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Driving Digital Commerce with TV: Sports Betting and Online Shopping

March 23, 2021

By Steve Lanzano

Andrei Krushko/Shutterstock.com

While linear TV remains the most valued video platform by advertisers because of its brand-safe premium content, TV ads should also get credit for driving digital commerce, including online search and purchases. TV may not be as trendy as digital, but the fact remains that it really works — and can work hard for marketers. According to a recent Effectv and Adweek study, the right kind of TV ad placement and frequency can increase website visits by as much as 127 percent. There was also a 12 percent lift in brand attitude when a digital ad was preceded by a TV ad. And, when broadcast TV ads are combined with ads on TV stations' websites and apps, 88 percent of non-ad supported streaming viewers are reached. Essentially, TV plus digital equals greater reach, trust and consumer action.

When it comes to choosing digital advertising options, trust issues with controversial content on giants such as Google and Facebook continue to abound. Even as people continue to spend more time with social media, it remains the least trusted medium for news. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, about six-in-ten (59 percent) of those who get news on social media say they expect that news to be largely inaccurate. Marketers are left in a difficult position — seeking digital opportunities with trusted content on transparent platforms that effectively reach their audiences.

Two major categories forecast for growth in 2021 are online shopping and sports betting. The pandemic has galvanized e-commerce across age demos, and sports continues to be a popular driver for TV viewing. Approaching these categories with a focus on TV plus digital advertising provides marketers with an optimized media mix that drives consumers to action in trusted environments.


Sports Betting

As of January 2021, 20 states plus Washington, D.C. have legalized sports betting, and this number will increase as legalization passes in more states. Marketers have key local and regional opportunities to reach these in-market audiences. From December 2019 to November 2020, FanDuel and DraftKings combined spent nearly $85 million dollars advertising on local TV stations, according to TVB analysis of Kantar data. TV stations provide local, targeted opportunities for these advertisers — but not just in terms of reaching the right customers.

Heart + Mind conducted a study in January 2021 of seven states where online gambling and casino sports betting are legal. 92 percent of respondents said they believed a sports betting website, app or casino is trustworthy if they saw an ad on broadcast TV, the top choice for trust. TV station websites and apps were close behind at 80 percent, while social media was considered trustworthy by only 61 percent of respondents.

Looking at the synergy between TV and digital, the same study found that TV ads had a ripple effect on 90 percent of respondents — they took an action after seeing an ad, ranging from talking about it with others, to researching, to actually placing a bet. Further to this, when doing an online search for sports betting websites, apps or casinos, TV ads influenced 96 percent of respondents who search online.


Online Shopping

The COVID pandemic has shifted consumer behavior, which will almost certainly have longstanding effects across industries. A recent survey by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that about three out of four people have tried a new shopping method due to the coronavirus and that more than half of all consumers intend to continue using curbside pickup and grocery-delivery services after the pandemic is over. The uptick in e-commerce is here to stay — and marketers can take advantage of TV to reach and influence these consumers.

According to the 2021 GfK Media Comparisons study, 70 percent of survey respondents shop online at least once a month. These online shoppers spend the most time with TV, 80 percent, and 26 percent reported spending time with broadcast TV news websites and apps. In an evolving media ecosystem where 44 percent of online shoppers are reached by streaming services with no ads, there is a solution for marketers to connect with them. With the right media mix, such as combining broadcast TV with broadcast websites and apps, 88 percent of these streaming viewers can be reached.

Further findings from the GfK study show that TV topped all other media at 24.1 percent as the most influential, followed by social media at 17.9 percent and email at 12.4 percent. TV’s efficacy in driving digital action and working in concert with digital advertising has persisted through the pandemic.


TV Stations’ Digital Opportunities

So, what exactly are local TV stations’ digital ad opportunities that can be considered for the optimal media mix? Stations publish trusted news and weather reports on their websites, mobile apps and various streaming services. Advertisers can take advantage of digital local news delivery with targeted ad opportunities.

All TV stations can offer a mix of display ads, pre-roll video and streaming inventory. And most of them offer additional digital products and services like search engine advertising, promotions, email, social media services and mobile marketing.

National advertisers can work with TV rep firms to access these powerful local digital tools at scale.

As the consumer and advertising landscapes continue to shift in 2021, it’s crucial for advertisers to have the information and research needed to craft strategies to most effectively reach targeted audiences. The efficacy and relevance of broadcast TV is undeniable and when smart marketers tap into the right mix of digital assets to optimize media mixes, reaching the right consumers increases significantly.

Steve Lanzano is CEO and President of TVB.

The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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