Play to TV’s strengths, not theoretical KPIs

Play to TV’s strengths, not theoretical KPIs
Opinion: Strategy Leaders

When using TV, plan towards relevant reach and opportunities to see, rather than theoretical figures.

TV is a ceiling for many brands that have grown up in the ecommerce space.

For many marketers who are just discovering all the other channels out there in the media world, it takes some rethinking on how to approach these “new” channels compared to how they approach a digital channel like social media.

Such businesses have, or had up until this moment, digital media at their core. Social media is often, and understandably, the gateway channel into media (easy to manage via self-service, barely any entry barriers), followed by YouTube.

Unhelpful bias

The ceiling looks like this: you have maxed out the people who are willing to try new brands and are in the market anyways. But there is the point where you need to scale. TV, next to out-of-home (OOH) or radio, is one of those broadcast channels that still build up reach at scale, and fast, that each brand needs.

The digitally-centred thinking inevitably leads to a bias in approaching other channels. Everything in digital media seems to be measurable, and instantly. It does not matter if these KPIs that are being measured help the brand in the long run, or even make sense. This brings an expectation to other media channels that is not really justified or right.

Reaching as many people within your buying category is the key to grow your brand. And doing that over a longer period of time.

People do not watch ads consciously (sorry to break this to you), they do not react immediately, and they may not be in the right state of mind, not in the market, or not have enough awareness about your product. They create a preference or consideration subconsciously.

And this is where playing to the role of the channel comes into play

Make building relevant reach your main KPI. Combine this with multiple opportunities to see (OTS), meaning you know that your product needs more explanation and “education” to drive the desired outcome (i.e. bringing people to the shop, e-store, or app). You might want to set your reach target to reach at least twice or three times per month or campaign.

However, with the nature of TV, you will have heavy users and low users. The heavy users will naturally be hit with the ad multiple times. There is no way to avoid this entirely.

The key is to also reach the ones that watched less or selectively to increase the reach. Knowing the viewer structure and their channel preferences can help in setting up the right channel mix and daypart mix to build maximum reach.

So, I would focus on reach 1+, as you are always collecting more than 1 OTS on average for the campaign.

The majority of campaigns, especially in Germany, get planned based on gross rating points (GRPs) per week and per campaign. But this dismisses the above mentioned point, building maximum reach in order to hit as many people as possible to get a chance to be noticed and later recognised and preferred when getting into the research and/or sales phase.

GRPs are a theoretical KPI and is the product of net reach times the OTS. So it is a very theoretical figure.

For example, 300 GRPs can be a lot of things. It can be 70% net reach x 4.3 OTS, or it can be 40% net reach x 7.5 OTS within a campaign period of for example three weeks.

The later is building up a lot of OTS, ie sending reminders to people who have already seen it. But the question is if on average a person needed to have been exposed to the TV campaign 7.5 times while also having many other media touchpoints, like digital video, social media, radio or OOH to name just a few options.

The first example (70% net reach and 4.3 OTS) ensures that as many people as possible are being reached during the TV campaign of three weeks, also with reminders but on a lower level (4.3 OTS vs 7.5 OTS).

I would prefer example one over example two, especially if the brand is easy to understand. If I run TV, it is very likely that I am running other channels as well and I do not want to compromise on reaching more new potential people that might turn into buyers.

This is the biggest challenge when adding TV to your media mix as a new channel. The understanding of its KPIs is crucial and ensuring that you plan towards a reach and not a theoretical figure like GRP.

Remember that media is about reaching as many people within your buying category as possible to build up awareness and ultimately drive sales. Sales at scale does not go without a solid foundation of awareness.

I am working with brands of different scales at all eyes on screens. But regardless of the size, they have all seen an uplift in their business KPIs by maximising their reach rather than focusing on GRPs/XRPs.

Nina Franck is an independent paid media strategy consultant and director of client success at All Eyes on Screens (formerly AdScanner).

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