Responsive Advertising Blog

9 Ways TV Advertisers Waste Money

5 minute read

U.S. brands will spend approximately $70 billion on broadcast advertising this year, with TV comprising nearly one-third of the entire advertising budget.1

How do those marketers feel about their investment? Many find it just as challenging to understand what’s working as John Wanamaker did more than 100 years ago. According to a recent survey, more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000 CMOs struggle to quantify the impact of their marketing efforts in the short and long term.2

If you’re struggling to justify your TV investment, or worried your valuable budget dollars might be better spent elsewhere, you’re definitely not alone. Having to wrangle multiple agencies, multiple data sources, and multiple viewpoints all contribute to justifiable frustration. It’s one of the reasons for TV’s poor reputation when it comes to measurement and ROI.

To inject more efficiency and control into your next campaign, first weed out these 9 common causes of waste in TV advertising. Your budget (and your consumers) will thank you for it!

No-Cost
Creative

Producing an effective TV spot doesn’t come cheap. In fact, creative for a single 30-second ad now averages a whopping $416,000.3 Budget-busting price tags like these can discourage innovation and limit testing, or in the worst-case scenarios, force deserving brands to forgo broadcast altogether.

At Marketing Architects, we operate under a distinctly different agency model, one that focuses on solving common industry problems like these. Here, we invest in your success, with no-cost creative for our clients. (You read that correctly.) From world-class writers, animators, engineers and directors to the latest in audio and video, every client gets access to the best minds and technologies in the industry. When we cover every cent of television production, our clients test more, learn more—and win more. It’s that simple.

Pre-Test
Your Spots

Think multiple creative options are beyond your budget? Consider the cost of a multimillion-dollar ad buy that misses the mark. When you embed rapid response testing at the start of your campaign, you’ll know with certainty that every dollar you spend supports breakthrough creative that generates tangible results.

With rapid response testing, your agency airs several concepts simultaneously, then uses advanced analytics to identify the top performers. Only head-to-head testing picks up the critical variable that other techniques can miss: action. Focus groups reveal what consumers think; rapid response testing shows which creative propels your target consumers to respond. With this knowledge, you’ll show only your best spots and scale up your campaign with confidence.

Attract
More Eyeballs

Traditional media buys focus on national broadcast networks and top cable channels. The result? Big budget prices and a cluttered environment for your ad.

AI-driven solutions help expand your media footprint and drive more targeted impressions for less. With this approach, every dollar you spend reaches 30-50% more people. In addition, this approach can plan, buy and optimize across thousands of networks, stations and dayparts, to go beyond obvious targets and leverage the entire media universe.

Adaptive
Media

If your agency still operates with a “set it and forget it” mindset, you’re definitely wasting valuable budget dollars. With so much rich data available every day, there’s no excuse for evaluating your ad performance just once or twice a year.

Smart media strategists take an agile approach with weekly optimization. They understand that every component of your ad must be perfectly engineered. Weekly optimization reviews what’s working and weeds out what’s not, to hone your campaign for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Here at Marketing Architects, weekly optimization saved a recent client 42 percent on their first month’s media buy, compared to costs with their previous TV agency. Our emphasis on testing enabled us to dramatically expand our client’s media footprint at cost-effective rates.

Go From Tricky
To Turnkey

Budget bloat is bound to occur whenever multiple resources support your broadcast efforts: one shop for creative, another for media buying, a third for attribution. Brands today spend as much as one-quarter of the marketing budget with outside advertising agencies.4

Using a single, turnkey agency for all your broadcast advertising activities eliminates friction and accelerates your time to revenue. Look for a tech-savvy agency that can master media planning, creative execution and conversion. You benefit from production that’s intrinsically linked to placement and powered by the latest attribution insights. You’ll spend less on education, hand-offs and rework, for greater bottom-line impact.

Unlock
Better Rates

What if you could reach your target audience, but spend half as much? Buying airtime at direct response rates makes it possible. Even brand advertisers can benefit, with direct response rates that average as much as 60 percent lower than their premium counterparts.5

Too many agencies mistakenly assume that all direct response inventory consists of poor-quality remnants and undesirable overnights. In reality, advertisers have ample options to reach their core demographics. Advancements in programmatic technology (like our very own AI-driven media buyer, Annika®) make it easier than ever to identify the best stations and dayparts for direct response rates.

Harness
Omnichannel

TV ads influence two-thirds of online searches.6 That’s just one of many ways TV advertising lifts response across all your marketing channels. From online to mobile, retail to call centers, the more you synchronize your messages and approach, the greater your ROI. It means breaking down internal silos between the broadcast and digital teams, for true omnichannel harmony. An integrated approach eliminates wasted effort and budget.

Start saving by tuning up your AdWords so they correspond with your TV campaign, and leveraging your TV creative across your online and in-store platforms. Focus on how to make your customer’s journey as easy and consistent as possible, regardless of how they connect with your brand.

Accurate Marketing
Attribution

Multichannel attribution is big business, costing television advertisers an additional 1-5 percent of their media spend. And it can be money well spent—if you’re getting your money’s worth. But too often, agencies and third-party data firms attach sizable price tags to one-size-fits-all models, which lack the flexibility to accommodate the unique data points of your company, product or campaign.

Since no model will ever be perfect, a better approach applies multiple attribution models. When both models reveal similar insights—using different methodologies—you know you’re headed in the right direction.

Subscribe to reveal the remaining 8 ways TV advertisers waste money

  1. Adweek, “TVs Share of Ad Spend Expected to Continue Its Decline This Year,” March 28, 2018
  2. CMOSurvey.org, August 2017
  3. Response Magazine, July 2017
  4. 2017-2018 Gartner CMO Spend Survey
  5. Forbes, “Should DRTV Be In Your Marketing Mix?” December 5, 2016
  6. TVB, “2017 Purchase Funnel Study”
Katie Scheetz

By Katie Scheetz

Chief Business Development Officer

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