Media Planning: Advertisers Must Go 'Beyond Demographics'


Adding the Internet into a media plan that includes television is a must -- but to be effective, it's more important to target consumers far beyond traditional demographics.

A report from The Nielsen Company on optimizing advertising/media in using TV and the Internet says the key to efficient planning is "aligning media inventory with precisely defined consumer segments that go beyond demographics to encompass client-specific profiles and evaluating media from a consumer-centric, holistic fashion, to allow you to optimize your cross-platform plans."

The study, put together by Howard Shimmel, senior vice president of media product leadership, and Scott McKinley, executive vice president of advertiser solutions for Nielsen, examined direct-to-consumer pharmaceuticals for its analysis.

Putting TV together with online exposure for one product resulted in messaging that was "more than twice as likely to prompt patients to ask their physician about the drug than TV alone."



The intent to buy was at a 157 index after seven days of exposure -- a 212 index after 24 hours, versus a 100 index of just being exposed to television.

In looking at a specific group of targeted consumers for another media buy -- cholesterol sufferers -- Nielsen says the percent of sufferers reached from the cross-platform media synergy on both TV and online more than doubled, from 7.5% of the patient universe to 18.1%.

In another analysis, Nielsen evaluated another pharmaceutical product looking to target males 50-plus for incontinence. But Nielsen decided to evaluate this more fully, since not all men 50-plus are sufferers. Nielsen was able to filter that of all males 50-plus, 28% hit the highest levels -- a 115 index, well above the buying target.

5 comments about "Media Planning: Advertisers Must Go 'Beyond Demographics'".
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  1. Michael Hubbard from Media Two Interactive, July 6, 2010 at 10:20 a.m.

    I agree that you must go "beyond demographics", but I don't always agree that TV and Internet are a joint buy that must be made together. Understanding the marketing mix of the two is going to be huge, as we have typically seen that clients with great brand exposure in individual markets need less TV exposure and more internet and vice-versa in markets with low brand exposure. I'm not saying that TV is for brand exposure only - but I am saying that when measuring ROI, TV has a way of taking orders at a much more expensive fee than internet does, so it's key to know what your ideal marketing mix should be in order to maximize your ROI - and that doesn't always mean that TV and Internet go hand-in-hand.

  2. Keri Mccagg from MailSouth, July 6, 2010 at 10:24 a.m.

    Michael from Media Two Interactive has a great point. I appreciate that Nielsen completed the study and therefore TV and Internet can be measured through there methodology however, this would be applicable to numerous media including direct mail, radio and mobile.

  3. Javier Salas from CCMAF, July 6, 2010 at 11:24 a.m.

    Doest it work the same for ALL type of products (i.e. high/low involment?)

  4. Eric Porres from MeetingScience, July 6, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.

    The internet has always been a terrific environment for 'going beyond demographics.' With that said, we still live in an age where most total communications planning rolls up into a massive spreadsheet of GRPs across all media channels, and those GRPs equate to, yes, you guessed it, broad age/gender profiles. As such, age+gender becomes the core of an audience approach that then can be coupled with a rich set of distinct behaviors that the web can so easily capture and turn into activated audience segments. It's an "AND" rather than an "OR" proposition that will satisfy the needs of some of the largest advertising spenders (e.g. CPG).

    Eric L. Porres
    Chief Marketing Officer
    Lotame Solutions, Inc.

  5. Mike Mcgrath from RealXstream PTY LTD, July 7, 2010 at 3:52 a.m.

    Social media can go way deeper than highly targeted segments. Not only can it treat individual consumers as consumers as INDIVIDUALS. It can go one further It can target and measure One individual consumer with One specific peace of content being viewed at One particular point in time. It stands to reason that the same content has a different value to the same consumer at different points tin time. With social media, consumers actually tell us what they are doing so for example: targeting skaters with skater related content is one thing, but target skaters with skater related content directly after they have skated is a considerably more formidable value valuable proposition for all concerned. (content creator, advertiser / sponsor, and conSumer)

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