Blog post originally published on February, 24th 2014.

Using an additional screen (tablet, smartphone etc.) at the same time as watching TV is becoming increasingly widespread: this is what is known as the “second screen”. In the latest “TV and media” report by the Ericsson ConsumerLab, out of 15,000 people surveyed, 75% use mobile devices at the same time as they watch TV. Catch-up TV, bonus apps, social TV, TV-commerce and more, this new way of watching TV has had strong repercussions on marketing. The interactivity created between TV and the second screen will allow companies to create a direct link with the consumer.

TV ads and second screen: an advertiser’s revolution

For advertisers, one of the major challenges today is to make the most of their TV campaign by relying on web and mobile channels. In addition to the interactivity with, and between TV viewers, the combination of TV and web makes it possible to respond to distinct marketing goals: if TV seduces viewers and entices them to make a purchase, then switching to online will only intensify this, and make it possible for viewers to make purchases directly. The 30 largest advertisers in e-Commerce are all too aware of this, and even if TV advertising declined during 2012 and 2013 they, nevertheless, increased their investments in TV advertising by 11% over the space of a year (source Kantar Media). To judge the effectiveness of a TV campaign, it is therefore essential for advertisers to measure the performance of drive to web.

Joining offline and online in real time

The challenge for advertisers is to find out the impact that their TV campaign has on their online channels in real time: additional traffic, products consulted, sales generated. Today, automated recognition systems of content developed on platforms  make it possible to identify the airing of a TV spot in real time. If this information has been immediately correlated with data from a web analytics solution, we can instantaneously highlight and measure the online traffic associated with the spot that was aired.

The advantage of this technological partnership is that advertisers are no longer subjected to the media plan: for example the risk of an incorrect analysis if a last minute change has been applied to the media plan, or a late analysis if the advertiser waits for the broadcast times, often communicated one month later. Analysing the impact that TV ads has on the online world is an extremely accurate procedure carried out in real time. The data measured to analyse the effectiveness of a TV campaign is so rich (the information saved will recognise a visitor should they come back to the site later) that it is often useful to create a dashboard to make the most of all of the data at hand, and make decision-making easier.

A dashboard to drive TV campaign performance

Creating a dashboard is an essential step for advertisers to ensure that the measurements of their TV campaigns’ effectiveness are used to help them manage their online strategy as best as possible: implementation, defining KPIs and setting-up dashboards. If the display interface of a web analytics solution provides exhaustive data generated by TV spots, the importance of a custom dashboard is to provide a quick, effective and direct vision of the performance of the TV spots on the second screen:

  • What additional traffic has been generated by my TV campaign compared to a period without a TV campaign?
  • Which combination “spot x TV channel x time” brought me the most traffic?
  • How much did a visit associated with a TV spot cost me?
  • What is the ROI? How much did I earn through a sale generated by my campaign?

In addition to analysing the performance of TV spots on web traffic, online measurements allow advertisers to check that the spot, which has been paid for, is broadcast at the right time. Thanks to the online performance analyses, advertisers can manage and enhance their media plan.

In the era of the second screen, companies must have a better understanding of the challenges associated with the interactivity created between companies and viewers. For advertisers, it is also necessary to rely on solid multi-channel performance analyses.

Will the TV set remain the main screen for much longer? Using two screens at the same time, but which one will attract the most attention?

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Insight Consulting team manager. A graduate of the Sciences Com’ Ecole Supérieure in Communication and Marketing, Sylvie has a decade of experience working in the digital field. After having worked as a marketing consultant at Taylor Nelson Sofres for 5 years, Sylvie joined AT Internet to create the marketing surveys department. For the last two years, she's been responsible for Insight Consulting activities in Bordeaux, with the main mission of helping businesses improve their digital performance thanks to operational insights obtained from data.


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  3. Pingback: How audiences actually watch TV on a mobile era and what it means for marketing (part 2) | Web2Engage