How to Leverage Data for TV Advertising Success, Part 1

A successful TV campaign does not run itself. Even for small test budgets, a thorough data analysis at the campaign planning stage, during the time the campaign is on air and when measuring the campaign’s performance ex-post can make all the difference between success and failure, brand establishment, sales increase and ROI optimisation.

In this two-part blog post, we present six ideas about how the carefully planned and strategic use of analytical data can significantly increase the performance of your TV campaign. Read part 2 here.

Define a TV Target Group
Defining your target group as accurately as possible helps you to address your potential customers only and keep waste coverage to a minimum. Not only demographic factors such as age, gender and net income are important. Data on consumption habits and the classification into socio-demographic milieu clusters (e.g. Sinus milieus) are also significant. Market-media research studies, consumption panels and of course the data from the TV panels, all provide starting points for the transformation of your consumer target group into a TV target group.

Imagine you are selling luxury watches. The consumption panel will give you a demographic outline of the people who buy these kinds of watches (e.g. male and with a higher income), the market-media research will link the demographic outline of your potential customers to their media usage habits. (For example, do affluent males mainly watch TV or should I also include newspapers and online media in my campaign?), and TV panel data will show you exactly which channels and dayparts work best (probably news channels and evenings rather than daytime).

Despite all the possibilities to target even the smallest audience groups, you should never forget that TV is a mass medium. Therefore, too narrowly defined target groups will not provide you with sufficiently robust data for further campaign evaluation and optimisation. As a general rule: define your target group as accurately as possible, but only as narrowly as necessary.

Monitor your Competition
As a new player in TV advertising, you do not have to reinvent the TV strategy for your industry. Your media agency can analyse the media mix and TV strategy of your competitors (seasonality, channel mix, day part mix, gross spend, etc). Make use of this opportunity! This way, you can build on what has already been established in the market, and also take advantage of those TV slots that have not been used – or are underused – by your competitors so far. For example, if you, as a TV newcomer, go on air exactly at the point where your biggest competitors pause their campaigns, your brand awareness will be significantly higher than if you tried to stand out between two or three considerably bigger TV campaigns.

Furthermore, with the well-directed use of a ‘search sync’ technology you can directly profit from the TV flight of your competitor, by raising your search activities exactly at the time when your competitor‘s ad is being aired, thereby diverting the search traffic generated by the TV ad to your website. Imagine that you are selling kitchen appliances. A viewer watches a competitor’s ad and goes online, searching for ‘coffee maker’ or, maybe, ‘machine+coffee’. You will come out at the top of the search results and it is highly probable that your potential customer will click on your link and visit your website instead.

Choose the right channels.
The TV market is a confusing and increasingly fragmented place. Only a few years ago, it was still dominated by a small number of big TV networks. Nowadays, new niche channels are launched every year, making the TV landscape increasingly complex and hard to navigate. Your media agency supports you in gaining an overview of that market and selecting the channels best-suited to your target group, e.g. by analysing GRP affinities or breaking down the audience structure of a particular channel. As a rule of thumb, small niche channels with specialised programming are best-suited for addressing clearly defined target groups with minimal waste coverage and efficient pricing.

Click to read part 2.

This blog post is an adapted version of an article that featured in Leverate Media’s company magazine ‘Leverate ONE‘.