I spent the early part of this week at Re:Think, the Advertising Research Foundation’s annual conference on the latest developments and innovations in advertising and marketing science. Among the highlights were presentations on Monday morning of “grountruths”: basic research on how advertising works and, particularly, how it drives provable business outcomes for marketers.
What were some of the findings? First, that advertising works. It may be taken for granted by most of us, but study after study showed that when advertising is measured at the ROI level, well-delivered and appropriately targeted advertising can be proven to drive brand and sales growth.
A second finding was that advertising campaigns that are delivered on more channels – particularly when TV is one of the channels – do better. Also, the more different marketing channels utilized – adding social and radio and search, for example – the better the overall results of the campaign. Bottom line, in advertising campaigns, the more screens the better: 1+1+1 = 4 or 5.
This research was a great set-up to a main stage discussion I had later on Monday with Brad Smallwood, Facebook’s VP of marketing science, to talk about the importance of outcomes, ROI and zero-based budgeting in the future of advertising.
Our discussion quickly settled on the need for TV and social ad platforms to now be powered by massive, matched single-source data sets so that cross-screen campaigns can be planned, delivered, measured and optimized on a true data-driven basis, an area that Facebook is now working on.
Why is this important? Television and social are, by far, the two largest-reaching media channels in a marketer’s arsenal today. Nothing else can reach as many people as fast with sight, sound and motion advertising.
What could this mean? Shifting social and TV cross-platform ad planning from simple allocation exercises to predictive, software-driven decision-making built on massive, single-source data will be a game-changer. The use cases are endless. For a start, you could imagine uses like coordinated story-telling, where stories are started on Facebook and carried on to the same audiences on TV, or vice versa.
We will see campaigns with coordinated, cross-platform managed reach and frequency, where TV spots extend reach from Facebook to specific target audiences, and vice versa. We could see cross-platform data and segmentation carried from one platform to the other, where people who prefer certain types of movies on TV are targeted with campaigns for upcoming theatrical releases of the same genre.
This is only the start and the opportunities are endless. What do you think? Are we ready to truly connect TV and social?
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