'Integrated' Campaigns Fall Short

Most advertisers running “integrated” cross-platform campaigns are wasting their money, according to a new report from Nielsen.

The results such efforts produce are little better than if the advertisers had just run separate campaigns on TV and online, causing companies to achieve a lower return on their investment than they should, Nielsen finds.

In a case study of 45 cross-platform campaigns, Nielsen found that their duplicated reach was actually on par with campaigns in which TV and online were run independently.

This is a real missed opportunity, according to the two Nielsen executives who wrote the report, Randall Beard, global head, advertiser solutions, and Chris Louie, vice president, product leadership.

With proper measurement and management, research shows that a campaign can get, on average, 8% greater reach or reinforce key messaging across screens with significantly higher frequency, without any additional expenditure. Without accurate measurement, the study has proven that results may not be any better than if separate campaigns were run on TV and online.

“For now, the relative amount of money poorly invested is small — but it’s only a matter of time before the stakes are higher yet,” according to the 11-page report.

When managed together, TV and digital hold the potential to drive real impact for advertisers.

The average TV reach of the 45 evaluated campaigns was 61.2% (61.2% of the intended audience was exposed once or more to the campaign on TV) and the average online reach was 11.4%. The average duplication was 7.6%, meaning that 7.6% of the  intended audience saw ads on both TV and online.

Today, traditional TV still accounts for the lion’s share of video viewing, and will likely continue to do so for a good while, but online and mobile are where the growth is, with 30% growth in hours watched per month from fourth-quarter 2012 to fourth-quarter 2013, according to the report.

The way through this morass starts with accurate measurement across TV and online, which then can feed high-quality cross-platform planning, buying, and optimization tools. Without accurate measurement, planning and buying verge on guesswork and there can be no optimization, according to Nielsen.

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1 comment about "'Integrated' Campaigns Fall Short".
  1. Tom Goodwin from Tomorrow , June 2, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
    Turning this into a debate only about reach is simplistic in the extreme, it's about the chance to build a message over multiple touchpoints, or better still build a narrative, to surround people, to appear to bigger than you are. For one, for most categories any digital only campaign really suffers because only with other media spend to people become open to your messages in other places. It's super hard to measure, but not everything that is measured is valuable and turning integrated campaigns only into a reach conversation is woefully limited.