Television programming is far from passé. Matter of fact, more people than ever are watching TV. For instance, consumers around the world are watching nine more hours of TV than they did in 2011. When you add in films, the average person is now watching 25 hours of TV and movie content a week. That's great news if you are an advertiser, right? Not so fast.
Something has changed over the last 60 years of primetime television; the days of gathering around a 100-pound TV and eating TV dinners in the living room as a family affair are mostly over. Nonetheless, just over half of us sit and watch traditional live broadcast on televisions in the living room. It's what we are not watching that may be disturbing to advertisers.
But before we go there, let's consider the remainder of TV watchers. According to the 2013 report, Motorola Mobility's fourth annual Media Engagement Barometer, almost half of television programming is consumed in other places and on other devices, such as tablets, smartphones, computers, game consoles and DVRs. For instance, in countries like the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany, more people consume media via their tablet than the trusty old flat-panel television, regardless of whether they are in the house or elsewhere.
The problem for advertisers is this: Despite all of the hours people watch television — the actual time spent viewing commercials has dropped precipitously. The aforementioned Motorola study reveals that 29 percent of all content is viewed after being recorded. And if you are an advertiser, you don't need to wait until Halloween to be scared of this fact: 68 percent of global viewers record programming to skip advertisements on commercial channels, rising to 75 percent and 74 percent in the U.K. and U.S., respectively.
In other words, the viewers who record their favorite television shows on a digital video recorder will fast forward past $12 billion in advertising in 2013. How much of your ad budget will contribute to that sizeable sum?
It should be clear that digital technologies have enabled viewer choice, which is proving to be a challenge for advertisers who are counting on eyeballs being present during sponsored breaks.
With so much at stake, it's no wonder that marketers are looking for alternate advertising avenues — ones that can target their desired audience, deliver control over playback to defeat ad zapping, and provide interactivity to engage potential customers.
Digital signage offers an appealing alternative — or at least supplement — to traditional television advertising. Delivering valuable product information and appealing marketing messages to consumers with dollars in their hands advances the goal of your advertising message. That's exactly what digital signage can do in a retail setting.
Add to that the impact of interactivity via a touchscreen interface, and you have a technology to draw in consumers, engage them in your message and ultimately direct their buying decisions. All of this can tie into an omnichannel marketing mix that provides multiple consumer touchpoints and inputs.
Compared to a digital video recorder and commercial zapping, interactive digital signage offers you a technology for marketing that works with you to capture consumer attention and dollars — not against you. Isn't it time to consider giving your advertising the Midas touch?
David serves as Keywest Technologys director of marketing and has a background in emerging digital technologies, working for more than a decade as an electronic field engineer with digital video equipment manufacturers before joining Keywest Technology.