By Carl Fremont, CEO, Quigley
Many people will remember the episode of Friends in which Rachel brings home a Pottery Barn coffee table but pretends it came from a flea market because she knows Phoebe disapproves of buying retail. The truth emerges later when the roommates walk past a Pottery Barn window display. Instead of being mad, Phoebe rationalizes that they need to buy the rest of the set, so none of the furniture gets lonely. This was what television could do in 2004—product placement—and it worked; Pottery Barn sales went up after that episode aired.
It’s been nearly three decades, and television in both linear and digital forms has profoundly changed. We now have many ways to engage with television viewers and integrate TV across other media types.
During Advertising Week, I sat down with a panel of experts to offer advice on how to take full advantage of the new opportunities television offers, how to balance brand and demand across channels, and engage different audiences. The panel included Adam Ballard, Vice President of Marketing and Advertising at Paycom; Steve Gross, Chief Marketing Officer for University of Phoenix; and Jay Wolff, Chief Revenue Officer at KERV Interactive.
As we begin 2023, now seems like a great time to share some takeaways from our discussion.
- Get ready for truly shoppable TV. Shoppable TV will be far from the experience on Friends or even what QVC and HSN have been offering for years. The future is frictionless commerce. If you’re watching Bachelor in Paradise and you see a bathing suit you like and you want to buy it at that moment, you’ll be able to. You will simply pause live TV and use a QR code to start shopping on your phone. Broadcasters know that 90% of us are on our phones while watching television and are working on technology to take advantage of that. This kind of shoppable TV is not a pipe dream anymore—we will see enhancements that encourage consumers to buy goods and products from live television within the next year.
- Understand differences across your channels. Today’s world requires a high degree of tailoring for the channel you’re on and the device viewers will likely be using. Viewers sitting in their living rooms watching television have a fair degree of tolerance for a full 30-second spot (or longer), but a TikTok user may only have a half second of tolerance before they scroll by. This has profound implications for the creative. Even if the overall message is the same, the methods will be totally different from production value (TikTok thrives on little to no production cost) to shots (a wide-angle shot is great on TV but will lose phone viewers quickly) to talent.
- Remember, you’re creating an engagement ecosystem. Ultimately, you’re looking to create an engagement ecosystem across channels incorporating response, conversion, and cross-sell that ultimately provides the greatest value from each customer. Using synchronized content as a connective tissue is one effective way to drive response. Tailoring content for different channels however, does not mean you have to abandon continuity. You can’t take the TikTok algorithm and use it for television, but you can take aspects of that campaign and make it work successfully. We saw that with Paycom and their work with TikTok influencer Corporate Natalie. The brand was already working with Corporate Natalie on TikTok, where production values are low. When looking to expand the campaign beyond TikTok, the brand wanted to keep Natalie’s character intact, so they enlisted the influencer herself to help in the writing and creative process. They then made stylistic choices and executed spots that felt authentic to television.
- New metrics are coming. With new shoppable TV approaches, we will see what’s driving conversions. Emerging technology is enabling brands to personalize QR codes with a device identifier. We can start to collect this data and use it to foster engagement on multiple screens both in and out of the home. TV will no longer just be a high-impact reach vehicle; it will be an enhanced performance-based channel from awareness to conversion.
At Quigley, we believe that balancing brand and demand is the Holy Grail, and enhancing performance through technology, data and analysis are central. At the end of the day—whether we’re retail, B2B, or service providers—we’re all looking to get somebody to take action and measure outcomes from a level of predictability. Marketing will be about creating an end-to-end 360 ecosystem that includes truly shoppable ads, multiple channels and measuring each part of the purchase cycle so we can know exactly what drives sales conversions.
About the Author
Carl Fremont is CEO of Quigley, the largest female-owned, WBENC certified advertising agency in the country. The firm focuses on strategies that use a brand’s equity to drive demand across the consumer journey.