TV is no longer a box set sitting in a living room. It’s a wide world of interactive opportunities that marketers are just beginning to tap into.

TV today is more than scheduled programs that broadcast over cable.

It’s streaming content from Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Max. (One-fourth of all TV minutes are viewed via streaming, according to Nielsen.) It’s YouTube and TikTok videos. And yes, scheduled programs broadcast over cable.

And viewers are no longer reliant on their TV screens — though today’s TVs are internet-connected, voice-controlled and smarter than ever. They also watch video on smartphones, tablets, watches. They stream through gaming consoles and Fire Sticks.

According to Leichtman Research Group, Inc., 87% of TV households in the US have a connected TV (CTV) device, like a SmartTV, streaming player (i.e., Chromecast), game system or another device that enables TV streaming.

And this number doesn’t account for those who use phones to watch content. Nearly all Americans — 97% — own a smartphone (Pew Research Center) and, in 2020, Neilson found more US adults consumed media via smartphones than both live and scheduled TV.

For marketers, this evolution of TV offers up some previously untapped benefits.

TV’s All About Data, Data, Data

In the past, marketers used basic demographic info to target their ads — with age and gender the primary categories. Today’s smart tech, along with third-party streaming apps, collects much more data in comparison, including:

  • Location
  • Demographics, such as age, race, gender, marital status, etc.
  • Content watched, even DVDs (through automatic content recognition, or ACR)
  • Time spent watching content 
  • Devices used to watch
  • Third-party apps used
  • Web browsing habits

And with that data comes a lot of opportunities. Marketers can use it to better target prospects with relevant ads and retarget people who’ve shown interest. They can ensure cohesion across channels and devices — a user moving from Netflix on TV to YouTube on a smartphone, for instance.

Or, like the Kaplan Group, a commercial collections agency, they can use the information to continually optimize campaigns.

Dean Kaplan, CEO, told CMSWire, “We collect data on how long a viewer spent watching the ad, which elements they clicked on and whether they shared the ad. This data is used to help us understand which parts of the ad are working and which are not.”

With this knowledge in hand, said Kaplan, the company can tweak its campaigns accordingly and improve conversion rates.

So TV marketers have more data than ever before. But what does that data look like when funneled back into video ad campaigns?

Related Article: How Evolving Smart Tech Is Changing the Customer Experience

Interactive Ads Lead to Better Engagement

In the past, when a TV ad would play, it would show a video for 30 seconds or so, and that would be that. If someone wanted to learn more, they’d have to pick up the phone or remember a URL.

But that’s not the case with modern TV.

Today’s ads have the ability to be interactive. Viewers, using a remote or their fingers, can click a button that transports them to an online store, or participate in a short story or enjoy a quick game.

By AKDSEO