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5. Measure results and review

Once a TV campaign is finished is it important that an advertiser evaluates the campaign from both a delivery and business results point of view.

Step 1: Finding the natural base

To judge the success of a campaign you will first have to determine the control against which you are comparing.  You may want to look at the natural delivery. This is how the delivery across all campaigns has fallen across the period you were active.

Alternatively, you may wish to create your own pool of advertisers / competitors. This may be advertisers who were air the same time as you with a similar target audience of historical campaigns from your direct competitor set. 

Step 2. Evaluate your TV delivery

TV campaigns come in many different shapes and sizes and the quality of a campaign’s delivery can vary too.  There are several different elements that can be evaluated in order to determine the quality of a TV campaigns delivery. 

The 3 traditional quality parameters:

Peak - The TV day is broken up into a number of different dayparts (as below). The optimum daypart is peak (divided into early and late); the reason being that peak airtime tends to be when the best shows are on, where the biggest audiences are and when the most valuable audiences are watching.

  • Breakfast time: 0600 – 0859
  • Daytime: 0900 – 1729
  • Peak: 1730 – 2259 (Early peak: 1730 – 1959 & late peak: 2000 – 2259)
  • Post peak: 2300 – 2429
  • Night time: 2430 – 0559

PIB stands for Position In Break. This is the position that your advert falls within the advertising break. The principal behind PIB as a quality metric is to get your brand as close to the content as possible, and for that reason the most valuable positions are the 1st, 2nd and last in break.

CVE, or Centre vs. End, relates to which advertising break your advert falls in - one in the middle of the show (Centre) on one between shows (End).  The traditional metric considers the centre breaks to be more valuable, due to the idea that audience engagement levels are higher mid-programme.

Combining all 3, sometimes it is worth looking beyond the pure % delivery for the 3 elements in isolation.  The optimum position for an advert would be a position in break within a centre break during a peak show - how much of your airtime falls within this optimum position?

Access to top shows - You may want to investigate the top shows for your audience during the period you were on air and how much access you had to those shows.

Audience conversion - Looking at your trading audience you can see how well this has converted to your target audience, has this performed above the natural delivery of the channels, is there a way you can optimise to make your budgets work harder in the future.  

It is worth noting that the above is only a guide and will not be the case for all advertisers. For example, whilst centre breaks are deemed to be more valuable, that value is as a result of the higher engagement; high levels of engagement in turn means viewers are less likely to act upon the messaging they see. So, if the advertiser’s KPI is to drive some form of immediate response, they may wish to focus their airtime delivery into end breaks.

Step 3: Measure business results

There are several different ways you can monitor the effect of your TV advertising. Some are simplistic and can be done for little or no investment, while others will require 3rd party companies or tools to evaluate your campaign in more detail, and this will often come with some cost attached.

DIY results

The most simplistic and cost-effective way to evaluate your TV activity is to track your performance (sales, web traffic, likes, etc.) vs. tv activity.  By the time your campaign has started you should have received a full list of when your TV advert will be aired, including an estimate of how many people will be viewing.

Alternatively, post campaign, a simple Google trends report overlaid with your TV activity is an excellent indication of how much online interest your TV activity has generated as indicated below with this example from Dollar Shave Club.

Evaluation tools

There are a number of tools and systems available that will help you evaluate your TV activity.  One such tool is Adalyser, a data analysis and reporting tool for advertisers and media agencies who want to view and share performance of marketing. Adalyser subscribers gain insight from their data; they can analyse data, visualise and share results easily and optimise media spend.

Many media agencies will have their own version of these tools. If you are using an agency, ask them about their optimisation approach.

3rd party evaluation

Another option is to employ an external company to look at your TV activity and analyse its performance. Media auditors exist to make sure their clients are getting the maximum results possible from their activity.  There are many different media auditing companies, each with slightly different approaches with different offerings. Searching ‘media auditing’ will give you an idea of which auditor may be right for you.

Final thought…

It is important to decide early on how much evaluation and accountability you want from your TV results. It is possible to granulate down to a very detailed level, but this often comes with a cost attached and there are pitfalls with using this information to over-optimise your TV schedule. If a spot in Countdown on a Tuesday early afternoon generates an uplift, this should not be used as an indication that Countdown or Tuesdays or early afternoons are key for success. Any optimisation requires in depth analysis to inform decisions.  Always remember - TV has the ability to drive immediate results and does so to great effect, but this only tells part of the story. A large proportion of TV’s effect will be felt in the long term.

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