Using TV Data to Optimize Digital

January 5, 2014

As the TV and digital worlds begin to merge, one of the more interesting new capabilities that advertisers and their agencies should be exploring is using TV audience viewing data to plan and buy digital audiences to increase total campaign effectiveness.

Videology's Mark McKee on Bringing TV data into Digital

Videology’s Mark McKee on Bringing TV data into Digital

In this BeetTV video, Videology’s Mark McKee explains some of the thinking behind this.

Using TV data to Optimize Digital

This  is important because historically, TV and Online planning and buying were done separately in most cases, missing a great opportunity to extend reach beyond random duplication of audiences. I wrote about this opportunity in a separate blog post earlier this year.

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Mediapost Article: More 2014 Advertising Predictions

January 1, 2014

More 2014 Advertising Predictions: More Top Funnel Programmatic, Mobile Integration, Privacy Power, TV to Video

Here’s yet more 2014 advertising predictions, this time from Eric Bosco, CEO of Choicestream via Mediapost. Trend highlights:

  • More top of funnel programmatic ad buying
  • Increased integration of mobile
  • The rise of data privacy issues and emerging solutions
  • Video neutral planning and buying as TV and Video blur

I agree with all of these and think that the first one is particularly interesting, with much to learn about how creative, media weight, programming and site content impact top and bottom of funnel metrics differently.

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MediaPost TVBlog Interview — The 3R’s of Advertising Effectiveness

December 11, 2012

The following is a repost of David Goetzl’s November 27, TVBlog post:


There’s no sense for advertisers to ever be fully satisfied with the effectiveness of their messaging and tactics. So, they’ll always be in search of more data and the finish line will keep moving.

But here’s at least one enticing landing spot: a gauge of how many consumers saw an ad on one of four screens (TV, PC, tablet, smartphone) and what it prompted them to do (or not) in real time — with the data coming in an easily digestible form, ripe for swift action.

David Goetzl Interview on the 3R's of Ad Effectiveness

David Goetzl Interview on the 3R’s of Ad Effectiveness

Randall Beard says Nielsen’s on that path with its “3R framework,” an umbrella term for its efforts to measure how reach and resonance lead to reaction. (It could be called 4Rs with an equation where reach + resonance + reaction = revenue.)

Helping in the kitchen are the 3Vs of Big Data, where there’s more volume and variety of information coming at greater velocity.

“There’s way more data, way faster that’s coming at advertisers and agencies,” said Beard, Nielsen’s global head of advertiser solutions. “And one of the big challenges is to have a simplified (platform) that brings it all together in a way that they can easily operationalize it.”

Beard will lead a webinar next week with details on how Nielsen envisions opportunities in a 3R playing field. In advance, he took some time to offer some thoughts:

–In the “reaction” area, the Nielsen Catalina Solutions services look to connect media consumption with purchase behavior. There are multiple research providers looking in that direction with TV advertising. What makes the offering different?

“The audience data is from the Nielsen people meter data set — supplemented by set-top-box data,” he said. “Most of the other players in the space are just simply using set-top-box data … The second thing is that we’re cross-platform, so we have this service not only with TV, but with online, with mobile, with print. So you can identify the most responsive buyer behavior group and then execute that across platforms.”

–If the same ad runs on live TV and online, which is more effective?

The data is not for the exact same ad on both platforms, but 2011 research found the “breakthrough” — percentage of consumers remembering an ad — for 15- and 30-second spots was about 50% higher in an online platform than TV. Hypotheses Beard offered include online platforms offering more of a lean-forward experience and usually a lesser ad load.

–Nielsen, of course, doesn’t determine what the currency is in a particular market. But can any of its “reaction” tools – Nielsen Catalina, Buyer Insights – offer the basis for one should advertisers want to trade on the data?

Beard indicated Nielsen believes it plays more of an advisory role, but there are opportunities for sort of one-off deals.

“We’re trying to bring data to the advertisers, agencies and media companies that they can use to be smarter about the way people plan buy, execute and ultimately optimize the advertising,” he said.

He said working with NBC, Nielsen has found the same ads in its Olympic programming have more “resonance” than when they run elsewhere and NBC has used that to demonstrate effectiveness in a sales process.

–One argument networks make is there is value in ads viewed as they zip by in fast-forward mode via DVRs. Logos might be seen or there may be some reinforcement if a viewer has seen the ad before in full. Has Nielsen developed any insight here through its research?

Not discretely. But it has found that ad recall is 30% lower for time-shifted viewing — whether an ad is skipped or not with a DVR — versus live TV.

“If you know that there’s a difference there, you can certainly assume that at least some part of a lower score in a DVR’d program is because of fast-forwarding,” Beard said. “How much? Couldn’t say.”

— One coveted metric in the “reaction” area would be: did an ad prompt a purchase the next day? (Helpful to consumer package goods and telecom marketers, among others.) Can a viewing-purchase link be available in a sort of overnight fashion a la the cornerstone Nielsen TV ratings?

Not yet. It takes time to connect the dots.

But in a “resonance” sphere – both with TV and digital ads – results come in much faster.

–But clearly the quicker the better – especially if there’s an emphasis on providing real-time insight to allow adjustments.

That’s a “big opportunity,” Beard said, across all platforms. That would give an advertiser with, say, three ads running a chance to determine certain effectiveness gauges for each and do some editing mid-flight.

That not only can improve “resonance,” but save money.

If a 15-second spot is doing just as well as a 30-second one, why stick with it?

“Why spend money on 30s,” Beard said. “Move all your spending to 15s … there’s lots of opportunities for advertisers, in particular, to measure “reach” and “resonance” in as close to real-time as possible and then make smart choices about how they allocate their spending, or improve their advertising  to get a better reaction outcome.”

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Digital Innovation – A Conversation with Group M’s Chief Digital Officer Rob Norman

November 20, 2012

Last week, the Paley Center for Media hosted their Innovation without Borders conference. I had the pleasure of leading a discussion with the inimitable Rob Norman, the Chief Digital Officer of Group M.

Paley Center for Media Innovation without Borders

In our discussion, Rob and I debated the fragmentation of the media landscape, the increasingly simultaneous consumption of media,  the need for end-to-end advertising measurement, the importance of standard metrics, and the role of real-time optimization, among other things.

Rob Norman — Chief Digital Officer, Group M

To see Rob’s take on these and other media and advertising topics, click here.

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Addressing the Trust Deficit in Advertising

September 17, 2012

Consumers increasing lack of trust doesn’t begin and end with government and other large public and private institutions. It applies to advertising as well. This should hardly be a surprise to anyone. Who trusts ads anyway?

What’s surprising is that advertising continues to work as well as it does when the majority of consumers say they “don’t trust (advertising) much or at all.” This is, no doubt, due to the creative power of great advertising—its ability to entertain as well as sell. Advertising works despite itself.

Trust in Advertising – Paid, Owned and Earned

In a recent Nielsen global study (disclosure: I work at Nielsen), all forms of paid advertising—TV, Print, Digital, Radio, etc., fared poorly on the trust factor. Conversely, and not surprisingly, “recommendations from people I know” scored highest on trust, with 92% of consumers trusting this source completely or somewhat. Owned media, such as brand websites, scored higher than paid advertising, but lower than social recommendations.

Trust In Advertising

Now What ? The Convergence of Paid, Owned and Earned

Now that we’ve demonstrated what many of us already knew, what should we do about it? Does trust in advertising even matter? If so, can we even do anything about it?  After all, the only advertising that most CMO’s control is their own (and some Ad Agency people would even debate that).

Since trust is a continuum , moving from earned (highest) to owned and then paid (lowest), it stands to reason that brands should want more earned and owned media. But giving up paid media? For most brands, this isn’t really feasible given both the broad reach and historical success associated with paid media.

Instead, we need to start thinking of how Paid, Owned and Earned media can work together to improve trust and deliver better results. Marketers continue to discuss them as if they are separate and discreet media. They’re increasingly not.

Technology is blurring the lines of paid, owned and earned media.  Paid media can now also be social. Social is often about paid. Owned media can have paid embedded in it. And sometimes, all three can exist in one consumer touchpoint. What’s a CMO to make of this trend?

3 Examples of Paid, Owned, Earned Convergence

1.       Paid Ads Work Harder with Social

What actually happens when you combine social and paid advertising? Research on Facebook ads with and without a social layer (Jimmy, Billy and 8 other friends are fans of Brand X), shows that social ads generate much stronger breakthrough and purchase intent than ads without a social layer. Why? Knowing that the advertised brand is liked by our friends builds trust.

Paid Advertising Works Harder with a Social Layer

2.       Paid Digital Advertising Drives “Owned Media” Usage

Digital advertising can drive consumers to a Brand’s owned media. In the example below, we look at the effectiveness of four different brands digital advertising in driving consumers to their respective web sites. Brands A & B were far more successful in doing so than Brands C & D.

Brand A

   Brand B

   Brand C

Brand D

% of those exposedto the online display campaign that went on to visit a brand’s site post-exposure 





% of those not exposedto the online display advertising who visited a brand’s site 





3.       Owned Can Work Harder Than “Paid Media”

What about owned media? Does it work once consumers arrive? One way of understanding this is to measure the off-line sales impact of those consumers exposed versus not exposed to your brand’s website. In the example below, we can see that exposure to Brand X’s owned digital media drove almost 3x the sales lift of paid digital ads alone.

Owned Media Can Work Harder than Paid

The Opportunity – Putting it All Together

Addressing the truth deficit in advertising is more than just making ads that are, well, true. It’s also about how to use paid, owned and earned media to your brand’s advantage.

Using the example above, why not build social into your paid advertising (where possible), use your paid ads to drive consumers to your website, and optimize your site to drive maximum on or off-line purchase? Why not experiment with the myriad of ways to engage your consumers across the paid, owned and earned continuum?

Because I’m betting that overcoming the trust deficit in advertising isn’t about making ads that aren’t misleading or exaggerated. It’s about adding in social and owned media experiences in ways that gives paid media more legitimacy and enables it to work harder for your brand.

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“Paid, Owned and Earned Media” Interview Part 1 with Market Edge’s Glenn Engler

April 9, 2012

The following post first appeared as “Paid, Owned and Earned Media with Randall Beard” on Market Edge on Webmaster Radio FM.

Host Glenn Engler is a Fortune 500 industry figure and has worked in the marketing and communications world for more than 25 years. He focuses on perspectives on social media and digital marketing, that will help you gain insight into the unique opportunities and challenges facing marketers and thought leaders today.


Glenn:  Hi and welcome to Market Edge. I’m your host Glenn Engler, CEO of Digital Influence Group. A full service digital market agency that helps companies unlock the social potential of their brands and amplify its impact to drive results. 

Today I’ll be talking about paid, owned and earned media with Randall Beard, the Global Head of Advertiser Solutions for the Nielsen company – a Global leader in media, marketing and consumer information.

Randall is an award winning marketing executive, speaker and author with more than 25 years of global experience across consumer package goods, financial services and high-touch service brands, including Procter and Gamble, American Express and UBS.  

It’s great to have you on Market Edge Randall, welcome.

Randall:  Hey Glen, thanks very much.

Glenn:  So let’s start if you can describe and share a little bit for the listeners what your role is as Global Head of Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen.

Randall: Sure Glen thanks. As you said, I’m the Global Head of Advertiser solutions at Nielsen.  If you think about Nielsen simplistically, we measure what people watch and what people buy. And what Advertiser Solutions does is bring those things together on behalf of clients, be they advertisers or  media companies to help them optimize their advertising and media return on investment.

Glenn: So you joined Nielsen in 2009 and before that you were on the marking side with a number of world class leading brands like P&G, American Express and UBS. What inspired you to shift from the brand marketing side to working in Advertising Solutions at Nielsen?

Randall: It’s a great question. I actually never thought about working on the other side of the table if you will. A recruiter called me and when she started talking about the opportunity at Nielsen and what the company was trying to do in bringing what people watch and what people buy together to deliver much more advanced and proven analytics for clients around advertising effectiveness, I started getting excited.

It’s a really exciting space to be in because I think right now there’s more change happening at any time that I can think of since the invention of brand management or TV advertising. It’s just a really interesting space to be in right now.

Glenn: So you have the luxury of getting to work with a number of CMOs across a variety of industries and media heads. What are some of the biggest challenges they share with you?

Randall: Yes, when I came to Nielsen a couple of years ago we partnered with one of the major consulting firms and went out and interviewed a large number of c-suite executives at major advertisers, agencies, media companies, and even some technology disruption companies and we asked them a really simple question, Glen, we said: what are your biggest pain points in the advertising and media effectiveness space?

There are about ten common themes that we heard but there were three that bubbled up to the surface as being the most important for them.

And the three were, number one:  how do I figure out how much I need to spend next year? I have a business plan, I have a revenue target, a profit target but figuring out how much I really need to spend on marketing communications is still really hard, right?

Second is:  how do I allocate that spending? If I know how much I need to spend, how do I allocate it? That is becoming more and more difficult as media fragments. It’s more complicated than simply, how much in TV, how much in digital and how much in print? Within each of those mediums where do you put your money and then there are all kinds of new things like earned and owned media as well.

Then the last pain point is everybody now wants to understand how their advertising in media is working in real time. So they can sense what’s happening and they can respond to that by optimizing inflight as opposed to waiting until after the fact.

I’ll tell you a little story, when I was in Japan years ago, working at P&G, we launched Charmin in Korea. We launched into the market and initially the first couple of months were pretty good in terms of sales and market share, but things started going a little slower after that.

By the time we got our tracking results and modeling results in month six to month twelve– it was too late. Whatever problems we had, it was too late, because we had already spent almost all of our money launching the product. That’s no longer good enough. What people want to know is within days or a week is how am I doing, what can I do about it, and how do I optimize inflight?

Glenn: Wow, so, how much should I spend next year, how do I allocate it and then how does it work real time? So give a sneak peak for the listeners some of the solutions and products your group delivers on behalf of or with your clients.

Randall:  One of the things we hear from clients, beyond the three pain points is people are looking for an end-to-end measurement system for advertising and media that’s common across platforms. So first let me explain what I mean by end-to-end.

Traditionally when people think about advertising effectiveness they think of brand tracking or what’s the sales impact of the advertising, what’s the return on the investment. What we’ve done is we’ve created an end-to-end model that includes but expands on those notions. We have a framework we call the Three “R’s,” Reach, Resonance and Reaction.

Let me start with Reach. When we think about reach the first question is, who are the consumers who are most responsive to my advertising? There are tools now to identify those consumers who are most likely or have in the past responded best to your advertising. Then importantly, where do I reach them? What TV do they watch, what do they do online, and how do I build a media plan around that.?

So if you’ve figured out who the most responsive consumers are and how to reach them, the second question is, are you actually reaching them in the market?  In TV that’s something that’s been done pretty well over the years but in digital there’s a lot to be desired. So how do you know that you’re actually reaching the desired target you want to reach, and we can now measure that on a daily basis, not only for a campaign in total but by individual website, to drive accountability and optimization opportunities. So all of that is reach.

So let’s say you’re reaching the right people. The second question is, are your ads breaking through, do people know the advertising is about your brand and is your advertising changing consumer’s attitudes and opinions about your brand so they’re more likely to buy? We call that resonance. Again, the news in this space is you can now measure this in real time. And you can make decisions in-flight to optimize how you get better results.

And then the last R is reaction. And reaction is, is the advertising driving behavioral change? Usually, that’s sales but it could be is the advertising driving people to go to your Facebook fan page or search for your brand. Or other desirable behaviors like that.

Glenn: It’s interesting; I’d heard that, I love the phrase reaction because in the past everyone would talk about optimization. Which sounds like a very mechanical, let’s start all over again. And your answers in the last couple have really been about real time, urgency and immediate, things like in flight just has to completely transform not only the marketing but from your stand point the measuring systems.

Randall: Yeah, absolutely, and I’ll give you a simple example. We measure every TV ad in every show, every day in the U.S. across about 70% of the audience. So we have about a million TV ads in our data base over the last 7 years.

So as we measure every TV ad in every show, every day we’re reporting to clients, typically on a weekly basis how their ad is performing. And importantly it’s not just how their ad is performing overall but how much of their performance is due to the quality of the creative, how much is due to media weight, how much is due to programming and how much is due to placement. And by disaggregating the performance into those areas you can actually make decisions in those areas to improve your performance.

So here’s an example, a typical engagement might look like this:  A client may put a new advertising campaign on the air. Week two we come in and say, you’re running two ads, A and B. A is performing really well it’s well above norm. B is below norm. Even when we factor everything else out A is much better than B. Take B off the air and reallocate your weight to A.

Two weeks later we might walk in and say, your overall break through is trending up because you’ve moved your weight to your best ad, but brand linkage is a little soft. So in other words, the percentage of people who remember the ad, who know it’s for your brand is soft, so why don’t you work on editing the spot to improve branding. So the brand group and the agency might do that over the weekend, they put it back on air.

Two weeks later we walk in and say, ok, you’re break through is going up, your branding is now better, what we’re now seeing is that your ads are performing better in sitcoms than reality shows. But you have 30% of your weight in reality shows. Look at whether you can reallocate some of your media weight to the other show that performs better.

And lastly, maybe two weeks later we walk in and say, hey you’re running 15’s and 30’s, the 15’s are performing just as well as the 30’s — why don’t you move out of the 30’s altogether and move into 15’s, which is a more efficient use of your media dollars.

So, those are the kinds of things we work with clients on and those are examples of what real time optimization might look like.

Glenn: That’s amazing. Gone are the days of, to your point, every three months let’s huddle in a conference room and share the brand reports. You’re sitting there, literally, as you mentioned with the CMO with the media agency, with the creative agency, obviously an integral part of that leadership team.

Randall: Yeah, and I think what you’re going to see is an even more extreme versions of this in the future.

For example, today there are firms that will optimize digital advertising based on click through rates and so forth in a very highly automated way, where there’s not even a finger print from the client on it. It’s all being done on an automated basis.

Now that’s interesting for direct marketers but I think what’s equally interesting is very soon you will see the same capability in digital based on branding metrics, as well. So imagine you’re running a digital campaign and you’re doing constant polling to measure the general recall, the branding, the messaging and all those metrics by individual creative unit by individual websites and then that data is being fed back into the placement of new ads, so you’re figuring out which sites are working best and it’s completely automated, so the system is actually moving inventory around and placing your ads in the places they are working best.

That’s pretty much right in front of us, that’s going to be happening. TV it’s a little harder because the backend systems to do those kinds of things aren’t as sophisticated as digital.


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How to Make “In-Game” Adjustments to Improve Advertising ROI

March 26, 2012

Imagine a coach who only shows up after the game to find out the final score. No half-time adjustments, no in-game adjustments based on what’s working and what’s not.  Is this good coaching? Of course not.

Advertiser as Coach -- Why Advertising ROI Isn't the Final Score

The final score is just that–a final score. It doesn’t say anything about what caused the game to be won or lost, and more importantly, what adjustments could be made throughout the game to win.

Measuring advertising ROI only is like a coach coming to the game after it’s over to learn the final score, and then declaring victory–or defeat.

Coaching After the Game is Over

In my last post, Driving Higher Advertising ROI Without Big Data, I described the apparent disconnect between the growing avalanche of “big data” and CMO’s continuing frustration with their inability to measure marketing effectiveness.

Given this, the 3R framework of Reach, Resonance and Reaction is a simple, yet powerful framework for evaluating advertising effectiveness. As important as it is to measure sales impact, measuring advertising ROI is not the be all and end all.

The 3R framework illustrates why this is the case. Reaction is the outcome, the end product. It is the product of Reach and Resonance–they are both drivers of Reaction. Even when Reaction is strong, Reach and/or Resonance aren’t always optimized. And this is the opportunity for the advertiser to coach–during the game.

A Simple Case Study — The Power of In-Flight “Coaching”

A client invested a significant amount in a broadscale digital campaign:

  • Target (disguised):  males, aged 21-29
  • 100 million impressions
  • Mix of banner ads, rich media, on-line video
  • Multiple creative units
  • Multiple web sites

Now, let’s work backwards:

Reaction — How well did the campaign drive sales ?

The campaign delivered +22% sales lift among those exposed to the ads.

How do we know this? The digital ads were tagged, and sales lift was measured via off-line purchase panels among those people exposed to the ads versus those not exposed.

This looked like a huge victory: what’s not to like about a +22% sales lift ? Let the celebration begin…

Reach — How well did the campaign reach males, aged 21-29?

Of the 100 million impressions delivered, only 60 million hit the target. So, 40 million impressions hit women, or men older than 29, teens, or some other group other than males aged 21-29. Obviously, the campaign was not well targeted. In my experience, this is the norm, and not an exceptional case.

But the campaign also wasn’t well planned: the reach was <10% and the frequency was 50+. Most consumers exposed to the campaign were almost certainly exposed way too much. And way too few target consumers were not exposed at all.

This kind of data is available now on a daily basis. Now, if it was just before halftime and you were coach, what would you do with numbers like these ?

Resonance — How well did the advertising break-thru and change consumer attitudes ?

Overall, the campaign performed slightly above norm. Ad recall was well above norm and branding was generally solid–good news and consistent with the sales results.

However, performance varied tremendously across creative formats, creative units and web sites. On-line video performed best, followed by rich media and banner ads. Of the 10 creative units, 3 performed well below norm. And of the 8 web sites, 2 performed well below norm.

Now, if was the end of the 3rd quarter, and your we looking at results like the above, what would you do ? Most likely, you’d move spending out of low performing ads, ad formats and sites, and reallocate them to higher performing ones.

Optimizing Advertising Performance “In Game”

It’s clear in hindsight that the campaign wasn’t optimized. The campaign clearly drove a sizable sales lift among those people exposed to it. If the client had measured results in flight and made adjustments along the way, the sales lift would have been higher, and among a much larger group of target consumers.

As the example above illustrates, it’s not enough to  just measure the sales lift of the advertising. This is like measuring the game’s outcome, without coaching throughout the game.

There are other important factors which are critical for you as the advertising “coach” to do to optimize advertising performance in-game:

  • Understand whether you are reaching the right consumer with the right reach and frequency.
  • Make sure that your campaign breaks thru and changes consumer opinions–across all creative units and all sites.
  • Measure all of the above in flight, in real-time, so you can asses what’s happening and quickly make decisions to change your plan to optimize the campaign and generate the best possible result.

So, what are you waiting for? Don’t be like many advertisers and be content to simply measure the final ROI score. Or, just take Yogi Berra’s famous advice to constantly coach, adjust and optimize during the game, because:

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

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