Tips to Maximize Local TV Advertising
17 December 2019 • tvsquared
Marlessa Stivala,
Content Marketing Manager

Local TV advertising, for the last several years at least, has accounted for ~24% of total TV ad spend in the U.S. It’s a go-to channel for advertisers of all shapes and sizes because it’s proven to be effective, efficient and, more recently, accountable, thanks to attribution.

For TVSquared’s most recent webinar, our CRO and EVP, Jo Kinsella, teamed up with Danielle DeLauro, EVP of the VAB (Video Advertising Bureau), to look at the trends that defined the local TV ad space in 2019, and offer tips to maximize it for 2020 and beyond.

While you can listen to the full webinar, here are some highlights:

The move from ratings to impressions …

If one topic dominated the headlines in 2019, it was local’s shift to impressions, a mainstay in digital measurement, which tell advertisers “who” saw their spots.

With this shift, local broadcast caught up to local cable – and the rest of the industry – by moving away from ratings as a currency and supporting cross-platform selling and audience-based buying. There is now a common currency for all, which helps the sell-side as it continues to expand its offerings beyond linear.

Plus, attribution models are not built on ratings; but impressions, they can work with! To meet the demand of brands that want real-time measurement, many local broadcasters now leverage attribution to provide proof of performance to retain and win ad spend.

… and the ongoing shift to impressions + performance

While 2019 was the year of the impressions; 2020 will be the year of impressions PLUS performance.

Performance is the real-world action that a TV spot drove, and it’s unique to every advertiser. For a DTC retailer, it could be an online sale; for an auto brand, an increase to its “find a dealer page;” a gaming company might be all about app downloads; a non-profit could be looking for online donations; even a pharma brand might want to engage with consumers via educational/condition-focused sites.

The majority of advertisers need TV to work for them immediately (most of TVSquared’s brands never talk about ratings; they want to know how TV is impacting their businesses in the minutes after spots air). That’s why 2020 will see the sell-side working with advertisers to define what they want to get out of TV and measuring its direct impact on those particular business outcomes.

Brand awareness and performance go hand in hand

While the industry will embrace performance, it will not come at the expense of brand awareness – advertisers can and will have both.

Advertisers are the ones in charge of the dollars and shouldn’t have to compromise. TVSquared has clients that measure both TV’s short-term lift and halo effect. While some pundits have proclaimed otherwise, in no way does the focus on performance negate TV’s brand building.

According to Danielle, “[brand awareness] needs to be an important part of the overall performance metrics for marketers, it needs to be just as important as the sales portion, and it needs to be measured with just the same amount of intensity and rigor.”

Local advertisers can learn from auto

The auto industry leads spending in local TV and has leveraged it for decades to differentiate, get better targeting and drive performance. Yes; performance!

Tier 1 through 3 auto brands rely on local TV to drive people to a multitude of web pages – think “customize your car,” “finance your car” and “find a dealer.” Any action taken that will eventual lead to a dealership visit (the lifeblood of auto sales) is considered a lead, and website lift is an excellent proxy for purchase. It’s also about maintaining that lifetime relationship with customers, which makes local even more valuable for things like selling in repairs, oil changes and warranties, as well as staying “top of mind” for their next car purchase.

Check out the entire webinar on demand here: Tips for Maximizing Local TV Advertising in 2020 and Beyond.