44% of consumers use social networks to enhance TV viewing

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With Dual-screen viewing on the rise, brands need to tap in to increasing consumer demand for interacting on computers, tablets and mobile devices while watching TV.

Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, recently conducted a survey of 3,000 consumers and found that:

  • 60% of people concurrently watch TV and go online at least two or three times a week.
  • 37% go online while watching TV every day.
  • 44% use social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, while watching TV.
  • 37% have chatted online about TV content.
  • 19% have shared TV content on a social network.

Heineken has already rolled out a global initiative to enable people to interact wih each other online while watching Champions League football. And with brands like Expedia looking to invest in multi-screen marketing (according to EMEA Senior Marketing Director Andrew Warner), there is a need for brands to become less siloed in their thinking and start moving from traditional media models to multi-screen, multi-platform marketing.

So how can brands take the first step into the dual screen arena?

It doesn’t have to be as extravagant or wide-reaching as Heineken. Developing a social media strategy that ties in with other forms of advertising will help engage an audience across multiple channels and across multiple mediums. Keeping ideas simple - depending on your brand, a forum or a basic game could be enough to encourage engagement.

Whatever your marketing and advertising plans, with the rise of smartphone and tablet users, brands need to consider how they will create a more social experience to TV viewing.

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Combining online and TV to boost brand

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Recent research from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Thinkbox shows the power to the brand of using TV and internet together.

The research provides the data behind a trend that we’ve been observing for some time. Around 50% of the tech-savy population in the UK will be online whilst they’re wathcing TV (this kind of multi-tasking is why some people claim we now have 38 hours in our day!). People are truly cross-platform and so brand building needs to operate cross-platform too.

The other headline statistic from this research is that combining TV and online leads to a 47% increase in positive brand perceptions compared to using either in isolation. A consumer is more likely to purchase when the two are used together, and so it’s great for conversion too.

Digging beneath these headlines, it’s interesting to look at how best to combine these media:

  • TV is best for telling people about a brand they have not yet heard of, sparking interest in a brand or persuading people to try a brand or product
  • Online, on the other hand, is great at helping people to decide which brands are relevant, helps people to re-evaluate brands (and their existing brand choice) and is the best source at giving specific information to inform a purchase decision

Looking at this split, it is clear that TV and online both play different roles in the minds of consumers. TV is about the new and the now, it is good as an interventionist medium to tell people about new things they might not have considered. Online is about reflection and information. It’s less interventionist and more about the consumer using it to find the information they need and to inform themselves.

This seems to fit with the pattern of consumer behaviour online that we witness. More consumers are using online to find information about and even discuss a brand. We also see a high success rate of TV advertising causing people to go and visit websites in their own time to get more information about the brand or product.

It’s clear that the two media work well together and that to build a brand successfully a strategy is needed both for television brand building but also online. Brands need to own their online space and create successful and effective campaigns that are about building the brand online, and not just transactional.

  • UK 2008 Ad Spend Growth Forecast Slips to 4%
  • Response: TV viewers are not switching off for the internet
  • Study: Ads in online shows work better than ads on TV
  • Spending on online ads rises by 38%
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