Going Beyond Demos and Dayparts

Submitted by Lee Singletary
September 10, 2018 / 12:22 PM

Reaching consumer segments based on the media insights that make them unique

How do marketers reach the audiences that matter most to them in a media world that is becoming increasingly fragmented? The simple answer is to trust the data sets available, be willing to insert anytime and anywhere in order to follow the audience, and to run longer schedules.
If well-rounded TV advertising campaigns apply these three best practices, brands will be better positioned to follow and reach audiences when and where they're spending their time with media.

Trust the Data

Marketers should be unafraid to leave their age/sex demographic comfort zone. It's time to zero in on identifying who a brand's precise audience segment really is: those who will be most responsive and drive better business results.
An audience-optimized approach delivers the "real reach" marketers crave. New audience-optimized strategies that span markets and industries have solidified best practices for brands that want to make the most of their TV ad campaigns. Precise audience segments should be based on rich consumer insights that are derived from data. Hobbies/interests, purchasing behavior, and ownership are just a few of the audience categories marketers can combine to drill into their ideal audience.
For example, a tier-two automotive advertiser in Detroit recently identified its audience as in-market consumers who own a competitor brand. While this audience made up only 2 percent of the local market, the brand's audience-optimized campaign was able to achieve 78 percent reach into that specific audience target.
Looking to only target consumers interested in buying a new vehicle and who likely own a competitor's model, a Detroit-area advertiser used audience-driven targeting to home in on a specific audience for its promotions and reached 78 percent penetration.
For all target audiences, big and small, the data is consistent. Robust tactics identified in the planning phase are confirmed by the post-campaign reach and frequency metrics.

Anytime, Anywhere

To optimize delivery to an audience, it's vital to find audiences wherever they are, and whenever they consume video content. A schedule with an expanded network and daypart set that are non-habitual for the advertiser is crucial to achieving this goal.
Brands that have been successful with an audience-optimized approach have used on average 30-plus networks within a single campaign. While this is significantly higher than the typical benchmark of only eight networks, the most successful campaigns are the ones that run on a broad set of networks.
In a recent Comcast Spotlight internal study, more than 80 campaigns across 25 markets were run and completed using the "anytime, anywhere" expanded network and daypart approach. Of those 80 campaigns, the five campaigns that achieved the greatest target reach (81 percent) ran throughout the day across all dayparts and across an average of 27 networks.
By comparison, the five campaigns with the lowest reach (30 percent or less) ran across an average of just 16 networks and even fewer dayparts.
Despite less than ideal results for the lowest reach campaigns, there is a silver lining: audience-optimized strategies can identify missed opportunities by identifying networks that didn't make the final campaign plan. This allows marketers to continually improve quarter-over-quarter and make strategic changes for future campaigns.

Run Long

An audience-optimized approach can continue to pay dividends even after being on air for up to a full quarter. Advertisers who stay on air for 10 weeks or more with this strategy have seen their target audience reach grow by nearly 400 percent, compared to their first week on air, according to internal Comcast data. By contrast, advertisers who run for less than six weeks often fail to even double the target audience reach they saw in the first week of the campaign.
Essentially, the more consistent over time, the more likely marketers are able to see increased reach of their target audience.
Audience-driven TV advertising works best with flexibility. Moving away from the traditional age/gender-oriented schedules and dayparts approach will allow marketers to truly reach their audiences.
Ultimately, to get the most from an audience-driven approach, marketers should follow the data sets available to identify a precise audience segment, run across more networks and multiple dayparts to reach the audience that matters most, and run a longer campaign to achieve top target audience reach.
Article originally published by Benjamin Vandegrift on ANA.net here. Benjamin Vandegrift is the manager of research data innovation at Comcast Spotlight. You can email him at Benjamin_Vandegrift@cable.comcast.com.
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