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Lack of TV-mobile ad integration will cost brands as holiday shopping begins

Marketers are unsure how to integrate television and mobile to engage multitasking consumers, a deficiency that could result in missed purchasing opportunities as the crucial holiday selling season ramps up.

Of 100 different U.S. TV advertisers studied in September by cross-screen advertising company wywy, just one in five showed a clearly visible product on the homepage of its Web site and just 17 percent prominently displayed the product on the mobile version of the homepage. With more consumers simultaneously consuming TV and mobile content, marketers who fail to take an omni-channel marketing approach risk harming holiday sales.

?The TV advertisers know that there is a massive change going on,? said Andreas Schroeter, wywy co-founder and COO. ?Multi-tasking is the new normal, shopping on a mobile device the norm.

?Advertisers shouldn?t see TV, mobile and online as separate,? he said. Integrating campaigns is necessary. But they are unsure about how to respond to that change.?

?Advertisers need seamless story-telling,? Mr. Schroeter said. ?Show the product on mobile devices that is advertised on TV. Then measure impact on your website KPIs. Then optimize your TV campaigns accordingly.?
Customer leads
As marketers increase media buys, nearly half of TV viewers turn to smartphones and tablets during commercial breaks and are only one click away from a product?s home page. But many advertisers simply do not provide the seamless experience that could lead to increased sales opportunities.

Best Buy iPad holiday-shopping promotion.

Among TV advertisers, 40 percent do not show the product on the advertiser?s homepage. Just one in four display the product using a slide show on a homepage. And 15 percent show the product with compromised visibility, in a small space or lower on the display causing a need to scroll.
?Many brands still have not effectively optimized for mobile,? said Mark Ghermezian, co-founder and CEO of Appboy. ?To stay competitive, brands must understand how to reach their customers on all channels. 

?Mobile is now a significant platform for customers to make purchases or purchasing decisions, and brands need to recognize this trend,? he said. ?Mobile content needs to be easily accessed through either the mobile Web or apps. Users will only spend a few seconds searching before moving on to something else.?

Traditional advertisers still look at mobile and TV as one and the same. That may be because content teams produce different campaigns for different outlets ? print, TV, mobile and digital.

?They don?t see the need to look at all the channels and provide the same experience but with content tailored specifically for each medium,? said Vanessa Horwell, founder and chief visibility officer of ThinkInk.

?Maybe they need better data about mobile impressions or activity that they receive from other formats so that they better understand the need to make the investment in mobile. 

?Good strategies for integrating mobile on TV and Web sites should be built around data, behaviors, design and what works best to engage with consumers, regardless of how they interact with a brand,? she said.

Many retailers view ecommerce as a need-to-have service, which means it lacks the same assets and staffing that are required to make them coordinated with television.

Macy's promotion on iPad.

?The brands that view e-commerce as a core competency and must-have are the ones who are featuring core products on their homepage and TV ads at the same time,? said Jeremy Leonard, COO at IMM. ?It's a different mentality: this is a core piece of business versus a fringe piece of business.? 

Some marketers are better than others at tying in mobile with TV ads.

?Many automotive companies such as Hyundai and Nissan are starting to roll out Second Screen strategies,? wywy?s Mr. Schroeter said. ?They use the TV screen to push a highly emotional message with stunning audio and visual effects. They push TV-synced mobile and online campaigns to recapture the lost attention of second screen users.

?They show the model advertised on TV on their homepage the instant the TV ad airs to help TV viewers easily find what they are looking for,? he said. ?And they measure the impact of each TV airing on their conversions ? be it locating dealers, booking test drives or configuring a car online.?

?Shazam has been partnering significantly with brands to tie television commercials and shows to mobile,? Mr. Ghermezian said. ?By tagging the commercials, users can learn more about the brand and download songs from the commercials.?

The lack of standout blenders of mobile and TV, however, is palpable.

?The fact that I can't think of any offhand is an indication that there aren't many who are doing a good job in this area,? Mr. Leonard said.

Heading into the biggest shopping time of the year, mobile?s power to engage consumers makes tie-ins with other platforms a must.
?People use their smartphones for everything from texting, reading articles, playing games and watching movies,? Mr. Ghermezian said. ?As long as content is effectively optimized and easily accessible, mobile is a great avenue for second screen tie-ins.?
Advertisers who incorporate mobile into their TV ads create a scenario in which the consumer can respond in real time as the ad is airing, or download an app, or send a tweet.

?If the advertisers have segment data that tells them which groups of consumers are watching TV at that time of day, and which segment uses apps during different times of the day on certain channels, they can use that information to impact the effectiveness of the ads,? ThinkInk?s Ms. Horwell said.

?The smartphone enables the consumer to react to those ads immediately, and that can help advertisers track the effectiveness of ads and engagement even more, because they know how consumers engage at that very moment.?
Facing consequences
Failing to tie together platforms during the holiday season could bring significant sales consequences for retailers.
Lord & Taylor smartphone promotion.

?Most advertising tries to get people into the stores, but if advertisers are not directing people to mobile devices, they?re missing an opportunity on mobile sales, because what consumers are looking for over the holidays are ways to save time, get their shopping done faster, and be more efficient at managing all of the holiday tasks on their lists,? said Ms. Horwell. 

?If ads are driving people into the stores and consumers can buy the same product online, advertisers are missing opportunities to communicate about how they can help on their devices,? she said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York.