In the current climate marketers need to adapt their TV tactics and fast

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By Rachel Foskett – Senior Product Marketing Manager, MiQ

The coronavirus pandemic is set to cause a massive shift in media consumption

We’re currently in the midst of one of the biggest and fastest shifts in consumer behavior ever seen, with people across the globe being advised and even mandated to stay in their homes by their governments in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Everyone in the media industry is scrambling to predict how consumers will change their behavior to keep informed and entertained now that they can no longer go out to socialize – and advertisers will need to shift budgets accordingly.

Arguably the biggest and most obvious prediction is that people are going to be watching more TV. Previous trends from times when US citizens have been stuck indoors already give us an indicator of what to expect. Television usage time went up 56% in the Texas market following Hurricane Harvey and jumped 45% in New York after a 2016 blizzard. Predictions from Nielsen anticipate up to a 60% increase in TV viewing during the coronavirus lockdown, according to Adweek.*

It’s not just linear viewing that is set to rise. Our TV data partner Inscape says there was already a 19% increase in ad-supported video-on-demand apps, and 9% increase for overall TV apps in the first two weeks of March.**

Beyond TV, all digital content consumption has risen too. In the US, we’ve seen a 7% increase in available impressions since the beginning of March, and since the coronavirus was declared a national emergency the consumption is now growing by nearly 2% a day, adding close to 30m available impressions every day since.

Alongside this, the types of content people consume will likely change. We’ve seen a short term spike of between 22% and 34% for content concerning health, shopping, and finance in the first two weeks of March, followed close behind by an increased audience for travel, news and business. We might also assume an increase in gaming and a decline in sports may come next, due to the fact that most sporting events and leagues have been cancelled.

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What do these changes mean for marketers?

Marketers looking for new ways to reach their target audience need a solution that still has reach but replaces the ‘point of sale’ channels like DOOH that are currently experiencing a dip. There may be a temptation to reduce marketing spend altogether in times of uncertainty, but in fact consumers are still going to want to keep themselves busy with short term purchases and hobbies at home, as well as longer term planning for what they will do and what they will buy when the virus is gone. The opportunity to reach a captive audience on TV and online has just increased massively.

Advanced TV has been evolving over the last few years and there are solutions available now that can help you to achieve your marketing goals during this seismic shift in consumption.

For example, by switching your strategy to advanced TV retargeting, you can access and activate on real-time TV viewership data from US households. By ingesting a continual feed of both linear and OTT viewership from over 12m opted-in TV households, we help clients retarget the same viewers on their second screen within a few seconds of viewing an ad or relevant show.

This can help you continue to reach the right people and drive tangible business value, even when TV viewing habits are changing so rapidly that traditional TV measurement can’t always keep up, and other areas of media planning are no longer reaching your audience. TV retargeting drives more site visitation and conversions compared to TV on its own – for example, we helped Boost Mobile drive 18% more quality traffic to their website using this method. Or you can use it to conquest your competitors’ TV ads with direct response messaging, so they find it harder to take market share in this time.

What will the future look like for advanced TV?

We’re likely to see a lasting shift in behavior with regards to consumption habits as people discover new channels they had not previously used, and advanced TV is going to increase in importance in the marketing mix. Even beyond the current unprecedented macro environment, advanced TV has been gaining traction, especially with US marketers, so it’s not only a short-term fix.

The nascent 1:1 TV data market is starting to mature, with more data becoming available from more TV set manufacturers. In the future, marketers will need to look to solutions that connect insights and activation across more than one data source.

And beyond the US, other regions are catching up with OTT targeting and 1:1 TV data. Marketers in Canada, Australia and the UK especially should be starting to brush up on their knowledge of advanced TV to make the most of the opportunities around the corner.

Finally, measurement in the advanced TV space is set for a makeover. Marketers are starting to look for insights on quality, not just quantity – insights that tie attribution together across their media mix, and alternatives to the 3rd party cookie which will soon be a thing of the past. We can expect to see new advanced TV measurement solutions that bring better value and opportunities to optimize more intelligently coming very soon.

*https://www.adweek.com/tv-video/self-isolating-because-of-coronavirus-youre-probably-watching-tv/

**https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/348822/vizios-smart-tv-homes-higher-linear-and-streamin.html