Online Video vs. Television

Advertising in the Digital Age

By Frank Vertolli Co-Founder, Net Conversion | February 02, 2014

Co-authored by Ryan Fitzgerald, Co-Founder, Net Conversion

Global advertising spend in 2013 will see steady growth of 3.5 percent, reaching $503 billion by the end of the year, with the largest share in television advertising, according to ZenithOptimedia.(1) The travel and hospitality industries are in the top five markets advertising on this medium, spending more than $152 million collectively.(2) Although television still leads the way, consumer expectations have shifted, and your marketing dollars should too.

Television Advertising

The idea of primetime is somewhat dead. People are still consuming content, but the desire to consume it and pay for it on their own terms based on individual wants and needs has caused a shift in behavior. People have gone from actually sitting in front of a television to watch shows when they air to making sure shows are recorded to watch at their convenience. Oh, and they also avoid commercials whenever possible.
This has led to the growth of Internet streaming video services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Amazon, YouTube, all of which are easily accessible from a variety of devices, 24/7. According to Sandvine, the future will see real-time entertainment applications dominate fixed access networks, accounting for two-thirds of total data usage in 2018, driven largely by ubiquitous integration between devices (e.g. smart TVs set-tops, game consoles) and streaming services.)(3) These companies are already producing their own commercial-free content such as the critically acclaimed House of Cards and Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

Nielsen reports there was a 22 percent increase in users watching video on the Internet in Q4 2012, with an 80 percent increase in the time spent among users watching this medium. There was an even larger spike in users watching mobile video (206 percent).(4)

We're not saying television is dead – considering its reach and fact that everyone still uses it – it's not going anywhere anytime soon. However, there is a shift in advertising that hoteliers should be aware of when planning advertising budgets: moving some television advertising dollars into online advertising, specifically digital video ads.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.