January 25, 2017 by Joy Thompson
According to reliable industry forecasters, Magna, marketers will spend more this year on digital ads than television ads for the first time ever. The breakdown is projected to be approximately $202 billion on digital ads versus $180 billion on TV.
Just to blow your mind, you can buy 40,400 Super Bowl commercials at today’s inflated rate for $202 billion. Better yet, you could just have one 30-second Super Bowl commercial with 81 million Budweiser Clydesdale horses in it.
Fun facts aside, this projection isn’t really surprising (at least not to us). Not only are consumer eye balls migrating away from cable TV to digital mediums like smartphones, streaming services, and social media networks, television can’t compete with digital ads in multiple categories.
Let’s not jump ahead, though.
Here are key facts and projections about digital ads:
These stats have marketers not just “cutting the cord,” but also “pulling the plug” on TV ad budgets.
To be fair, television ads have their perks.
The problem for TV though is that digital ads have all those same perks, plus wayyyy more. Digital ads are…
It’s tough to pinpoint an average price on a TV ad because it really depends on the channel, the show, the time slot, the market, etc to determine the cost of a 30-second ad. The cost can range anywhere from $50 for the 3am encore of Matlock to $5 million for a Super Bowl 51 ad.
However, the cost of digital ads are much easier to predict.
Here’s an example using Facebook Ads…
Let’s pretend you sell baby products. You want to reach pregnant women, new moms, and expectant parents. You have $1000 to spend on an ad. You could run a TV ad and HOPE that the viewers fit your target demo OR you can launch a Facebook Ad that precisely targets ONLY that target demo.
According to the mothership (see screenshot below), a Facebook Ad that targets your exact target demo for $1000 is projected to get anywhere from 380,000 to 1,000,000 impressions on Facebook, plus another 81,000 to 210,000 impressions on Instagram.
Worst case scenario, you get a total of 461,000 impressions at $2.17 per 1000 impressions (CPM). Best case scenario, you get a total of 1.2 million impressions at $1.21 CPM.
Good luck finding that price on an effective TV ad.
The “baby products” scenario can double as an example for the preciseness of digital ads. Those Facebook Ads targeting options aren’t blind guesses– Facebook knows that level of detail about their users.
There’s a lot more examples that flex the muscles of digital ad targeting…
This refers to targeting internet users who’ve visited your website (AKA retargeting). This is an incredible targeting option because people who visit your website are clearly interested in your products.
You can run website remarketing on many digital ad platforms including (but not limited to):
Here’s an example of an AdWords remarketing ad
I was recently looking printer ink, so I visited SuppliesOutlet.com. I didn’t buy on my first visit, but I’m still thinking about it. This ad showed up while I was checking the Fort Lauderdale weather forecast on popular weather website Wunderground….
In addition to website retargeting, you can also target audiences that have engaged with you on social media, watched one of your videos, or signed up to be on your email list. Again, these are audiences that are proven to be interested in your products.
AdWords works so well because your ad only shows up when someone is looking for your product (assuming you have a good AdWords setup).
You’re looking to buy a new car. You’ve done your research, and you know you want a Honda Civic. You live in Fort Lauderdale. Here’s a search you might do: “honda dealerships in fort lauderdale”
That form of targeting is powerful because everyone who searches “honda dealerships in fort lauderdale” is approaching the bottom of the sales funnel. They’re close to purchasing a vehicle.
Needless to say, you can’t do these things with a TV ad.
You might run a brick-and-mortar, but you also have a presence online (at least we hope you do, it’s 2017). Maybe you sell your products online. Maybe you just have key information on your website that leads to a sale. Regardless, your website or other online channels are more important than ever for growing your customer base.
Which ad seems more effective?
A television ad lives in just one place– the television. It requires you to be actively watching your stationary TV.
On the flip side, a digital ad lives everywhere. It lives on your smartphone, your apps, your email inbox, your games, and yes, even your TV via tech like Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast.
Also, you can run your ad on countless ad networks including (but definitely not limited to):
“Dayum” – TV
And (not to rub it in), a digital ad can also be dynamic. It can automatically change according to a consumer’s interest. Someone who visits Amazon to look at soy candles will see a different ad than someone who visits Amazon to look at toolboxes.
“Dayummmm” – TV
There will always be a place for TV ads in a robust advertising strategy, especially for big brands with deep pockets. We just wanted to highlight that TV ads are becoming (and should be) a smaller percentage of advertising budgets. If you want to remain competitive going forward, you need to increase your digital ad budget and stop wasting dollars on television.
We’d be glad to offer you some advice. Give us a call at (866) 283-6027 to speak with one of our digital marketing specialists.