Must Buy TV: Emotional Attachment Generates ROI

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With the fall TV lineup already ramping up this week, direct marketers are looking for ways to tap into a receptive audience of eager TV viewers—but how receptive are we talking?

According to the "TV and Programming Study" from marketing analytics and strategy firm NewMediaMetrics, consumers with a strong emotional connection to a brand are 47% more likely to contribute revenue. And knowing which television shows those consumers tune into regularly is what NewMediaMetrics CEO Gary Reisman calls “the direct marketing dream.”

“Our perspective is that in the marketplace everyone has limited time and marketers need to shift their approach to be more focused on following the money and extracting revenue out of the most likely places,” Reisman says. “From a practical scenario, we're talking about finding buyer-rich media, which is media saturated with people who are more likely to buy.”

Take, for example, the credit card industry. The NewMediaMetrics study found that American Express brand loyalists have an overarching preference for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Blacklist, and 24: Live Another Day (a mid-season replacement scheduled for January), while loyal Capital One users are more likely to watch Sleepy Hollow, truTV's Top 20 Funniest series, and Whose Line Is It Anyway.

“The people attached to a brand like Capital One definitely have a different sensibility or mindset than the people attached to American Express,” Reisman says. “The latter's customers are likely more into status, while the people who are super-attached to Capital One probably take themselves less seriously.”

Why is this important? Says Reisman: “All media should align with the brand, and in a perfect world all marketers would use an approach that does that directly.” In other words, if you have data that proves Breaking Bad viewers have a preponderant predilection for Dairy Queen or BMW—or whatever—placing media buys for those products during an episode of the show or during preroll is pretty much a no-brainer. In fact, consumers are three times more likely to take action on a brand's message if it appears in alignment with content that's also emotionally compelling to that particular segment.

The media landscape is jam-packed, which is why it's all about prioritizing, Reisman says.

“We've found that about 50% of buys across all platforms are in media that engage far less than you'd want them to,” Reisman says. “But if you're able to redeploy media and spend more in fewer properties with a higher concentration of buyers, you'll see brand growth and revenue increases.”

The NewMediaMetrics study surveyed a representative cross section of U.S. consumers aged 18 to 64 who rated on a scale from one to 10 their emotional attachment to television shows and networks, as well as roughly 400 brands across 45 different categories.


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