A Social TV Story – Predicting the Future
It’s June 2018 and the Doe’s, Jane and John, have been Comcast subscribers for over 5 years. Their monthly basic cable TV package costs them $119 and includes a few upgrades for HD viewing, additional boxes and a couple premium channels.
The phone rings on July 1st, 2018, a Comcast representative asks to speak with Mr. or Mrs. John Doe, “speaking” says Mrs. Doe. The Comcast representative has an incredible offer that he would like to extend to the family. The offer is 1 free month for every social media profile (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that they connect to their Comcast account, a maximum of 6 social media accounts. In exchange, Comcast is asking for a 2 year commitment. The process is simple, login to your Comcast account and press the “Connect with Facebook” and/or “Use Twitter” button in your integrations screen and immediately receive your free service.
Social TV – Why Should #SmallBiz Owners Care?
One of many critical success factors for small businesses in the future will be leveraging big data and social media. Facebook is making KILLING it with their “Boost Post” feature. They are doing so at the expense of every person that presses that button without a full understanding of what they are doing. Small business owners need to understand and learn some of the more comprehensive targeting tools in order to maximize their ad spend on Facebook. We predict a similar “Boost Now” feature for future ads on Television, “Boost Post to TV”. A more comprehensive understanding TODAY of how to define and target an audience will prepare business owners TOMORROW with the knowledge to compete at a higher level. To emphasize our point, YES we predict a time will come when advertisers will have a “Boost Post” feature to advertise a social media post on TV.
Big data, social media and conventional interruption advertising (TV, Radio) are on a crash course to collide in the near future. Consider the targeting tools that the Facebook ad platform empowers advertisers and businesses with, wouldn’t it be nice if we can reach that target audience on both TV and social media? Consider the image below, the combination of TV, text communication (which includes social media) and other internet media consumers makes up between 62% and 69% of media consumption for people greater than 24 years old. These age groups spend between 9 hours and 11 hours per week consuming media, once again, the combination social media, internet and TV make up between 62% and 69% of consumed media! By integrating TV and social media, advertisers can reach consumers 62-69% of the time which will equate to between 8 and 9 hours of media per week!
Consider Mr. John Doe above, let is create another hypothetical (yet realistic) scenario in which we want to advertise to Mr. John Doe, we will profile his likes, interests, behaviors and tap into his social graph;
Let’s now consider Mr. John Doe, a 32 year old University of Michigan graduate who works for Alpha Drug Manufacturing company as a manager in a manufacturing facility. In this scenario, we own and operate a business that sells liability insurance for workplace employees with a focus on the health care industry. Experience, knowledge and data predicts that the most likely social profile for decision makers for workplace liability insurance would be;
- College grads between 28-62
- Job Titles: Manager, Director, Purchasing Manager, Vice President or President
- Works in Industries: Health Care or Life Sciences
As you can see below, Mr. John Doe is one of 20,000 potential consumers that we would like to target and advertise to. The problem is Mr. Doe (and people like him) only spends 15 minutes per day on Facebook, however every evening from 7 pm to 8 pm he watches television with his wife.
Social TV – Follow the Money
A bit over the top? Indeed. Unrealistic logistics and technical challenges to overcome? Probably. That is not the point, the important point is that you need to follow the money when looking into the future of advertising. I don’t want to bore the audience to death (yet) with facts and figures, just make a subtle point that marketing and ad executives are VERY smart people, they understand that their large 6 or 7 figure incomes depend on results. Results in the advertising world are simple;
- Build a media platform that attracts consumers and builds the trust of those consumers
- Continuously add value to the platform to increase the amount of time consumers spend on that platform
- Understand the audience (age, income, location, culture, demographics, etc.)
- Sell or rent to 3rd parties the ability to send messages to that audience
Social Media vs. TV – Drawing the Battle Lines
SOUND FAMILIAR, yes? Newspapers followed this path. Television and radio followed this path. Now social media following this path. For the sake of argument, let us call newspaper and television “legacy media” and social media we will call “programmatic media”. The challenge for legacy media TODAY is that it that; A) it does not target potential consumers anywhere near as effectively as programmatic media and B) it does not scale anywhere near as effectively as programmatic media.
The problem is that legacy media and programmatic media are fighting for the same consumers. They are fighting for their time and their interests. Programmatic media is EXPLODING while legacy media is slowly losing it’s share of voice. Even in 2005, the power advertising execs took notice and started to jump on board (check out this 2005 article in Fortune magazine about “the Facebook“).
Social Media and TV, the Everlasting Peace Agreement
Advertising executives and social media power players are right now, as you read this, building synergistic relationships that build upon the reach and marketing power of the combined platforms and leverage the strengths of each while minimizing the weaknesses.
Conventional TV Benefits: A trusted platform that still attracts a large audience with relatively steady retention time. TV works on viewership volume, volume of similar types of people (i.e. people that watch Flipping Vegas have a common interest in real estate).
Conventional TV Weaknesses: Lack of direct consumer targeting. Traditional broadcast TV is still using consumer profiling to sell advertising to groups of people that are audiences of any given program. Using Flipping Vegas as an example, having an interest in real estate does not make a viewer an optimal candidate for displaying an ad.
Social Media Benefits: The ability to hyper target consumers based upon their social profile and social graph. Targeting and personalizing the advertising experience based upon consumer profiles, “like graphs”, connections and behaviors.
Social Media Weaknesses: Two glaring weaknesses; 1) amount of time spent on social media and 2) social media marketing starts with an assumption that every person has a complete social media profile, NOT the case. Not every person has a complete social profile on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest hence social media targeting is not bulletproof and in some cases may miss displaying ads to relevant people and audiences.