Coming away from, but to return to Television?

Just the other day, during another of my chats with a group of social media and marketing folk I meet up with, we got round to the conversation of television and how it has been and maybe become once again the main way to advertise.

If we think about it, television has most likely taken 4th place in our screen selection at home with our mobile phones, computers and tablets taking up all our attention. Younger generations are much more busier/occupied with life and have a wide choice in watching videos or updating themselves on the latest in what’s happening in their world with their mobiles etc. Many say that instead of sitting to watch programmes in full, they are more likely to use the TV to flick through the magnitude of channels or use it to access cloud platforms such as Netflix to pick out what they want to watch and when.

It is important to think though that a television at home is likely to have the biggest screen, surely that is an important statistic especially when we think about delivering entertainment? Many homes will have upgraded to Smart TV’s so what is restricting us from watching the big screen more often? As internet speeds increase, will we convert back to TV more so, especially if they are as responsive as our mobile devices, as quick as our laptops and enabled as our tablets? Many Smart TV have so much to offer from Apps to games, social media to internal data storage so what stops them from grabbing more of our attention whilst at home? Our TV we have Skye’d from, receive live Tweets, read emails, view property on the installed Rightmove App and much more… But watching actual television is much less a frequent thing we do with it.

If we go back a few decades, television programmes used to hold millions of us fixed to the screens, as simple programmes such as Bullseye or repeat programmes of Carry Ons / Rising Damp would offer advertisers rich audiences to get their brand awareness / promotions to. Obviously we then only had a few channels to choose from and competition only really came from the radio or the local video rental store. Nowdays the amount of ways we can watch anything we want is vast so it really takes the big shows such as XFactor, BGT or live top sports programmes to ensure viewing figures of millions (though we can watch live TV on other devices too).

Can we though get a much richer target audience with television? If channels are in their 100,000’s and airing online is relatively cheap and possibly free (if you can call the likes of Periscope a channel), then if we had a property channel or homes for sale in London live feed that are watchable at peak times on television though only measuring in the 10,000’s of viewers, would this not offer a solid direct marketing approach that we need to explore going forward?

I am a great believer that our mobile phones will become even more important when it comes to the way in which companies market to consumers… But if we think about it, mobile phones have gone from big chunky objects to small slim and trendy fashion statements to once again, increasing in size (especially screen size). No, they will not grow to around a 32 inch screen, but once we are not out and about where we use our mobiles, will we be once again be enticed to our TV screen as a central point of entertainment and a more selective menu of content we want to engage with?

If I am honest, having two children at home, the biggest battle to getting to watch the television is the Xbox console attached to it and a schedule of programmes that they want to watch which makes me use the laptop more often to watch videos on Youtube or CatchUp on the iPad etc.

Is television just a background noise for many of us as we go about our daily lives at home, have we too much choice in other screens in our homes, are our habits changing and we’ve too much choice that each member of the household wants to watch what they want to watch when it suits them? Do households sit together to watch television anymore, or is that just once in a while activity? I know that at home we try and watch something on television altogether a couple of times a week so we are all together otherwise, especially the children, we’ll be watching something else each of us on another screen (I counted 14 screens in our house of which 12 were internet accessing devices).

What are your thoughts on television and especially it being a future marketing channel for businesses? Will it ever get back to where it was?


Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking and an internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Twitter and LinkedIn. Writes about UK property prices, housing and affordable homes.

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