3 Types of Businesses That Should Be on TV

Not every business should advertise on TV, but several types tend to overlook the channel in their strategies.

While TV’s reach and visibility can hold significant value for brands beyond Geico, Disney or other well-known TV advertisers, many businesses assume that because they aren't a household name, TV advertising is simply not for them. But, how do you think those brands achieved their now-indisputable status? I believe TV has played — and continues to play — a role in their success.

I've found there are three types of businesses that often overlook TV advertising. Yet, by keeping a few best practices in mind, they can often find success on the platform.


B2B Brands

Too many business-to-business brands immediately assume TV advertising doesn’t make sense for them. But this isn't always the case.

In fact, a large proportion of B2B brands have surprisingly broad audiences. Think about a company selling office supplies or a brand that provides software to small businesses: Both have an element of mass appeal that could reach a broad audience through TV. 

Other B2B brands argue their offering is too complicated for TV, so they instead rely on salespeople to promote and explain their product to prospective customers. However, TV can be an excellent channel for complex offerings. A 30-second commercial provides significantly more space, plus the power of combined imagery and audio, to communicate your offering than an alternative.

That being said, there are cases where TV is not right for a B2B brand. For example, if your customer are high-level executives at insurance companies, your audience is too specialized to pair well with TV’s mass reach. This is why it's essential to fully evaluate your audience and the best way to reach them before committing to an advertising strategy, whatever that may be.


Digital-Native Companies

At first, advertising a digital-native company on TV might seem counterintuitive. After all, many of these companies are category disruptors that have clearly found success in building a customer base online. If digital advertising helped these brands get where they are today, why look to TV?

TV can help connect digital-native brands with broad audiences, including purchase influencers and untapped customer types. Plus, TV complements digital advertising by improving ad effectiveness both online and off. And TV’s high visibility can help create a sense of legitimacy and prestige around your brand. That’s no small benefit for an up-and-coming disruptor looking to establish themselves as category leaders. 

Of course, your brand must be operationally ready to scale before you could launch a TV campaign, as emerging brands could see a significant lift in website traffic. This sort of lift means an influx of orders and new customers, and you must be prepared for this growth before investing in a campaign.


Ecommerce Businesses

After growing 44% in 2020, ecommerce is understandably a popular topic, especially since online brands expect this growth streak to continue. Many ecommerce brands fit in the digital-native category and can benefit from TV for all the reasons listed above. But there are also numerous traditional brands that only recently added an ecommerce branch to their offerings that can also discover opportunities on TV. 

For traditionally brick-and-mortar brands shifting their focus from in-store to online sales, TV might be able to help spread the word about the new or growing ecommerce side of the business. Because consumers already have preestablished ideas about these brands, a big move like TV could help redefine your brand and what you have to offer. A commercial directing people to your website, for example, might help grow your ecommerce sales while giving this shift high visibility. This is a marketing move meant to keep your brand top of mind, regardless of changing consumer behavior.

In these situations, a strong creative strategy is especially important. The most effective commercial will strike a balance between respecting the brand and its legacy while communicating new offerings and innovation. 


Getting Started with TV Advertising

If you’re considering advertising on TV for the first time, vet how changing your marketing strategy will affect your business. How can you better prepare your business for long-term success or set yourself apart from competitors? Is your current marketing strategy already accomplishing these goals? If not, TV could be an option worth considering.

In that case, it’s important to understand that advertising on TV requires commitment and resources from across your business. The most successful TV advertisers recognize that achieving results takes time, effort and the correct strategy. You'll need to test multiple creative directions, look for innovative ways to reach your audience and establish a measurement system to determine campaign success.

After all, if you think testing a TV campaign could be right for your business, it’s worth doing it right.


Learn more about TV's impact.

Hear from VP Client Growth Whitney Stratten and Touch of Modern's Head of Marketing Todd Wehmann discuss how TV drives business growth.


This article was first published on Forbes.