Living rooms or basically any other room with a TV has become multi-screen spaces. This is a fact that every TV advertiser should acknowledge.
Because of this evolution of TV, advertisers should measure and research more the TV-Online combination. As seen in the picture below, over half of the people watching TV in Finland, are using their smartphone at the same time. A bit surprisingly, tablet usage is smaller than computer usage, as almost four out of ten TV watcher is using computer at the same time. And probably some heavy users may be using more than one other device when watching, or should I say, listening TV.
Background of the research
There has been some buzz around measuring (digital) TV advertising lately. And I’m sure this buzz continues as long as TV advertising takes a lion’s share from marketer’s budgets. TV itself is going through a big transformation and marketers definitely want to understand effects of cross-channel advertising. Regarding to this, Google just announced Analytics 360 Suite, and changing the Adometry product brand to Attribution 360. Here’s a blog post where Alex Bain is saying:
“The challenge with television is that
there’s no link to click on.”
My intention is to prove this wrong and I believe that up-to-date marketing analytics vendors (Google, Adobe and comScore) are trying to do the same. You can read latest news how comScore and Adobe are integrating together in order to gain better insights for marketers. My previous TV advertising and Web Analytics survey was published seven years ago. A lot has happened since and therefor my current research is including other interesting details about digital marketing and analytics.
During the research, 115 TV ads were analyzed – exactly same number of ads as seven years ago. TV ads in this research were shown in Finland during late March and early April. Only visual elements were analyzed, whether the ad contained an offer, clear call-to-action and URL. The URL was followed and analyzed if the address was unique and/or redirected. If URL wasn’t shown, advertiser’s / product’s brand was searched. Advertiser’s website was checked with Google’s mobile friendly test and with Ghostery browser plugin in order to see the analytics and advertising tools in use.
By all means, this is a very rough method as code can be executed in different ways. Likewise, there maybe tools that Ghostery doesn’t recognize, but going through source code of every website would have been very time consuming. Market share data sample is covering only TV advertisers and therefor it’s not comprehensive, neither valid for the whole market. Because of the small sample size, the market share data of qualitative and testing tools may not be reliable.
Content and “clickability” of TV ads
As seen in the data above less than 30 % of TV ads contained clear call-to-action. This hasn’t changed since the last study, although I believe there may be some seasonal variation. This time I checked if there was a some sort of price offer, and almost four out of ten ads did include one. 54 % of TV ads contained an URL, but only 5 % contained a unique URL. With all unique URLs, redirection was used, but none of the advertisers didn’t add tracking tags to measure TV ad performance.
I know that this is not the only method but still, I strongly recommend that companies would use unique/virtual URL in TV ads, such as company.com/product (which doesn’t really exist) + redirect + tracking tags, in order to collect new TV performance data and visitor cookies for re-marketing in other channels. Basically these companies that did already use redirects, could have done the measuring part easily. So, if you want to use TV advertising as tactic and measurable way, you can do it with a little compromise – if there’s a will, there’s a way!
Tools used in TV advertisers’ website
When checking the tools used in TV advertisers’ websites, there’s a big difference since the last study. In 2009 only 68.1 % of sites had a web analytics tracking code in place. Now, seven years later, almost every site has a web analytics tracking code. 96.5 % to be exact, and the difference being 28.4 percent points versus 2009. With Ghostery it was pretty easy to check other relevant tools as well. 70 % of the sites has a Tag Management System in place. Changes in end user behavior and Google’s search algorithm for mobile devices is now taken care of these TV advertisers quite well, as 83,5 % of sites are mobile friendly.
If the basic setup of these websites is in decent level, there are more difference with other tools and tactics. One third of the TV advertisers is able to use Facebook re-marketing (with Facebook custom audience snippet). In addition of getting the data from web analytics tool and getting the answers for “what has happened”, you should collect qualitative (and quantitative) data a.k.a. Voice of Customer, for getting the answers for “why it happened”. These tools are usually low cost but still, 28 % of these TV advertisers are using qualitative tools. Even worse it is with the testing tools as only 17 % of advertisers are using the A/B + Multivariate testing tools.
Market share of Google Tag Manager
Since the last study, Tag Management Systems has changed the analytics industry a lot and the way we work today. With these advertisers Google Tag Manager has a market share of 85 %. Adobe Dynamic Tag Management and Ensighten had 6 % market share each. Signal, Tealium and Tag Commander were other TMS systems found. Two sites used two tag management systems, the combination being Adobe DTM and Google Tag Manager.
Market share of Google Analytics
A lot has happened within Web Analytics system scene since the last study. Acquisitions has been made and therefor some of the old names doesn’t exist anymore. Google Analytics is having even bigger market share with 87 % of presence among TV advertisers. It’s hard or even impossible to say what would be the share of Google Analytics 360, previously called Google Analytics Premium. My best guess is that there would be around ten Google Analytics Premium customers in Finland, most of them in the media industry. When you sum the following share percentages you get more than 100 % – that’s because 23 % of advertisers are using more than one Web Analytics system?
Adobe Analytics has a market share of 10 % and TNS Metrix 9 %. ComScore has a market share of 11 % but it’s hard to say if the customers are using Digital Analytix (recently acquired by Adobe) or Media Metrix because the code snippet may be the same. Around 5 % shares have Kissmetrics, Bluekai (Acquired by Oracle) and Webtrends. Snoobi, the Finnish vendor acquired by Fonecta, has lost the market share most, going down from 19 % share to only 3.6 %. Tealeaf (acquired by IBM), Econda, Chartbeat and Mixpanel were found couple of times during the research.
Market share of Qualitative Tools
When it comes to tools that produce Qualitative Data, such as heatmaps or videos, for optimizing user experience and conversions, there are two tools which rule. Crazy Egg has market share of 56 % and Hotjar 44 %. Clicktale was found one time (please see the disclaimer). In my honest opinion, Hotjar is simply the best and most cost efficient tool to create qualitative + quantitative data and useful insights for marketers and developers. In five cases there is Crazy Egg and Hotjar implemented.
Market share of Testing Tools
Like Crazy Egg and Hotjar, Visual Website Optimizer and Optimizely rule the testing tools market (please see the disclaimer). VWO is having a market share of 58 % and Optimizely 42 % among the TV advertisers in this research. Adobe Target was found one time during the research. Despite of the testing tool, you have to remember that you can do testing without the specific tool.
For many companies TV advertising is still used as lifting brand image and awareness. In my opinion, TV can and should be used as tactic. In this case, the whole TV ad concept and need of measuring, are totally different. When you drive people from TV to online channels, you should measure actions and outcomes carefully. In my next blog post, I will cover more methodologies for measuring TV and online together. If you have an idea, feel free to comment or contact me directly.