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What’s Linear TV? Is it Still Relevant to Advertisers in 2024?



What’s Linear TV? Is it Still Relevant to Advertisers in 2024?

In the ever-evolving world of media and entertainment, the term “linear TV” may sound like a recent addition to our vocabulary, but the concept has actually been around a lot longer than you might think. In fact, each time you turn on the TV to watch your broadcast show of choice, you’re watching linear TV. While streaming TV has soared in popularity during recent years, it’s important to keep in mind that linear still has its place in the market. 

As we delve into the intricacies of linear TV and assess its relevance in 2024, it’s crucial to understand its roots, the mechanics of linear TV ads, the benefits and the challenges it faces in the wake of the growing popularity of internet-connected alternatives. In this post we’ll cover all that and more including what linear TV is, the pros of advertising on Linear TV, and the cons of this type of advertising. Let’s dive into all things linear.

What is Linear TV?


Linear TV, often synonymous with traditional or broadcast television, is a method of delivering television content in a scheduled, linear fashion. Unlike on-demand services that provide viewers with the flexibility to choose what and when to watch, linear TV follows a predetermined schedule. In simpler terms, everyone tuning in watches the same content at the same time, creating a shared viewing experience.

The term “linear” in Linear TV refers to the nature of content delivery. Programs are broadcast in a linear fashion, as noted above, adhering to a set schedule. This differs with non-linear models like streaming services, where viewers have the freedom to choose the timing and content they wish to consume.


Linear TV vs. CTV and OTT

As technology continues to reshape the way we consume content, terms like CTV (Connected TV), and OTT (Over-the-Top) have become integral parts of the media lexicon. Let’s explore the key differences between Linear TV and the dynamic duo of CTV and OTT, taking a look at their distinct characteristics.

What is OTT?

Over the Top (OTT) advertising is a content delivery method that involves the direct transmission of TV shows and associated ads over the internet through streaming video services or devices. This model allows viewers to access on-demand content, breaking away from the traditional linear schedule.

Unlike Linear TV, which relies on cable or satellite infrastructure, OTT services deliver content directly to viewers over the internet, offering flexibility in terms of when and where content is consumed. OTT platforms excel in providing on-demand content, allowing users to choose what they want to watch and when they want to watch it.

Services like Sling TV showcase that OTT and Linear TV are not mutually exclusive. While Sling TV utilizes linear content scheduling, it delivers that content over the internet, blending aspects of both models.

What is CTV?

CTV, or Connected TV, refers to televisions that are connected to the internet, whether through built-in smart TV features or external devices like Roku. CTV is a classification based on the type of television. Smart TVs and traditional TVs equipped with devices like Roku fall under the CTV umbrella. CTV and traditional linear TV are not mutually exclusive. A TV with a cable subscription and a connected device like Roku can seamlessly support both traditional and internet-delivered content.

While Linear TV operates on a more traditional, schedule-based model, both CTV and OTT leverage the internet for content delivery. This opens the door to highly targeted advertising campaigns due to the granular data available. Internet-based content delivery, characteristic of both CTV and OTT, enables advertisers to leverage granular data, tailoring campaigns to specific demographics and user preferences.


Unlike linear advertising, which follows a set schedule, CTV and OTT allow for more flexibility in ad placement, optimizing viewer engagement. It’s important to note that Linear TV, CTV, and OTT each bring unique strengths to the table. But with all that said, linear TV still has its benefits – let’s hone in on some of the pros of linear TV advertising.

Benefits of Linear TV Advertising


Linear TV advertising offers a variety of benefits that cater to diverse marketing needs. Let’s take a look at a few of the pros to this type of advertising.

Non-Skippable Ads

Linear TV ads are designed to captivate audiences, with durations typically ranging from 30 to 60 seconds. Unlike some digital platforms where ads can be skipped, the non-skippable nature of linear TV ensures that viewers engage with the content, providing advertisers with a guaranteed viewership.

Household Reach

One of the major strengths of linear TV lies in its ability to reach multiple individuals within a household. As linear TV overwhelmingly targets television sets, advertisers have a higher probability of delivering their message to a diverse audience under one roof, making it an efficient medium for household-focused campaigns.

Diversification in Marketing Mix

Linear TV can be a helpful tool when diversifying your marketing mix. Certain demographics, especially seniors, gravitate towards linear TV compared to internet-connected devices. This preference creates an opportunity for advertisers to tap into audiences that may be underserved by digital channels.


Brand Safety and Trustworthiness

The highly regulated nature of linear TV contributes to a brand-safe environment. Advertisers benefit from a controlled and trustworthy space for their messaging, as linear TV ads are perceived by viewers as more reliable compared to digitally delivered ads. This trust can enhance brand credibility and positively impact consumer perception.

Hosts of Major Live Events

While digital platforms are gaining traction for live events, such as Twitch and ESPN hosting live sports, linear TV remains the preferred host for many major events. Whether it’s breaking news, the excitement of the Super Bowl, or the thrill of prime-time programming, linear TV stands as the go-to destination for communal viewing experiences.

Targeting Options for Cable/Satellite Buys

For advertisers seeking precision in targeting, cable and satellite linear TV buys offer a range of options. Advertisers can strategically target based on specific channels, TV programs, and airtime, providing a comprehensive approach to reaching a broad yet specific audience. This level of targeting allows for a nuanced and effective campaign strategy.

The benefits of linear TV advertising are multifaceted, offering a combination of guaranteed viewership, household reach, regulatory safety, trustworthiness, and the ability to tap into diverse audiences. As advertisers navigate the complex landscape of media consumption, linear TV provides a unique set of advantages that contribute to a well-rounded marketing strategy.

Challenges of Linear TV Advertising


As with any type of advertising, linear TV advertising can also present marketers with a set of challenges. Let’s dive into a few common challenges linear TV advertisers might encounter.


Fragmentation of TV Landscape

The surge in popularity of OTT, CTV, and similar alternatives has contributed to the fragmentation of the TV landscape. The increasing trend of cord-cutting is reshaping viewer habits, posing a challenge for advertisers to maintain a consolidated reach.

Limited Precision in Targeting

Unlike internet-connected TV, the typical linear TV buy often falls short in terms of precise targeting. There are some agencies that do allow you to buy highly targeted linear TV space, but only a small percentage of linear TV buys occur in this way. This limitation can hinder advertisers from efficiently reaching specific audiences with their campaigns.

Measurement Difficulties

Measuring the impact of linear TV ads can be a challenge. While some agencies can provide insights, it’s not commonplace to obtain detailed information on who viewed commercials and their post-viewing actions. 

Luckily, at Tinuiti, our patented solution, powered by Bliss Point technology, applies modern machine learning and optimization techniques to non-click-based media. That’s a fancy way of saying we can statistically prove whether your Streaming and Linear TV buys are working, and we can show their incremental marketing impact relative to other channels.

Unskippable Ads

While the non-skippable nature of linear TV ads ensures engagement, viewers often take advantage of these moments to do other activities, lessening the effectiveness of the ad experience. The challenge lies in maintaining viewer attention and maximizing the impact of the ad during these unskippable moments.

Comparisons with CTV

The absence of certain challenges on CTV platforms raises questions about the future of linear TV. As viewers increasingly turn to CTV for its targeted capabilities, some wonder if linear TV is destined to follow the path of outdated technologies like landline phones.


In confronting these challenges, advertisers in the linear TV space must continually adapt their strategies to align with the shifting dynamics of viewer behavior and emerging technologies. The future of linear TV advertising hinges on its ability to address these hurdles and offer a compelling narrative in a world marked by increasing digitalization and evolving viewer preferences.

Is Linear TV Still Relevant?


In the midst of the digital revolution and the surging popularity of streaming services, the relevance of linear TV remains steady. While digital and streaming platforms are experiencing vast growth, linear TV continues to hold a pivotal role in the media mix for a variety of brands. Its appeal lies in its ability to reach audiences that have not fully embraced streaming TV, offering a unique opportunity for advertisers to connect with demographics that might be underserved by purely digital channels. 

It’s crucial to remember that it doesn’t have to be either-or. In many cases, the best strategy involves some level of investment in both linear and CTV. Recognizing the strengths of each platform and their distinct audience demographics allows brands to craft a comprehensive and diversified media mix, ensuring a broader reach and maximizing the impact of their advertising efforts. As the media landscape continues to evolve, striking a balance between linear TV and digital alternatives capitalizes on the strengths of both traditional and modern viewing platforms.

Looking for more information on linear media, or interested in incorporating Streaming Ads into your strategy in the coming year? At Tinuiti, we have a team of experts that can get you started. Check out our Streaming+ services (which can also help you with targeted linear TV buys!) here or contact us today for more information.


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Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success



Advertising in local markets: A playbook for success

Many brands, such as those in the home services industry or a local grocery chain, market to specific locations, cities or regions. There are also national brands that want to expand in specific local markets. 

Regardless of the company or purpose, advertising on a local scale has different tactics than on a national scale. Brands need to connect their messaging directly with the specific communities they serve and media to their target demo. Here’s a playbook to help your company succeed when marketing on a local scale.  

1. Understand local vs. national campaigns

Local advertising differs from national campaigns in several ways: 

  • Audience specificity: By zooming in on precise geographic areas, brands can tailor messaging to align with local communities’ customs, preferences and nuances. This precision targeting ensures that your message resonates with the right target audience.
  • Budget friendliness: Local advertising is often more accessible for small businesses. Local campaign costs are lower, enabling brands to invest strategically within targeted locales. This budget-friendly nature does not diminish the need for strategic planning; instead, it emphasizes allocating resources wisely to maximize returns. As a result, testing budgets can be allocated across multiple markets to maximize learnings for further market expansion.
  • Channel selection: Selecting the correct channels is vital for effective local advertising. Local newspapers, radio stations, digital platforms and community events each offer advantages. The key lies in understanding where your target audience spends time and focusing efforts to ensure optimal engagement.
  • Flexibility and agility: Local campaigns can be adjusted more swiftly in response to market feedback or changes, allowing brands to stay relevant and responsive. 

Maintaining brand consistency across local touchpoints reinforces brand identity and builds a strong, recognizable brand across markets. 

2. Leverage customized audience segmentation 

Customized audience segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups based on specific demographic criteria. This marketing segmentation supports the development of targeted messaging and media plans for local markets. 


For example, a coffee chain might cater to two distinct segments: young professionals and retirees. After identifying these segments, the chain can craft messages, offers and media strategies relating to each group’s preferences and lifestyle.

To reach young professionals in downtown areas, the chain might focus on convenience, quality coffee and a vibrant atmosphere that is conducive to work and socializing. Targeted advertising on Facebook, Instagram or Connected TV, along with digital signage near office complexes, could capture the attention of this demographic, emphasizing quick service and premium blends.

Conversely, for retirees in residential areas, the chain could highlight a cozy ambiance, friendly service and promotions such as senior discounts. Advertisements in local print publications, community newsletters, radio stations and events like senior coffee mornings would foster a sense of community and belonging.

Dig deeper: Niche advertising: 7 actionable tactics for targeted marketing

3. Adapt to local market dynamics

Various factors influence local market dynamics. Brands that navigate changes effectively maintain a strong audience connection and stay ahead in the market. Here’s how consumer sentiment and behavior may evolve within a local market and the corresponding adjustments brands can make. 

  • Cultural shifts, such as changes in demographics or societal norms, can alter consumer preferences within a local community. For example, a neighborhood experiencing gentrification may see demand rise for specific products or services.
    • Respond by updating your messaging to reflect the evolving cultural landscape, ensuring it resonates with the new demographic profile.
  • Economic conditions are crucial. For example, during downturns, consumers often prioritize value and practicality.
    • Highlight affordable options or emphasize the practical benefits of your offerings to ensure messaging aligns with consumers’ financial priorities. The impact is unique to each market and the marketing message must also be dynamic.
  • Seasonal trends impact consumer behavior.
    • Align your promotions and creative content with changing seasons or local events to make your offerings timely and relevant.
  • New competitors. The competitive landscape demands vigilance because new entrants or innovative competitor campaigns can shift consumer preferences.
    • Differentiate by focusing on your unique selling propositions, such as quality, customer service or community involvement, to retain consumer interest and loyalty.

4. Apply data and predictive analytics 

Data and predictive analytics are indispensable tools for successfully reaching local target markets. These technologies provide consumer behavior insights, enabling you to anticipate market trends and adjust strategies proactively. 

  • Price optimization: By analyzing consumer demand, competitor pricing and market conditions, data analytics enables you to set prices that attract customers while ensuring profitability.
  • Competitor analysis: Through analysis, brands can understand their positioning within the local market landscape and identify opportunities and threats. Predictive analytics offer foresight into competitors’ potential moves, allowing you to strategize effectively to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Consumer behavior: Forecasting consumer behavior allows your brand to tailor offerings and marketing messages to meet evolving consumer needs and enhance engagement.
  • Marketing effectiveness: Analytics track the success of advertising campaigns, providing insights into which strategies drive conversions and sales. This feedback loop enables continuous optimization of marketing efforts for maximum impact.
  • Inventory management: In supply chain management, data analytics predict demand fluctuations, ensuring inventory levels align with market needs. This efficiency prevents stockouts or excess inventory, optimizing operational costs and meeting consumer expectations.

Dig deeper: Why you should add predictive modeling to your marketing mix

5. Counter external market influences

Consider a clothing retailer preparing for a spring collection launch. By analyzing historical weather data and using predictive analytics, the brand forecasts an unseasonably cool start to spring. Anticipating this, the retailer adjusts its campaign to highlight transitional pieces suitable for cooler weather, ensuring relevance despite an unexpected chill.


Simultaneously, predictive models signal an upcoming spike in local media advertising rates due to increased market demand. Retailers respond by reallocating a portion of advertising budgets to digital channels, which offer more flexibility and lower costs than traditional media. This shift enables brands to maintain visibility and engagement without exceeding budget, mitigating the impact of external forces on advertising.

6. Build consumer confidence with messaging

Localized messaging and tailored customer service enhance consumer confidence by demonstrating your brand’s understanding of the community. For instance, a grocery store that curates cooking classes featuring local cuisine or sponsors community events shows commitment to local culture and consumer interests. 

Similarly, a bookstore highlighting local authors or topics relevant to the community resonates with local customers. Additionally, providing service that addresses local needs — such as bilingual service and local event support — reinforces the brand’s values and response to the community. 

Through these localized approaches, brands can build trust and loyalty, bridging the gap between corporate presence and local relevance.

7. Dominate with local advertising 

To dominate local markets, brands must:

  • Harness hyper-targeted segmentation and geo-targeted advertising to reach and engage precise audiences.
  • Create localized content that reflects community values, engage in community events, optimize campaigns for mobile and track results.
  • Fine-tune strategies, outperform competitors and foster lasting relationships with customers.

These strategies will enable your message to resonate with local consumers, differentiate you in competitive markets and ensure you become a major player in your specific area. 

Dig deeper: The 5 critical elements for local marketing success


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy



Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

As we march closer to the 2024 U.S. presidential election, CMOs and marketing leaders need to prepare for a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. Election years have always posed unique challenges for advertisers, but the growing dominance of digital media has made the impact more profound than ever before.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that will shape the advertising environment in the coming months and provide actionable insights to help you navigate these turbulent waters.

The Digital Battleground

The rise of cord-cutting and the shift towards digital media consumption have fundamentally altered the advertising landscape in recent years. As traditional TV viewership declines, political campaigns have had to adapt their strategies to reach voters where they are spending their time: on digital platforms.

1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626763 903 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

According to a recent report by eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. is expected to reach 65.1 million by the end of 2023, representing a 6.9% increase from 2022. This trend is projected to continue, with the number of cord-cutters reaching 72.2 million by 2025.

Moreover, a survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2023 found that 62% of U.S. adults do not have a cable or satellite TV subscription, up from 61% in 2022 and 50% in 2019. This data further underscores the accelerating shift away from traditional TV and towards streaming and digital media platforms.

As these trends continue, political advertisers will have no choice but to follow their audiences to digital channels. In the 2022 midterm elections, digital ad spending by political campaigns reached $1.2 billion, a 50% increase from the 2018 midterms. With the 2024 presidential election on the horizon, this figure is expected to grow exponentially, as campaigns compete for the attention of an increasingly digital-first electorate.

For brands and advertisers, this means that the competition for digital ad space will be fiercer than ever before. As political ad spending continues to migrate to platforms like Meta, YouTube, and connected TV, the cost of advertising will likely surge, making it more challenging for non-political advertisers to reach their target audiences.


To navigate this complex and constantly evolving landscape, CMOs and their teams will need to be proactive, data-driven, and willing to experiment with new strategies and channels. By staying ahead of the curve and adapting to the changing media consumption habits of their audiences, brands can position themselves for success in the face of the electoral advertising onslaught.

Rising Costs and Limited Inventory

As political advertisers flood the digital market, the cost of advertising is expected to skyrocket. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) will likely experience a steady climb throughout the year, with significant spikes anticipated in May, as college students come home from school and become more engaged in political conversations, and around major campaign events like presidential debates.

1713626764 529 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626764 529 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

For media buyers and their teams, this means that the tried-and-true strategies of years past may no longer be sufficient. Brands will need to be nimble, adaptable, and willing to explore new tactics to stay ahead of the game.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Perfect Storm

The challenges of election year advertising will be particularly acute during the critical holiday shopping season. Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have historically been goldmines for advertisers, will be more expensive and competitive than ever in 2024, as they coincide with the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

To avoid being drowned out by the political noise, brands will need to start planning their holiday campaigns earlier than usual. Building up audiences and crafting compelling creative assets well in advance will be essential to success, as will a willingness to explore alternative channels and tactics. Relying on cold audiences come Q4 will lead to exceptionally high costs that may be detrimental to many businesses.

Navigating the Chaos

While the challenges of election year advertising can seem daunting, there are steps that media buyers and their teams can take to mitigate the impact and even thrive in this environment. Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:

Start early and plan for contingencies: Begin planning your Q3 and Q4 campaigns as early as possible, with a focus on building up your target audiences and developing a robust library of creative assets.


Be sure to build in contingency budgets to account for potential cost increases, and be prepared to pivot your strategy as the landscape evolves.

1713626764 197 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy1713626764 197 Battling for Attention in the 2024 Election Year Media Frenzy

Embrace alternative channels: Consider diversifying your media mix to include channels that may be less impacted by political ad spending, such as influencer marketing, podcast advertising, or sponsored content. Investing in owned media channels, like email marketing and mobile apps, can also provide a direct line to your customers without the need to compete for ad space.

Owned channels will be more important than ever. Use cheaper months leading up to the election to build your email lists and existing customer base so that your BF/CM can leverage your owned channels and warm audiences.

Craft compelling, shareable content: In a crowded and noisy advertising environment, creating content that resonates with your target audience will be more important than ever. Focus on developing authentic, engaging content that aligns with your brand values and speaks directly to your customers’ needs and desires.

By tapping into the power of emotional triggers and social proof, you can create content that not only cuts through the clutter but also inspires organic sharing and amplification.


The 2024 election year will undoubtedly bring new challenges and complexities to the world of digital advertising. But by staying informed, adaptable, and strategic in your approach, you can navigate this landscape successfully and even find new opportunities for growth and engagement.

As a media buyer or agnecy, your role in steering your brand through these uncharted waters will be critical. By starting your planning early, embracing alternative channels and tactics, and focusing on creating authentic, resonant content, you can not only survive but thrive in the face of election year disruptions.


So while the road ahead may be uncertain, one thing is clear: the brands that approach this challenge with creativity, agility, and a steadfast commitment to their customers will be the ones that emerge stronger on the other side.

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Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester



Tinuiti Marketing Analytics Recognized by Forrester


By Tinuiti Team

Rapid Media Mix Modeling and Proprietary Tech Transform Brand Performance


Tinuiti, the largest independent full-funnel performance marketing agency, has been included in a recent Forrester Research report titled, “The Marketing Analytics Landscape, Q2 2024.” This report comprehensively overviews marketing analytics markets, use cases, and capabilities. B2C marketing leaders can use this research by Principal Analyst Tina Moffett to understand the intersection of marketing analytics capabilities and use cases to determine the vendor or service provider best positioned for their analytics and insights needs. Moffett describes the top marketing analytics markets as advertising agencies, marketing dashboards and business intelligence tools, marketing measurement and optimization platforms and service providers, and media analytics tools.

As an advertising agency, we believe Tinuiti is uniquely positioned to manage advertising campaigns for brands including buying, targeting, and measurement. Our proprietary measurement technology, Bliss Point by Tinuiti, allows us to measure the optimal level of investment to maximize impact and efficiency. According to the Forrester report, “only 30% of B2C marketing decision-makers say their organization uses marketing or media mix modeling (MMM),” so having a partner that knows, embraces, and utilizes MMM is important. As Tina astutely explains, data-driven agencies have amplified their marketing analytics competencies with data science expertise; and proprietary tools; and tailored their marketing analytics techniques based on industry, business, and data challenges. 

Our Rapid Media Mix Modeling sets a new standard in the market with its exceptional speed, precision, and transparency. Our patented tech includes Rapid Media Mix Modeling, Always-on Incrementality, Brand Equity, Creative Insights, and Forecasting – it will get you to your Marketing Bliss Point in each channel, across your entire media mix, and your overall brand performance. 

As a marketing leader you may ask yourself: 

  • How much of our marketing budget should we allocate to driving store traffic versus e-commerce traffic?
  • How should we allocate our budget by channel to generate the most traffic and revenue possible?
  • How many customers did we acquire in a specific region with our media spend?
  • What is the impact of seasonality on our media mix?
  • How should we adjust our budget accordingly?
  • What is the optimal marketing channel mix to maximize brand awareness? 

These are just a few of the questions that Bliss Point by Tinuiti can help you answer.

Learn more about our customer-obsessed, product-enabled, and fully integrated approach and how we’ve helped fuel full-funnel outcomes for the world’s most digital-forward brands like Poppi & Toms.

The Landscape report is available online to Forrester customers or for purchase here


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