Simulmedia Says More Cost-Effective To Avoid Prime Time

TV advertising tech platform Simulmedia says there are more cost-efficient ways for advertisers to target consumers -- by going outside of expensive prime-time TV programming.  But is this for everyone?

For a recent campaign study, Simulmedia, the data-based TV targeting platform, says the average cost per conversion for prime time -- the cost of getting a consumer to buy the product or service -- comes to $12.58. Other dayparts are much lower: daytime, $4.97; weekend, $6.35; fringe, $4.70; and early morning, $4.19.

Still, prime time performs better when it comes to the “average” conversion rate per consumer -- the number of viewers who took action, divided by the total number of viewers -- but only a bit better.

Simulmedia also says the prime-time average conversion rate was 1.44% -- slightly higher than other dayparts: early morning, 1.41%; daytime, 1.36%; and weekend, 1.30%.

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Matt Collins, senior vice president of marketing for Simulmedia, tells Television News Daily: “This isn't to say, don't buy prime time. There are other good reasons to do that -- e.g. brand association. Advertisers focused on business outcomes, though, should consider other dayparts.”

To go outside of prime time, a marketer needs to buy much more inventory on more networks to reach the same goals -- more than two times the number of spots airing and networks. But costs are still lower.

In one example -- based on women ages 25-54, with kids, who are cooking enthusiasts -- an “audience-based plan” had a lower target CPM --$55.75 versus and “index-based plan” at $82.84. The audience plan was on 54 networks, to the index’s 23, with the audience plan at 512 spots versus the index’s 239.

This amounted to around 9 million impressions (audience) versus 6 million (index) with a higher reach, as well -- 4.1 million to 2.98 million.

The frequency was higher with an audience plan -- 2.21 -- to the index’s 2.03, with the average index lower on an audience-based plan -- 127 to the index’s 188.

Still, there are questions from media buyers. Agency executives suggest some of this info is better suited to direct-response marketers than big brand advertisers that need higher-rated programming for general awareness.

Simulmedia’s Collins: “We see that advertisers seeking to maximize audience reach are engaging here. In a fragmented TV landscape, advertisers are relying more on advanced TV techniques to find their audiences, no matter the campaign objective. That includes those interested more in top of funnel results.”

7 comments about "Simulmedia Says More Cost-Effective To Avoid Prime Time".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 20, 2018 at 6 p.m.

    As a general rule, the typical TV network garners about 60-65% of its ad dollars from primetime and the rest from other dayparts where the programming investment is far smaller, ad clutter is considerably greater and the "quality' of the audience in terms of targeting  is heavily skewed older, low brow and to women, not men. Audience concentration is also extremely heavy in the daytime and late night hours, though less so in the early evenings. For example, if the heaviest viewing fifth of adults accounts for 52 % of all viewing---I'm referring to "linear TV"----the corresponding percentage for daytime is closer to 65% and perhaps, higher while the late night imbalance is not as bad it clearly exceeds prime and early evening. Tied in with this excessive concentration of viewing you have a reach problem because the short term reach ceiling for the other dayparts, individually, is well below that of prime for the most desirable demos---younger and upscale---- unless you use a wide dispersion of GRPs in all or most of the non-prime dayparts. Even then you are going to underperform in reach and audience "weight" with men and younger-middle aged consumers as well as upscale adults to a considerable degree.

    I doubt that the broadcast TV networks would attempt to radically upgrade their non-prime CPMs as the lure of better targeting, coupled with higher CPMs is a real stretch in those dayparts---except for brands targeting older adults and mainly women. Faced with higher broadcast CPMs the latter would probably move most of their broadcast dollars to cable.

  2. dorothy higgins from Mediabrands WW, April 23, 2018 at 10:38 a.m.

    Without having any insight into the attribution methodology it is hard to have an informed repsonse to this data. I also would want to understand exactly how the audience delivery has been derived, especially with regard to reach. What is the currency for the audeince definition and reach measurement?

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, April 23, 2018 at 10:55 a.m.

    As a buyer in about 100 markets back in the late 80's, I did this all the time and for sure I am not special or particularily wise.

  4. Chris Peterson from R2C Group, April 23, 2018 at 12:08 p.m.

    It depends on the tools that you use whether you can tell if prime works or not. If you track people using pixels on a web site prime will never reveal its value. That's a very limited DR approach. And what advertiser is not focused on "business outcomes?" When you perform statistical modeling at the network/daypart/program level, you can uncover prime programming that is very efficient and it typically (but not always) tracks with audience measurement as defined by segments, not typical buying demos. You have to know exactly who you are going after - now and in the future. That's how you scale a business because you are achieving reach and efficiency. Otherwise you get stuck in a long tail of low-reach programming. It's not about awareness vs. DR. It's about correlating media investment to revenue - all advertisers want that. If they don't, I'd like to make sure I don't own any of their stock.  

  5. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 23, 2018 at 1:39 p.m.

    I have never seen or heard of a national branding ----not DR----advertiser being able to evaluate the return for every single ad placement, whether the program is a primetime entry on a broadcast TV network or a very low rated late, late night talk show. In view of the gigantic CPM differentials, if every ad exposure was graded based on its cost efficiency against whatever target the buyer went after and ROI for every commercial placement was the rule, there would be no primetime entertainment programs on the TV networks of the kind we still see, nor news, nor sports---only low budget reality entres , talking heads, variety shows, game shows and other relatively inexpensive content---which always appear to perform  much better in ROI-type calculations than the "premium" stuff.

    Most advertisers opt for a mix which involves a considerable amount of money in "premium", coupled with low CPM tonnage on other dayparts---- not because the primetime shows are a better "media buy"---they aren't----but for other reasons. Some of these make sense---like attaining rapid short term reach---especially for new product or campaign introductions----others are understandable---like wanting to impress "the trade"  or the sales force with the kind of "support" the brand is getting. Still other reasons include wanting to bask in a "quality environment", with less ad clutter or seeking compatibility with program content. And sometimes---more often than is thought-----the brand--even a little brand--would like to be there with the "big boys" once in a while----despite the high CPMs.

  6. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, April 23, 2018 at 8:45 p.m.

    Sales picked up and every one that walked in the door needed an estimate and they had to report the details to the home office. I saw the numbers albeit non-comuterized. Yes it is more complicated today.

  7. John Grono from GAP Research, April 23, 2018 at 9:15 p.m.

    That may well be the case on a spot-by-spot basis.   But when a campaign is analysed, you find that light TV viewers tend to watch at peak viewing times.   So that 'sprinkling' of prime time spots may come at a higher CPM, but the cost per incremental reach point (CPIRP) is probably lower. 

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