Corporate Eye

Most CMOs Still Believe TV Advertising Works

tv-advertisingThe print publishing world might be falling apart, but television advertising won’t be dying out anytime soon –not if the opinions of CMOs matter.

In an Advertising Week panel of Chief Marketing Officers hosted by Fast Company last week, CMOs agreed almost unanimously that television advertising is still an important part of their marketing strategies and won’t be going away anytime soon.  However, times are changing and television doesn’t hold the place of importance that it did just 10 years ago.  Today, CMOs in the Advertising Week panel agree that television advertising is just one part of a much bigger marketing plan.

As GE CMO Beth Comstock explains, “It still works, but not by itself.  You need other things to activate it. There’s a whole media ecosystem to get your story out there.”

Think of it this way — according to Best Buy CMO Barry Judge, the Best Buy website gets nearly 1 billion visitors per year.  He recognizes the importance of the online space as a way of building the Best Buy brand and providing experiences for consumers who visit the branded site.  Let’s face it.  The interactivity of a website (if it’s done well) can often have a much stronger impact on a consumer than a 30-second ad spot.  Judge understands that.

Unfortunately, not every CMO feels the same way about advertising.  Chipotle CMO Mark Crumpacker explained at the Advertising Week panel that Chipotle CEO Steve Ells is not a proponent of advertising and has even asked Crumpacker if advertising is really necessary.  However, majority typically rules, and it’s probably safe to bet that the majority will rule in this case as well.  Television advertising isn’t going anywhere.

The best television advertising, however, will integrate online and social media elements, driving consumers to branded web destinations where they can actually interact with the brand and experience it.  Research shows that the vast amount of pre-purchase research is done online.  While television ads might still work at raising awareness and piquing interest, the majority of purchase decision-making is done in the online space.

The winners will be the companies that effectively integrate online and offline marketing efforts to surround consumers with branded experiences allowing them to self-select how they want to interact with the brand.  Are you ready?  Is your brand there yet?  If not, it’s time to start working!

Image: stock.xchng

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.