Back in January I wrote a post called “Marketing in 2009 is cool”. In this post I discussed the cool new ways we will be marketing our shows and events in 2009 and the future. Today, I found a cable marketing/advertising advancement.
There is an Associated Press story today on cable companies taking a page out of online marketing. The writer gives an example that you are watching a show on Comedy Central. The show goes to a break and a Ford Mustang spot comes on. Ford knows that you have been shopping for a new Mustang. At the end of the spot a button pops up and asks if you would like more info. If you say yes, they send you out a packet or have someone call you.
Does this sound like science fiction? Well, it’s real. Several cable companies are going to “test drive” it this summer.
As soon as I read this I thought this idea would be great for sports teams. Think about this: Someone watching your sports team on TV has an interest in your team, right? Well, why not run a ticket package spot during the break. Then have a button pop up and ask if they are interested. If they say yes, then someone in the ticket office calls them. You don’t get any closer to “direct ask” marketing then that. Think about the great lead list you will get.
Cable already has an advantage with targeting. They have network choices that are targeted to one group or another. For example women are more apt to watch Lifetime and Hallmark. Cable companies are now going to take this “targeting” even closer. The article said that cable companies are going to try targeting ads to demographic profiles. For example, neighborhoods with larger youth populations might get spots for summer concerts. While neighborhoods with high-end income levels might get spots for exotic travel. Two different people in the same town, watching the same program, on the same cable company might see two different commercials.
What if you saw an ad on ESPN for Thomas & Friends Live? In the past you might say “wrong demo”. But the reason you saw the spot was because they know you bought tickets in the past year for Sesame Street Live. Some might think big brother is going too far. As a marketer I am always interested in how to reach my target demo. With marketing budgets thin and TV ratings spread even thinner, this might just be a solution.