Media Things: The trend of Trending ... Lee Baring Head of TV, adconnection

When working at a fast growing agency such as adconnection, you get to meet many prospective clients who have a varying amount of satisfaction with their current agency. They will come from a number of different sectors with a number of different reasons why they are thinking of a different approach.

Within the e-commerce sector, if a client is unhappy the complaint is quite surprisingly similar. Their grievance is usually one of two things, but both involve the same subject, data.

Complaint a) “We are struggling to grow our business, every time we spend more on TV our CPA’s increase and our agency recommend us to reduce our budget”.
Complaint b) “We want to obtain a greater understanding regarding the effect of our TV advertising. We know it works, but we can’t make it consistently work and our agency’s analysis doesn't seem able to develop it”.

These complaints are frustrating for a number of reasons. From a media practitioners point of view, we know how damaging a bad agency experience can be to a brand, usually leaving a bad taste in the clients mouth and fulfilling the myth that the only thing agencies care about is taking the client’s money. However by applying a little intuition and a smattering of common sense we can help those clients achieve their objective in an efficient, scalable manner.

Unique phone numbers
TV Response Analysis has changed over the years. In the early 90’s ads were aired with unique phone numbers, the consumer used that number and was therefore attributed to that specific ad. With the explosion of information access via the internet, the user doesn’t need to respond instantaneously anymore. In fact they don’t even need to know the brand website or even the brand name. As long as they know the general theme of the advert they have just seen such as “what’s that ad with the meerkat in?”, a handy search engine will point you in the right direction.

This has made the analysis of the consumer journey from ad to response a much more varied one and therefore more complicated one. Most systems that we have seen being used, will try and attribute response to an individual spot and base performance from then on. An antiquated method and one that belongs way back in time before our lives revolved around the internet.

Another failure in TV attribution is the word itself. We shouldn’t be using the word “attribute” as this implies an actual. A finality. A certainty. When in fact it’s a guess! Once you lower your blood pressure and accept that you can’t, with 100% certainty, track a respondents route you can start to build a greater understanding regarding the effect of TV advertising.

Trend Analysis

This should be a key word in TV response analysis and is one phrase that is key in adconnection’s response analysis systems. Predictive Analysis, the type used by Netflix, Google and most blue chip companies around the world never offers certainties, it offers coincidence.

“When we do this, this seems to happen”
“When a customer is 30-45, response rate increases by 13%”
“65% of consumers that have viewed House of Cards go on to watch Orange is the New Black”

One Superbowl spot
It is this type of approach that helps us improve our understanding of our client’s schedules. It is why we know that for certain categories, a spot in breakfast television can increase a day’s average response by 35%. It is how we know that a viewer watching a film is far more likely to respond when the film has finished rather than at the moment the ad has aired. It is why Steve Jobs spent an entire year’s marketing budget in one go on one Superbowl spot. 

It is the reason we will never a say that a station isn’t working, but will offer why an environment doesn’t seem efficient and it is how we manage to help our clients grow because finding the most responsive airtime isn't about finding the cheapest, smallest spots.

If you’re interested why not research the how a multiple analysis systems, combined into one brain, helped a computer win the champions of champions series in the States at the world famous game show, Jeopardy – based on identifying trends that point to the most likely answer by combining knowledge from many different sources. 

Information is everywhere, the consumers ability to engage with brands has never been closer yet the smaller the journey has become the more complex it has grown, just ask Watson, the super computer!  

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