Advertising: TV or digital?

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]The average adult consumed 2,295 minutes of video a week[/inlinetweet]. Here’s how they consumed it by device: Live TV – 84%, Time shifted TV (DVR) – 9%, Multi-media device (Roku, Apple TV, or any other gizmo attached to a TV) – 3%, Video on a PC – 4%, Video on a SmartPhone – less than 1%. But do ads on TV work or should you focus on digital?

Some of my clients have been sold the Brooklyn Bridge when it comes to digital advertising. They feel they need digital but as much as I am a digital person that’s not always the case.  Take the case of a recent client: they were launching a gourmet frozen pizza brand in select markets in Massachusetts.  I tasted the product and it was vastly superior than any other frozen pizza, but for some reason their digital ad campaign was not producing results.

We recommended a two prong strategy: first, local TV spots on the local news with heavy POP in store in select retailers that catered to more upscale shoppers.  We killed the digital campaign and redid the website with a heavy emphasis on customer testimonials.  In four months sales increased so much that the client ran into product shortages.  Retailers, like Trader Joe’s, were calling, begging for the product.

Now compare the story above with this one.  A company had developed a new in-home fire protection product designed for older homes (made of wood).  The product automatically would notify the local Fire Department as well as turn on lights and sound an alarm when fire was detected.  It was not cheap, but there are a lot of old homes in the Northeast that could use this product.  They focused on local TV with an 800# for the info, but when the spots ran nothing but crickets.

We developed a digital story that could be used in an ad with direct links to the website which clearly explained and showed how the system worked.  Kahing!  Within the first 30 days of the campaign orders were up 265% and website traffic was up over 500%.

What’s the difference between these two products? The sales cycle.  Buying a frozen pizza is not a decision that consumers are going to weigh by going online, but purchasing a Fire Protection system is.  Consumers aren’t going to see an ad for the new Ford F-150 and run to their dealer, they are going to do research, a lot of it and online. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]You have to understand that moment of truth when a prospect becomes a customer and where that decision is made. [/inlinetweet]

Believe it or not there are some instances where TV advertising may be perfect for your brand/product, but there are also a lot of products that are more suited for digital because consumers want to know more and research.

POP displays are an effective sales tool for grocery items, but not for products like smart phones.  I’m hoping that someday marketers understand that as much as we use the Internet not many people are going to research products that are “impulse” items.