TV advertising? Ask these 8 questions first.

Posted by Activation Team on January 29, 2020

Thinking about using TV ads for your brand? Get answers to these questions and be ready to decide if advanced TV advertising is right for you.

When looking at the right advertising solution, data-driven TV campaigns are effective tools to make an impact and increase overall ROI on your marketing budgets. Be picky when choosing your TV partners. 

New advances in the ability to report audience location, confirm network environment, and apply data-driven measurement of performance are now available. So when it comes to knowing the TV environment and how to best reach your target audience it's important to ask these eight questions.


1. Are you restricted to certain inventory? 

When using TV advertising being able to tap into high quality TV impressions is important. If your partner or agency has pre-arranged inventory deals, that can limit the range of solutions that can be considered. If you choose to combine layers of TV and digital, knowing where your impressions are happening can direct you where to fill holes or heavy up to increase impact. Knowing where they aren't happening is even more important for advertising on TV.

2. How do you index data to any given location? 

By applying a comparison of data across TV coverage footprints, concentrations of audience are revealed. Advertisers can achieve far better precision with both planning campaigns and measuring campaign effectiveness if the analysis is done at least to the zip code level. Things to know: Are certain types of audiences spread out and have lower than average index numbers? How about combining areas into counties, states and regions to see trends?  Does the indexing provide insights into audience locations, or consumption patterns? Do certain media vendors have gaps? 

3. Is the pricing transparent? Does it separate media costs, data costs, and technology and service fees, fees for third party vendors?

Buying TV advertising can be tricky when combining traditional TV and Advanced TV. Knowing what you pay for can leverage that information and allow the brand to decide the value of the media in comparison to other TV advertising costs. Knowing what you are paying for allows you to compare a digital video TCPM of $35 to a TV TCPM of $35 to see what kind of scale and impact each can have.

4. Can my first party data be integrated into audience targeting?

Having first-party data is almost always the best, and it provides the most direct campaign planning and performance tracking that's important to you. Nobody knows your strategic target better than you do. For that reason being able to apply first-party data to your advanced TV campaigns is a crucial requirement. For brands data integration should be as simple as ingesting a two column Excel file. Goals to know up front: Was increase in foot traffic per store important? Was increase increase in same store sales your goal? Are you opening a new location that people need to know about? Are you trying to conquest new prospects?

5. Are you provided reporting by location, at the daypart, program and network level?

Knowing where your media dollars are efficient can allow you to optimize your spend. If they don't tell you where, then how do you know which part drove success? Comparing your TV advertising costs by market, daypart and network let's you see which factor is the most important.

6. Does the media vendor have an integrated attribution measurement? Or is it using third party measurement vendors?

For advertisers used to traditional TV advertising, this allows comparisons between one’s current campaign and results from past campaigns. Nielsen and comScore have laid the foundation of measurement but newer entrants into the ad tracking business may work too. Check out our use case showing tracking of impressions and sales lift.

7. Is there a way to apply attribution measurement? Which third-party measurement vendors can be as granular as you need with enough scale to make it significant?

This is where "probably vs definitely" comes into play. Did someone decide about a purchase because of the last offer seen (say a discount on their cell phone?) Or did they just happen to recognize a brand name right when they needed to pick up a bottle of spirits for a party gift (brand awareness?) Tracking different kinds of actions can come from several sources. Attribution measurement can be done in studies that combine all the TV and digital impressions in specific areas.

8. Can the agency provide impressions within network and MVPD inventory (e.g. not just through TV aggregates)?

If precision is desired, then MVPD and network inventory sources offer far superior inventory in terms of cost effectiveness, especially for national buyers. And increasingly for local buys as well, since we can combine markets so the entire country can be viewed as a whole. TV aggregates tend to offer the inexpensive, remnant, or poorly rated time slots that are measured by cheap CPMs only.

To repeat the answer to the first question: being able to tap into high quality TV impressions is important. If you are combining layers of TV and digital, knowing where your impressions are happening can direct you where to fill holes or heavy up to increase impact. Knowing where the media is not valuable is even more important. As they say in real estate "Location, location, location."

Topics: Targeted TV, ROI on TV ads, TV Impressions, CRM Data can drive TV planning, CRM data & TV plan, AdvancedTV, Retail Marketing, data insights, advertising, marketing, Audience Buying, advanced TV advertising

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Rich Kaufman