Television advertising is a form of marketing that has been around since July 1, 1941 when a 10-second commercial for Bulova watches appeared during a baseball game on local TV in New York. After the success of this placement, brands and businesses jumped onto the bandwagon. Fast forward to today and you know what the advertising and marketing landscape is like. Digital media is a comparatively new form of advertising that’s been around since, well, the internet, and with the ever-increasing growth of this form of promotion, every digital marketing agency worth its salt has seen the importance of combining TV and digital. This is especially true, given the numerous evidence that demonstrates how advertising works and the role TVs can play as a component of enforcing a more direct digital message.

While reach in digital marketing is a big metric for marketers, it’s not the only one, and has to be viewed as part of the bigger picture. TV advertising remains strong and we continue to trust it as it’s mature and solid. It consistently delivers. So how do you combine TV and digital, and enjoy a seamless integrated marketing campaign? Many companies will opt to enlist the help of a digital marketing agency to make sure that their TV/digital campaign is solid – but we want to give you an understanding of this process and have created this piece to give you more information.

The rise of digital marketing

Think about the last time you sat down to watch TV at home. Did you have your phone in your hand? Were you scrolling idly through Facebook or trawling through Gumtree listings while you half-watched the finals of Ninja Warrior or Masterchef? For many people, the idea of using their phone while they watch TV is very normal, and in fact it’s so normal that it has a name. It is known as ‘dual screening’. Now, we’re even seeing triple screening taking place and suddenly TV isn’t just TV anymore. Three in four Australians now multitask with two sets of content with more than a quarter (26%) now participating in triple screening over the past year. But dual and triple screening isn’t the only way in which TV and digital media can be combined, and by looking at the psychology of message cut-through, it’s possible to see the role that each can play.

Priming is key for cut-through

As it stands today, mobiles are the dominant digital device for consuming media – and mobile advertising is performing on par with or better than desktop with impressions from target audiences. Of the users surveyed, 60% of people prefer to use the internet as an entertainment activity, and 51% of people found that social media improved their perception of a company or brand. While digital is having a clear impact on people’s lives, we are consuming more content than ever before – and there’s an increasingly complex user environment influencing message cut-through.

As a result, businesses need to be setting new benchmarks for engaging people with compelling content. A study by The Advertising Research Foundation discovered that a multi-platform approach is the most useful for delivering a message that cuts through. To this end, having a combination of the same message across multiple platforms is an effective way of ‘priming’ people. Renowned author Malcolm Gladwell discusses the phenomenon of priming in his book Blink and without going into a huge amount of detail about this, priming is basically the act of preparing the subconscious for a behaviour with consistent messaging. We are more likely to recall key messages if we encounter messages in multiple media. By combining the trusted and powerful marketing medium of TV to drive consumers into the funnel, and then using digital to accompany them the rest of the way along the path to purchase, we see a far greater uptake of the message.

But isn’t that a lot of extra marketing collateral or assets?

Not necessarily. Adding platforms may sound like a lot of work, but it does not mean you have to create multiple campaigns. In fact, consistency in creative drives the strongest results in cross-platform advertising. According to Ad Age’s article on the research “campaigns with varied creative strategies can actually cancel each other out and become less memorable,” and “unified cross-media campaigns are on average 57% more effective than those that aren’t.” This means marketers and business owners don’t have to recreate the wheel each time. You can use your existing campaign to drive results. That broadcast commercial – creative in which you have already invested time and money – can be used in online video ads or Facebook ads which reinforce your campaign, and drive further engagement. The same creative means you can stretch marketing dollars even further.

Multiple screens and an increasingly digital age means that we cannot afford to ignore digital media, and in fact the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of a dual approach through a mixed media campaign. A combination of messages across digital media and TV stands to be the most compelling for your users. We hope this has been a useful resource for you, and if you have any thoughts or ideas, please let us know below!