How Cross-Platform Video Plans Can Optimize Reach Today

One thing that hasn’t changed since the days of traditional media planning and buying is that adding a different media type almost always increases reach. Before digital, there was extensive research available not only on the dynamics (including frequency distributions) of adding magazines to a television plan, or radio to a magazine plan, or out-of-home to any plan, but even in adding new dayparts to a television plan. The menu was pretty simple compared to today, and yet it was the analysis of incremental reach that always drove the determination of the optimal media mix.

Yesterday I ran across a sponsored advertorial piece that included the question “How do you calculate digital reach and brand impact from moving TV dollars to digital video?” I often think of myself as too sophisticated to “fall for” sponsored content, especially in the B2B publications where I am targeted, but this question was too intriguing to resist.

It offered a summary of, and link to, research that Nielsen and YuMe, the video technology company, conducted regarding the effects on reach of different allocations of spending between TV and other digital video platforms.

The results put some numbers to what many of us intuitively know: that online and mobile video platforms have drawn audiences away from traditional television. To reach these audiences, advertisers must add these platforms into the final mix. This was shown to be particularly true among the Millennials and male Millennial-age audiences:

-- Men 18-34: Shifting 10% to 30% of a television budget to digital video (online, mobile, tablets, connected TV) increases plan reach between 6% and 11%.

-- Adults 18 – 49: In this key demographic, 10% to 30% in reallocation from a television budget to digital video increases reach between 4% and 5%.

-- There is even a calculator that shows how reallocating mid- and larger-sized budgets works in reaching younger, male audiences -- while that approach is not as effective for women 25-54 targets.

Why is this important? Without verifying the methodology or digging too deeply into the data, the introduction of this kind of research and these kinds of tools provides hope for media planners and buyers. Even before a “perfect” or “consensus” cross-platform GRP is agreed upon with the kind of reach curves that have long been used to evaluate media mixes, there is now real research data that can support and quantify that shifting money from traditional television to new video platforms is smart business.

I’ve heard it said that nobody ever got fired for buying network television, which might explain why the response to the growth of mobile and online video advertising has been slow from the demand side of the business. With more and more parties like YuMe and Nielsen investing in research and trying to understand how viewing pattern changes translate to changes in audience reach, doors will be opened for reaching brand prospects with the right T/V (Television/video) message in the right place and time.
2 comments about "How Cross-Platform Video Plans Can Optimize Reach Today".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 24, 2014 at 4:41 p.m.

    I don't think that it's valid to say that online and mobile video have drawn people away from traditional TV, in the sense that you can't reach such people at all without using the new platforms. Nielsen data shows little or no attrition in the percentage of people who are reached by traditional TV. Rather, online and mobile TV are more like add-on platforms, appealing to smaller but more selective audience segments who also watch a good deal of traditional TV. Assuming that CPM pricing is fairly constant, cutting back on a conventional TV buy to add any new platform-----mobile and/or online video, magazines, radio, etc.---- will tend to add reach to some extent. However, if the add-on medium is priced much higher than the "base" medium, a media planner must also consider the relative cost of adding a fairly small amount of reach in this manner as, eventually, these people are going to be exposed to the ongoing "base" media campaign---if may just take a few weeks or, perhaps, a month longer to accomplish this end.

  2. Mark Mclaughlin from McLaughlin Strategy, June 29, 2014 at 9:44 p.m.

    Step 1. Make sure all of your ad impressions are specific to the same demo target audience.

    Step 2. Add up all of the demo ad impressions for each channel, individually, and divide the impressions (numerator) by the US population for the same demo target (denominator), multiply by 100 and you have your GRPs for each channel.

    Step 3. Use the best media research source for each individual channel to get the demo target reach for the campaign. Nielsen for TV and comScore for digital is fine.

    Step 4. Add the GRPs across channels to get total GRPs

    Step 5. Combine the Reach from TV (R1) with the Reach from digital (R2) by using this formula: (R1+R2)-(R1*(R2/100))*.96. Now, you have the total reach for the two channels (TV and digital).

    Step 6. Total GRPS (numerator) over Reach (denominator) will give you the average frequency for the campaign (average duplication, or average number of times someone in the target audience saw the ad among the people reached)

    You can invest 1000X more energy into data tools that try to blend the reach across two channels and you will get a 1% improvement over the accuracy of the steps I just explained.

    This is REALLY SIMPLE. It is our passion for complexity and our ignorance of the fundamentals of media math and media research that makes this turn into something hard to do.

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