Digital and TV, sitting in a tree

By Kathryn McConnachie, Head of Copy & Content at G&G Digital

When it comes to powerful marketing combinations, digital and TV go together like peanut butter and syrup. Sushi and wasabi. Thick-framed eyewear and creatives. It’s the yin to TV’s yang, or the Kim to TV’s Kanye. Here’s why:

Digital is growing
While digital has historically been considered the elite playground of the higher LSMs, the data is starting to suggest otherwise. Facebook, for example, is consistently seeing digital engagement across the spectrum in South Africa. This is hardly surprising considering that 19-20 million South Africans are now online thanks to increased smartphone penetration and lower data costs.

TV is no longer the dominant screen

A large percentage of mobile phone usage is happening at home – while users are in front of the TV. Watching TV as an activity has evolved to become less of a passive experience and more about active engagement. And this engagement is happening online, in social spaces where audiences can feel connected. This is particularly during live screenings, major events and (especially for South Africans) weeknight soapies and popular dramas.

People are curious
If a viewer wants to know more about a character, they’ll Google it. If they missed something in the show plot, they’ll Google it. If they’re intrigued by an ad or product, they’ll Google it. In fact, a significant 27% of ‘second screeners’ look up product information online after seeing a TV ad.

This means that if you’re doing TV but not looking after your digital presence – and more specifically, your search presence – you’re missing out on a major opportunity to get closer to consumers and potentially close the loop in the path to purchase or conversion.

Measurable impact
Adding a digital layer to a traditional campaign can provide a new level of insight into the impact of your marketing effects. Going well beyond reach and impressions, proper digital monitoring and measurement can tell you sentiment, track user behaviour and correlate awareness with sales.

It can tell you, to a large extent, what type of action your TV campaign inspired. Whether viewers Googled the backing track of your ad or immediately went to purchase your product online. It’s an invaluable tool to evaluate the success of your above-the-line marketing.

Adding depth
If you invest in TV media, you should ensure you get optimal value from the extra exposure for meaningful brand interactions. If a TV ad piqued the interest of a viewer enough to have them type your brand’s name into Google, make sure that when they find you, they like what they see. Also make sure your digital platforms are optimised for conversions – whether e-commerce or building a consumer database, close that loop.

Better together
To get the most out of digital to support a TV campaign, its essential to ensure the campaign is aligned from the outset. This means digital cannot be seen as an afterthought – it should form an integral part of the original conception and ideation phase.

Establish your conversion objectives upfront and gear your TV collateral to drive people to your digital platforms. Research shows that when TV and digital are used together for a campaign, there is an 18+ point increase across all brand markers.

The bottom line? Don’t waste the opportunity.