Scenario: you own a business selling widgies (competitor to widgets and not to be confused with the painful wedgie). You come to find out there is a Zookapalooza Festival in a nearby park where a thousand people will gather. You also know, through research and the expertise of your media consultant that about 80% of these gatherers are avid widget consumers and hence, also hold a high potential to buy your widgies. imagesSo what do you do? Perhaps you print up a thousand leaflets with widgie coupons and you plan to personally hand them out one by one. Or maybe you negotiate with the event organizers to sponsor the event, maybe set up a table to promote and sell your wares. Bottom line – you know your audience, and in this case you know where they are gathering and you also plan to have some degree of active involvement to brand your business and drive revenue. Makes sense right? Of course it does – you are a smart business person. Hold that thought and let’s switch gears though for a moment.

When you watch television, do you ever do so with another screen in hand? According to Google, it’s highly likely, in fact let’s just jump to a few stats that Google published in their 2012 “The New Multi-Screen World Study”:

  • 90% of all media interactions are screen based – television, smartphone, laptop/PC, tablet
  • 4.4 hours of leisure time spent each day in front of screens (about a quarter of our awake time per day? BTW – much higher percentage if you have small children!)
  • 77% of TV viewers use another device at the same time in a typical day

Wait, did you just see that last stat? One more time –

  • 77% of TV viewers use another device AT THE SAME TIME in a typical day

Hold on to that stat and let’s continue with the story –

Ok you widgie biz wiz – you know for a fact that there is a cable network, or better yet, a cable television show with a decent degree of popularity that also happens to have an audience that resembles the folks that attend a Zookapalooza Festival that, remember, also have a high propensity to buy your product. In a Nano-second, you are investing in a few 30-second commercials during that program – it’s just way too good to pass up. And you choose to go conventional – you do what everyone else does and tell everyone you exist, communicate your unique selling proposition. It’s effective but could you do more? Did you just drop the opportunity to have your target audience walk right into your store online – and NO, it doesn’t matter if you even sell a single thing online, shopping cart, etc. Did you miss a chance for IMMEDIATE response or IMMEDIATE interaction from even one potential customer?

Yes, branding is critical to your business and TV is really really good at it. In fact, TV is by far the most powerful medium available to advertisers due to its reach, dramatic visual demonstrations and emotional appeal – but advertisers are leaving mounds of impulsive “act now” actions on the table. They are failing to tell the viewer to look down at their mobile device TO GO TO…. Is it possible to move prospects from awareness to evaluation and even to action during the elevator pitch? For a consumer product especially, the short answer is “yes” – TV can certainly serve as a tease to more instant and potentially immersive electronic customer experience. Let’s go back to that stat one more time:

  • 77% of TV viewers use another device AT THE SAME TIME in a typical day

Do I have your attention yet? Do you think there is a possibility that a portion of those 77% might actually be multitasking and can hear your advertisement on the big screen while you are perusing friendly musings on Facebook? Create your message to entail a time sensitive offer to drive people to your site during a very specific time period. “Click the unicorn on our site to access a buy one get one widgie online offer for the next 24 hours!” Then track the unicorn clicks. And yes, I also said time sensitive – heck, if I can add and remove forms and pages on this blog at will, so to can your business add pictures, temporary landing pages, etc. and then easily remove them – you have no excuses no matter how small you may be. And heaven forbid you have a marketing automation program and want to track success of a TV ad campaign that drives prospects to a short term landing page. (Yes, I just combined traditional media and marketing automation and used the word “campaign” – blasphemous!)

In a nutshell, all TV should be considered instant response TV.

Advertisers, especially small businesses have the potential for huge returns by driving to online offers and/or social media experiences due to the cost effective nature of Cable television these days. For example, a “buy an entree and get two free desserts downloadable coupon for the next half hour” offer could entice you to visit or re-visit a restaurant. You have that mobile phone in front of you – it’s not too hard to go instantly and respond within a given time frame per the TV commercial’s instructions. Online-Coupon-AspirantSGOr maybe you are an online gaming company and you are dropping your prices on a popular app for a few days – might your audience be able to instantly access it right then and there? Listen, the applications are endless so long as you keep an open mind and have some degree of creativity and desire to test out a few different things. It’s never been easier to get instant action – and while you are at it, go ahead and take a page out of the traditional Direct Response advertisers playbook by doing things like keeping your web address on the screen the entire time, delivering a strong offer and testing those offers among other things (no mention of those “$19.95 / just pay shipping” CTA’s need apply).

Adapt people… TV is still here right now, it’s going strong and it’s more actionable than ever. Make it work for you – get creative with your creative. The stats are real and the instant response opportunity is huge. Your television commercial, with an effective message, places an open door to your business right in your target’s home. Think carefully when you craft your call to action!

It’s hard to see it any other way – All TV is instant response TV.

Now go sell them Widgies!

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