3 Ad-Buying Fundamentals That Never Change

In the rush to use data to automate and ease ad planning and buying, it’s easy to think that our entire ecosystem needs to be reinvented. Actually, there are three industry practices that have stood the test of time and might be even more valuable today.

The first is verification. The more media options there are, and the more they are bought programmatically. And the more important it is to know that the right ads ran in the right places and times were viewed by real people.

Because there were exponentially fewer media outlets and ads, and they negotiated and placed buys directly with media, agency folks used to be able to do this themselves, based on contracts and run reports. With the volume of ads being consumed by digital and expanded linear TV, mobile, OTT, etc., verifying one by one is no longer practical (or perhaps even possible).

So it’s now essential to use third-party verification, especially in digital. Thankfully, there are a growing number of providers, such as Moat and DoubleVerify.

Second is working in concert with client sales goals. What are we really shooting for? How are we really doing is advertising actually supporting the business?

Pre-digital, agencies knew the client’s sales goals and the degree to which they were being met.

Now, almost half of advertisers aren’t giving their agencies sales goals and data, according to a recent study. All of the sophisticated, new ad and e-commerce measurements (e.g., lifetime value, conversion) should give us a better understanding of how close we are getting to helping reach sales goals or business outcomes. But only if they are factored into the equation in the planning process.

Third is calculating reach and frequency. With consumers moving from one digital platform to another and back again throughout the day, we run a real danger of hammering them senseless with the same message.

Planning is now a 24/7-365 continuum, rather than a 60-day cycle. So calculating the projected impact of many different audience combinations across media, quickly and efficiently, becomes critically important.

The most practical and comparable measure is actually time spent with media. Whereas different media channels use incompatible measures (e.g., ratings vs. views), time spent is universal. That can now be used to calculate reach and frequency, cheaply and immediately, allowing planners to get an advanced read on the delivery of different media combinations.

More than ever, advertisers need universal measures to plot the most effective, proven course to actual customers. The combination of advances in software and reliance on these fundamentals can bridge otherwise disarming gaps between media reporting.
4 comments about "3 Ad-Buying Fundamentals That Never Change".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 21, 2016 at 7:39 a.m.

    So, if a 30-second TV commercial is on a "viewer's" screen for 30 seconds are we to assume that this implies greater ad impact than a digital 15-second video ad being on the user's sceeen for, say three seconds? Was the TV commercial, therefore , ten times more effective? If a magazine ad page is opened for two seconds---assuming that we even have such a measurement----while a newspaper ad page is opened for 10 seconds, is the latter ad five times more impactful? And just how do we calculates reach and frequency based on time spent? Do we assume that a certain amount---or percentage--of time spent equals "effective exposure" and take only those "viewers, "readers", listeners" and "users" who qualify on this arbitrary yardstick as our units of "audience"?

    I suspect that the time spent indicator is primarily a digitally-driven metric which some people keep trying to foist on other media forms with far more precise and ad -relevant measurements because the digital folks refuse to employ human-based findings--like ad recall, buying motivation, etc.--- and insist on using nothing but electronic based measurements. That doesn't make sense to me.

  2. Stanley Federman from Telmar, October 24, 2016 at 10:02 a.m.

    Hello Ed,

    Thanks for your comments and questions.

    We are NOT claiming  to measure advertising  effectiveness in our approach. We are simply generating  cross media R&F metrics that are the equivalent to those used on currency surveys for many years; these opportunities-to-see measures are based on accepted industry definitions of exposure by media.

    Benefits of our approach are Consistent, equivalent metrics for all channels, Real respondent level cross channel R&F – not fused, Reduced cost of data collection and Speed of updates.

  3. Stanley Federman from Telmar, October 24, 2016 at 10:04 a.m.

    Conceerning media weighting, media type, ad formats and ad quality all have a place in media plan development.  And as you know, most mix models allow the user to input media/audience weight probabilities for these variables but that is not the focus of Telmar’s Time Spent R&F Methodology.

    As far as how we calculate R&F this is explained in more detail in our Whitepaper prepared by

    Dick Dodson, Telmar’s Chief Research Officer. I’ll send you the link.

  4. Jack Wakshlag from Media Strategy, Research & Analytics replied, July 30, 2017 at 3:09 a.m.

    Please provide the link, thanks. 

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