ways to score media – from traditional reach/frequency metrics, who’s watching, to the context or emotional response – and machine learning can provide advertisers with a holistic view of these results.

Thanks to digital, brands have an appetite for transparent, actionable consumer insights – in near real-time – and machine learning developments allow media planners to utilise these effectively in linear TV campaigns. Gone are the days of waiting six weeks or more for out-of-date results on broad audience segments. Linear TV provides the granular results data that advertisers need now, to enable them to build comprehensive measurement and modelling tools.

What does the future of ad spend look like considering 5G and connected devices?

BR: The growth of connected devices – from smartphones and connected TVs, to smart speakers – means there’ll be greater capacity for rich environments to place high-quality content. Advertisers need to consider, how consumers interact with these new viewing opportunities and what impact second-screening habits have at each point in the marketing funnel. 

With the arrival of new technology, comes new innovative formats, which in turn will drive premium pricing and increase ad spend. To optimise campaigns for effectiveness in a 5G world, advertisers will need the means to gather and analyse in-depth consumer data and to attribute action to ads no matter their platform.