How do I target on TV?

Here you can find out more about the analysis and tools required to effectively reach your target audience on TV. 

When planning a TV campaign one of the first and most important questions you need to answer is WHO are you trying to reach? Who are your target audience? What are their lifestyles and media habits? How do these translate into TV buying audiences?

There are a number of different tools that can help us identify and understand more about our target audience and provide essential audience insight when planning and buying TV.

Tools and industry data sources

The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) 

This is the official source of TV viewing figures in the UK and compiles audience measurement and television ratings. Its panel is made up of 11,000 people in 5,100 homes and is funded by the BBC, ITV, C4, C5, Sky and the IPA.

They commission specialist research companies Ipsos Mori, RSMB and Kantar to collect data that represents the TV viewing behaviour of all of the UK’’s TV households. 

BARB measures hundreds of different audiences, however, most broadcasters will only trade on about 20 audiences. You will therefore need to convert the audience you are trying to reach into the buying/ trading audience that best fits. For example, if you want to target the main shopper in the house then your buying audience would be Housepersons. If you want to target men who like football then your buying audience might be 16-34 men. If you want to target women who earn over £30,000 per annum then your buying audience would probably be ABC1 Women. Within the buying audience you have selected, you will be able to select programmes that are most appealing to your target audience.

Find out more about BARB


This provides comparable data on the UK population. It asks respondents about demographics, brand and product use, leisure activities, media exposure and preferences, attitudes and motivations. This data can then be cross-referenced to build a consumer profile that includes their “most specially chosen to view programmes” 

Find out more about TGI 


Touchpoints is a multi-media planning tool which provides context and perspective into people’s lives and insights on their media usage. 

Find out more about Touchpoints 


This is made up of a panel of 500,000 Sky households, from which detailed second-by-second television viewing data is collected via the set-top box.  You can use SkyView to look at detailed viewing behaviour but also purchasing behaviour.

Find out more about SkyView 


Techedge is a research and planning tool which covers analysis, planning, optimization, scheduling, campaign management, reporting and market- & brand research tools. 

Find out more about Techedge software 

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Audience profiles

Headline facts and figures for the key TV buying audiences, from their universe size to the average number of ads they view per day.


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