Motley Fool: Advertising Reach is Bigger Than You Think

January 4, 2014

Motley Fool View on Measuring Time Shifted Viewing

Motley Fool View on Measuring Time Shifted Viewing

As advertising moves increasingly across screens, measurement needs to move fast to keep up.

This Motley Fool article takes a look at the time-shifted viewership of TV programs that occur outside the official C3 ratings, and the implications for media companies and advertisers.

Article: Advertising Reach is Bigger Than You Think

Moving forward, there will be two fundamental advertising models–linear and dynamic. In the linear, or traditional, model, one ad is served to many people. This can happen live or thru time shifted viewing. In the dynamic advertising model, one ad is served to a single individual–e.g. each ad is addressable.

Audience measurement of the future will need to take account of both linear and dynamic advertising insertion models and measure both live and on-demand viewership.

If this isn’t tricky enough, think about the implications for ad effectiveness: is an ad that is viewed 2 days later as effective as one delivered live ? Is an addressable ad sufficiently more effective than a less targeted linear ad to justify its price premium ?

The linear vs. dynamic and live vs. on-demand viewing patterns will almost certainly impact not just reach–but advertising performance as well. Measuring and understanding relative ad effectiveness across these dimensions will become even more important in the future.

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Guest Post: The Future of Media Research

May 17, 2010

This post is part of a continuing series of guest posts. Louise Ainsworth, Managing Director, EMEA, The Nielsen Company, looks at four scenarios for the future of media research.

The media industry has been subject to massive disruptive influences in the last ten years and they seem set to continue. Any attempt to predict the future of the media and advertising ecosystem or the future of the research industry that supports it is likely to fail.

Media Disruption — How To Measure in the New World

However, we can think about the underlying forces and influences at play and what are the likely outcomes of each, leading to scenarios which help us frame decision-making. Some possible future scenarios include:

1. New Media, New Metrics

Technology and platforms are evolving and will continue to evolve to allow audiences to extend media consumption throughout their day and find the best available screen. New kinds of research are needed to understand audience behaviour, attitudes and response in this new world.

In some cases, these new approaches require new scientific understanding, such as neuroscience, or rely on the development of measurement technology in line with new platforms as usage extends to 2, 3 or even 4 screens. In other cases, these new metrics reflect different and innovative applications of well established academic thinking or traditional research, such as behavioural economics, currently a hot topic in the UK.

Social media has also fundamentally changed the way that audiences communicate with each other and the way that brands can reach out to them.

Recent analysis by The Nielsen Company shows how viral media can inflate not only the reach of a campaign, but also the impact. Audiences trust recommendations from a friend more than any media communication. A recent study conducted jointly by Nielsen and Facebook showed how ‘friends’ becoming fans of a brand provides both organic reach and also significant shifts in brand awareness and consideration.

Difference between control group and exposed

A recent review provided another illustration of how new metrics are needed to grasp the meaning of how new media impacts campaigns around the Super Bowl. In this review, Nielsen developed a blended media score to evaluate the performance of campaigns across paid and earned media, including audience response and viral impact. The chart below shows how some advertisers were better than others at ‘earning media’.

Earned Media

2. Less is More

An alternate view is that the proliferation of platforms and metrics only serve to confuse and make it harder for marketers and agencies to make allocation decisions. Whilst in some cases allocation and targeting can increasingly be automated, major advertisers are looking for simple approaches and metrics that can be applied consistently when they are comparing across platforms.

The demand for, and success of, UKOM illustrate this – the reality is that to understand and evaluate the internet in comparison with other media, advertisers required that an internet planning currency was established. This has now been adopted by more than 30 publishers and more than 30 of the UK’s leading agencies. UKOM is providing the UK online media industry with an opportunity to finally engage with the IPA TouchPoints survey and provide a valuable source of consistent evaluation.

In several examples, clients also seek to find consistent metrics across multiple markets and all media. They do desire a GRP that compares across 4 screens and across all markets. The following article, Integrated Measurement and the Pathway to Profitability, looks at one way of evaluating a cross-media GRP.

3. Response Data Complements Audience Ratings Data

One opportunity to unify advertising research across platforms is to focus on the impact on audience response, advertising recall, changes in behaviour and ultimately revenues.

Advertising is increasingly targeted and evaluated on the basis of which media contexts and creatives have been most successful in driving response metrics including propensity to buy. Services such as Nielsen IAG offer clients the opportunity to compare performance of TV advertising with online advertising.

TV vs online advertising

The more granular the data, the more meaningful the evaluation, and this kind of evaluation, particularly on offline purchase, will rely on highly granular data in media and purchase behaviour. This type of analysis will help us better understand how & where the ‘new media ecology’ will eventually settle out to and how we should frame future resource allocation.

4. Privacy Prevails

The last scenario, and the one which offers the least opportunity, is the ongoing threat of increasingly stringent privacy legislation. This presents a more sobering prospect for the industry of increased restrictions on the flexibility of publishers, networks and also researchers to monitor and respond to the behaviour of the audience with increasingly targeted and relevant offerings.

Advertisers and publishers, as well as researchers, may lose out on the opportunity to generate more value for the industry by improving the efficiency of advertising. Providing consumers with a clear and valuable exchange (for instance, more relevant, salient advertising communication) for their disclosure will be a critical requirement for the industry.

The call to action for the media research industry here is to ensure that we take this issue seriously and self police effectively. Privacy remains paramount and the research industry must lead the field in ensuring we maintain high levels of security and anonymity in personal data handling.

Of course, it’s likely that elements of all of these trends will be evident in future market spaces. All provide a different set of challenges and opportunities for media, advertisers and researchers alike. One thing is certain, those that succeed in this future will be those that frame their decision-making through an awareness and understanding of these contrasting forces and influences at play.


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Why TV Viewership Keeps Growing

November 30, 2009

Against all gravitational odds, TV viewership continues its inexorable rise. The average U.S. consumer now watches TV 32.9 hours per week, versus 26.3 in 2000, a +20% increase. With the growing presence and ubiquity of the web and mobile, how can this possibly be?


TV Viewing -- More Screens, More Content, More Options

Supply Drives Demand

The simple answer is supply.  Consumers now have more places, means and content to view than ever before. It’s a well established fact in many industries that supply can drive demand.


  • P&G once learned that Bounty Paper Towel rolls with +50% more sheets lasted only +33% longer.
  • In the food industry, research suggests that the more food a person is served, the more they tend to eat. 
  • Costco’s focus on large sizes is designed in part to drive increased consumption.

And when people have more TV’s, more channels, and more ways to control their viewing, guess what?  You guessed it, they consume more TV.


Drivers of TV Consumption

  1. More TV’s to View – Consumer households contain more TV’s than ever. The average household now has 2.8 TV’s, up from 2.4 in 2000. With more TV’s, there are more opportunities to watch.

    More TV's Per Home Drives More Viewership


  2. More Viewing Content – The expansion of cable and satellite TV has provided viewers more content options than ever. The average 2008 viewer had over twice the number of choices as in 2000 — 130 channels versus just 61 in 2000.
  3. More Viewing Flexibility – The rise of the DVR has provided viewers greater viewing flexibility. Time shifting is on the rise. Now consumers can record their favorite shows for playback whenever it’s convenient-and it’s easier than ever before. For an interesting take on the impact of DVR’s, see “How the DVR is Saving TV Advertising.”
  4. More Quality Viewing – The introduction of new TV technology (e.g. high definition, plasma, etc.) and digital TV have improved the viewer experience. TV picture quality has never been better.

TV Isn’t Dead

Contrary to what some would have you believe, TV is alive and even growing. What does this mean for Marketers ?


  • TV continues to be a core awareness building block for mass appeal brands. Any mass appeal brand which needs to build awareness and brand equity simply can’t ignore TV. It’s broad reaching, it’s efficient, and it’s still effective. Nielsen IAG data shows no significant decline in key advertising effectiveness metrics–awareness, branding, likeability–over the past 5 years. Great TV advertising is still just that – great.
  • Marketers need to focus more on the effect of “context” on their TV plans. Specifically, Nielsen IAG research shows that program context makes a big difference. Ads aired in high engagement TV programs have high recall and vice versa. And matching your brand’s equity to the equity of the program can enhance ad pursuasiveness.
  • TV is becoming increasingly digital and interactive. Already, many brands are experimenting with interactive TV (iTV), and new technology promises to bring web interactivity to your future TV as soon as you plug it in. As well, Marketers need to do more to understand same program/cross-platform viewing–e.g. viewing of the same program across TV, web and mobile.

Where CMO’s Should Focus

The data shows that the demise of traditional TV is way over-blown. That said, CMO’s need to push their brands to innovate in this traditional medium. Opportunities to do so abound. New targeting capabilities, ad and media effectiveness measurement approaches, interactive TV technologies, and cross-platform viewing dynamics promise to challenge Marketers even as they are reassured that TV is far from dead.


What’s your brand doing that’s new in TV ?


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How Digital and Measurement Innovation Are Changing Marketing Accountability

July 29, 2009

Digital and measurement innovation are making Marketing more accountable. And it can’t happen fast enough. Why do Chief Marketing Officers last only 28 months on average? Why, according to a recent Ernst & Young study, do less than 20% of Fortune 1000 companies have a Chief Marketing Officer? As Advertising Age noted:

A study conducted by Ernst & Young…found that 13% to 15% of Fortune 1,000 companies employ some sort of marketing position with a chief or senior-executive-level title, such as chief marketing officer or chief revenue officer…The absence of a head marketer in public filings is evidence of their potential lack of say within organizations, said Ed See, a consultant in Ernst & Young’s advisory services practice…

Why such an uncomfortable state of affairs ? In part, it’s because the return on marketing has often been insufficient, that’s why. That’s an easy thing to say. The more uncomfortable part is asking why? Are Marketers simply incompetent? Or does the rest of the world really not appreciate Marketing, as some would have you believe?

Return on Marketing Investment -- Insufficient ? (visual courtesy of

Return on Marketing Investment -- Insufficient ? (visual courtesy of

Why Return on Marketing is Insufficient

  1. Measurement – Large parts of the Marketing budget have not been measurable. Cause and effect in the marketing mix were poorly understood. Even in great Marketing driven organizations investments were often made on good faith. Why? Because the basic data and measurement capabilities simply didn’t exist or were too costly.
  2. Organizational Accountability – It pains me to say this. But, many Marketers adhere to a kind of voodoo faith in marketing. Creativity and branding are believed to be beyond data and metrics. It’s sad but true; too often Marketing organizations have not been disciplined and accountable for their spending.
  3. Marketing IQ– Many organizations don’t really understand the value of a brand. CMO’s can’t just take for granted that people understand and value brand building activities and their impact on profit. Part of their  job is evangelizing the benefits of Marketing and helping the organization understand how Marketing makes a financial difference.

But things are about to change—in a big way. Marketing is in the midst of the most transformational period since the invention of the 4P’s.

Two Tectonic Changes — Digital & Measurement Innovation

  1. Digital Convergence – As more Marketing is delivered digitally, more of your plans become measurable. And when your plans can be measured, they can be analyzed, drivers can be quantified, and success becomes more knowable. The inexorable drive to digital, across all mediums, means more transparency. And with transparency comes greater accountability for your Marketing organization.
  2. Measurement Innovation – New measurement tools are changing what can be measured and when. Marketing mix modeling, real time evaluation of advertising effectiveness, viewer engagement and the realization of single source data—the Holy Grail in marketing—are closer than ever. And the convergence to digital is turning tool theory into reality.

These changes mean that Marketing investments and their impact will be more transparent, and Marketing organizations will be held to greater accountability. And the current challenging economic environment guarantees continued and unrelenting scrutiny of marketing spending.

What You Can Do — Play a Leadership Role

  1. Set Clear Objectives and Demand Measurement – Create and use Marketing metrics. Focus on marketing efficiency and impact. A great post on this topic is Nichole Kelly’s “Return on Marketing Investment Measurement that Works.”
  2. Embrace Digital Opportunities– Explore the use of digital measurement in your plans. Stay on the cutting edge of new technologies and frameworks. Learn more about digital measurement in Jonny Longden’s “How to Build a Digital Measurement Framework.”
  3. Explore New Measurement Tools – Stay abreast of the newest measurement tools. Appoint an expert in your organization to follow trends and identify new opportunities. Learn how they might impact your business. Experiment.
  4. Evangelize Marketing– Talk to internal stakeholders. Share information and build understanding of cause and effect marketing. Convince people that Marketing should be an investment, not a cost. Help people understand that the brand is more than Marketing, as I did in a related post “Leading Your Brand Beyond Marketing.”

Marketing will always be a complex and exciting blend of analytics and creativity. What’s changed is that the advent of digital and measurement tool innovation will create a new era of transparency and accountability in your Marketing world. Marketing will become an investment—not simply a cost.

Marketing exists for one and only one reason – to drive economic value for the business. In the past, there were plenty of excuses as to why return on marketing was insufficient. Not so in the future. Shame on us if we miss this singular and epoch making opportunity.

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