What Marketers Want Out of Digital Media and Linear TV

When it comes to the debate between which is a better advertising vehicle—digital media or linear TV—there’s little agreement about what works and what doesn’t. And a recent survey of marketers by Blockgraph found that there are a number of areas in which each category can improve.

But there are a few things that marketers seem to agree on: both need to improve their measurement, including better attribution; both need an easier buying process; and both need better viewer engagement/experience.


Digital Meida vs. Linear TV Effectiveness

It’s almost comical how advertising measurement is the issue that keeps rearing its head, despite the technological advances that have made both media more measureable. For all these improvements and better quality of data, marketers still seem to be struggling to gain insights into their media buys in order to make smarter spending decisions. Of course, this is nothing new for marketers; marketers have been trying to get better measurement and attribution for decades, probably since the advent of the television. And it’s clear that this demand has become even sharper, given digital’s rise and the data associated with that.

Of course, the make or break aspect of measurement is ensuring data integrity. Simply put: If you can’t trust the data you’re getting then you can’t make good decisions about where to spend your ad dollars.

Interestingly, the other two areas where marketers tend to agree the most with are also dependent on improving measurement. It’s not entirely clear what marketers collectively mean when they say they want an easier buying experience, but as anyone who has done media buying knows, it’s often difficult to compare apples to apples when comparing marketing opportunities between channels, especially when the data needed to justify each are so different. After all, how can you compare click-through rate to something like brand recall? Additionally, digital and TV both offer reach at scale, but those scales can be extremely different.

Likewise, providing a better viewer engagement/experience is very difficult to do, both when measurement is insufficient and when engagement/experience on each medium is so different. To be sure, if advertisers had better measurement—and insights—into each channel, they could likely improve the engagement/experience of their advertising. At the same time, is it reasonable to expect a linear TV ad to garner more direct engagement than, say, a digital experience designed specifically for users to interact with it?

Our take: Marketers need to take a step back and take better stock of their own expectations of both digital and linear channels when developing a marketing mix. Sure, data might not be perfect. But it’s rare that marketers can achieve a 100% clear insight into their audience. It’s important to understand that insight engines are constantly improving, but may not offer the exact right insight needed to make a buy at just the right time.

That said, if looking at your marketing mix is like looking into a black box, we can help. Contact us to discuss how we can put our expertise to work for you.


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