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How Startups Can Run TV Ad Campaigns – Without Breaking The Bank!

How Startups Can Run TV Ad Campaigns – Without Breaking The Bank!

You’ve been running performance marketing campaigns since your business got off the ground. This was highly successful at first, but you’ve now reached a point where you’re investing a lot and seeing less and less in return.

You know TV advertising is one of the best ways (if not the best way) to reach a mass audience. You know the reach of TV is many times over what you can achieve with digital – and that TV is a game changer when it comes to helping startups like you scale fast. But you also know that TV will cost you a lot, right? Well, not necessarily.

It’s time to debunk the myth that startups need to be rolling in cash to get into TV. People often throw around high figures – think INR 3 Cr to run your first TV campaign – but this is clearly not the case. The truth is that TV can be expensive, but not as expensive as you might think.

 What’s The True Cost Of Being On TV?

A more realistic budget for a national TV campaign in India would be between INR 70 Lakhs to INR 1 Cr for a one-month campaign. But this can be reduced even further if you start locally, then expand nationally.

First, think about both your target group and your current business model. Most startups are not pan-Indian in the sense that they don’t launch nationwide.

For example, a grocery delivery startup or another business idea with a more local approach might launch in one major city like Mumbai or Bengaluru initially, before branching out to other areas after they receive funding.

If you are taking a more local approach, your first step into TV should be based on geotargeting – that is, homing in on one or two key cities. This then becomes a kind of test run in which you use a small budget to find out which TV channels, genres, and daypart works for you. A shorter campaign with geotargeting will cost you about INR 20 Lakhs.

This approach could also save you money in the long term, allowing you to use your learnings from a local test campaign for a bigger national campaign in future. This way, you can use your marketing budget where it really counts.

How Do You Know When You’re TV Ready?

When taking your first steps into offline media, keep in mind that every new customer you acquire through online performance marketing will inevitably be cheaper than those you get via TV. So before you jump right into producing your first TV spot, make sure that you have exhausted all possibilities in online performance marketing.

More generally, make sure you do your homework when it comes to setting up and optimising your product, website or app. Here, you can do AB testing to make sure your product is optimised and everything is in place once your TV ad goes to air.

For example, are you offering the right payment methods? Is your customer flow in order? Is your website or your app able to handle the influx of new customers after the campaign launch? Getting the highest possible conversions out of your TV campaign depends more on how you’ve optimised your website or app than the spot itself.

Technology Is Key To Unlocking TV Performance

Startups are, by definition, ROI-driven. They have a limited budget – that’s why they’ll likely be drawn to digital marketing because it is easy to measure its impact. That’s also why many shy away from running TV campaigns.

Often startups are worried about investing in TV because they don’t know how to track it. They’re worried about spending a large amount of money without being able to analyse what works and what doesn’t.

However, by using technology that allows you to track TV, you can take a performance-driven approach to your offline marketing, as you most likely already do with your digital channels.

You’ll want to make sure you’ve set up a proper tracking so that you can optimise your campaign as you go. The best way to do this is to work with a third-party tool, since building your own TV tracking tool is very expensive and not the most effective option unless you have a large BI team with the right industry knowledge for each market.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.

Author

Bindu Balakrishnan is the Country Head India at DCMN - a solutions provider that develops and executes individual growth strategies that combine marketing services with proprietary ROI-optimisation technology to help their clients scale. She is also a graduate of IIM Kozhikode.

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