Encouraging SMEs to advertise: The ITV view
Premium-context advertising is not outside the reach of small and medium sized enterprises. While online classifieds offer companies an environment in which to reach targeted advertising, too often SMEs believe ad space on radio, television of OOH is out of their reach. Consequently, they’re missing out on a lucrative opportunity to reach premium audiences.
That’s why, in addition to supporting the Advertising Association’s SME campaign AAccelerate, ITV has its own campaign, ITV Business, to attract new advertisers to TV centred around the ITV Hub. Jason Spencer, ITV’s Business Development Director explained that while SMEs have traditionally gone straight to online advertising, which has provided an excellent starting point, there are other avenues of which most are unaware: “If you look at micro-businesses across the UK, you’ve got about 5.5m micro-businesses of 10 people or fewer. TV has not been the go-to media for them. “We are now providing a ski-slope opportunity for businesses to enter TV at a much lower level from as little as £200, with us supporting them on their creative production, helping to establish a model which enables them to manage their own campaigns from start to finish. “This self-serve model is in many ways reflecting the way they already work with the likes of Google and Facebook, but bringing that into the world of television. It’s quite revolutionary, in terms of the way ITV is operating, on a number of levels. “ He believes that outreach on behalf of ITV can help overcome the traditional tripartite barriers of perceived cost, affordability, and accessibility that have historically precluded SMEs from entering the space. Advertising outreach As a result, ITV is undertaking a pilot scheme in the Midlands designed to provide proof-of-concept for other SMEs who can potentially benefit from advertising space on the ITV Hub. In its pilot phase it is “not about making millions of pounds for ITV” - being subsidised both on the media and production sides – but proving that SMEs can see a real uplift from the trial. The scheme encourages SMEs to create new ads or adapt existing ones for inclusion on the Hub itself. Spencer explains that great pains have been taken to ensure the campaign is open to all SMEs, from ad novice to experienced practitioner provided they haven’t advertised with ITV already: “What we also do is handhold people through that process if they want us to. Some people are savvy enough, they manage it all themselves, they’ve got an existing ad that can be Clearcast approved or is Clearcast-approved, and they never need to speak to any of our team. “That’s one end of the spectrum – the other end is someone who doesn’t have an ad and needs handholding. That’s where our customer support team come in, much like if you were buying something online and you wanted that reassurance of ‘do I click here next, what do I do now?’” The benefits of the Hub Adspend on digital, and digital VOD in particular, shows no signs of slowing. Audience consumption habits demonstrate an appetite for digital video, of which there is no shortage online. However, Spencer says that the choice to use the Hub itself was due to its ability to access to a logged-in, known and premium audience: “People’s perception of the Hub is it’s a catch-up service and it’s not very big, so we have to say to people ‘we’ve now got, in a post-GDPR world, verified sign-ups and 26 million registered users across the UK’. “There are lots of things we can do to show brand trust, but also to show in terms of using that data to target at a granular level. The Hub is a small, but significant part of ITV’s overall impact, if you look at it in that respect, it is growing at a rate of knots… it’s scaleable enough at the moment – scaleable now to the extent that it can support campaigns in its own right.”
Similarly, the Advertising Association’s AAccelerate for Growth campaign provides resources and support for SMEs looking to reap the benefits of multi-channel advertising that they might have considered beyond their reach. Our research demonstrates that ever £1 spent on advertising has an ROI of six times that amount over time, and that SMEs in particular benefit more from advertising than larger organisations. For more information on ITV Business, click here. To read more about AAccelerate, click here or navigate to our resources page.