3 Tips for TV Advertisers Navigating COVID-19 Disruption

COVID-19 is going to change everything for a while. Sports games, tournaments and entire leagues are potentially all but over, Summer Olympics is postponed, corporations are sending employees home to work remotely, and the travel industry is already seeking a bailout to survive. As the world and consumer behaviors are changing more rapidly than ever before, businesses will need to quickly adjust in order to weather the storm. 

In terms of TV advertising, there has never been a more appropriate time to hyper focus on measurement and optimization to ensure ROAS. Here are some quick tips for TV advertisers looking to adjust their strategy based on how the world’s most forward-thinking brands are operating . . . 

Tip 1: TV viewership is changing, track it in real-time

While monitoring consumer behavior has always been important for marketers, it’s never been more critical than now. For example, large masses of consumers working from home has prompted many advertisers to shift their media spend to match an increase in Linear TV viewing that is now being spread across not only Primetime, but also Daytime and Early Fringe. Luckily, comprehensive analytics are available for brands to stay on top of how TV viewership is changing week-to-week and day-by-day: 


  • News channels
  • Kids programming 
  • Sports programming
  • Day parts

In addition, SVODs ease of use will drive growth. And having a real-time and unified view of TV consumption across all landscapes (Linear, OTT/ CTV) will help advertisers determine where to reallocate budget and increase reach in the most optimal way. iSpot.tv captures data across the entire TV ecosystem, so clients not only gain a full view of incremental reach of OTT over Linear, but also impressions and incremental reach between OTT platforms and publishers.

This is incredibly powerful for brands seeking to reach more customers in new areas while reducing wasted impressions and optimizing spend. 

Tip 2: Media plans will need to be adjusted intelligently and effectively.

For many brands, TV Advertising can be the most expensive aspect of a  marketing budget. So, why not try to optimize ads on TV to the same extent ads are optimized on digital? We might not be there yet, but by working with iSpot to tie TV to conversions (ie. online / offline visits and transactions), clients can receive media buy recommendations to more effectively reach likely-to-convert audiences in the right place at the right time.

How does this work? Simply put, by taking the concentration of viewership among website visitors, compared to the general TV viewing population, a custom viewing index can be generated:

This index ranks the potential of a network, show, or daypart to reach target customers and prospects, helping advertisers determine the most effective way to spend their media budget. 

Also, talk to your network partners about performance-based buying up front. Business-outcome based benchmarks are available to help your brand and network mutually agree upon KPIs and properly set up measurement. This is a great way to confidently back up your investment with guarantees on performance. For example, last year a leading Financial Services firm leveraged media recommendations and benchmarks to negotiate the most impactful Q4 media schedule possible. We expect to see more brands use these tactics in order to optimize every advertising dollar spent in the aftermath of the novel Coronavirus epidemic. View the chart below for industry-specific benchmarks and register for our upcoming Adweek webinar for valuable insights on this topic.

This is a great way to confidently back up your investment with guarantees on performance. For example, last year a leading Financial Services firm leveraged media recommendations and benchmarks to negotiate the most impactful Q4 media schedule possible. We expect to see more brands use these tactics in order to optimize every advertising dollar spent in the aftermath of the novel Coronavirus epidemic.

Tip 3: Get savvy with targeting and optimization.

Targeting on TV has advanced to the point where brands can match first-party customer IDs to TV households, and identify when and where specific segments are tuning in. For example, one major retailer and top TV advertiser assigns over a dozen segments to custom index scores. 

The brand then leverages these insights and supplemental data to make targeting and creative optimizations, and also to inform future media plans. Using this same segment-based strategy, a major movie studio was able to increase its TV advertising impact on movie conversions by over 200%. 

In a broader sense, applying customer segments used for digital campaigns to TV helps brands gain a deeper understanding of how TV and digital are working together and how TV impacts the customer journey. 

The efficacy of TV ad measurement and optimization has never been more important, and we are working overtime to help brands and networks be as efficient and effective as possible. Stay tuned to our blog and ‘COVID-19 Impact on TV Advertising’ reports for daily iSpot-data based insights and helpful resources to support you now and going forward.


About the Author

Kassidy Keller is Director of Thought Leadership at iSpot.tv. She covers industry events, marketplace trends and all things Martech/Adtech. For questions and inquiries, please contact marketing@ispot.tv.

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