Using a Static Baseline to Determine TV-Ad Performance is a Big Mistake

30 November 2015 • tvsquared

When we refer to a baseline, we mean the response activity that a company would have received regardless of advertising on TV. It’s essential to take the baseline into account otherwise TV will end up being unfairly credited with sales that came from elsewhere. Traditionally, an advertiser would build a baseline from historic data – typically looking at app downloads, website visits, phone calls and SMS volumes prior to the campaign.

In theory, baselines are a great tool to measure and optimize TV campaigns. But there’s a problem with the baselines that most advertisers use today: they are static.

If your company is using a static baseline to determine TV-ad performance, be very careful. Baselines are inherently dynamic and are impacted by a whole series of external forces. Rather than changing day-by-day or week-by-week, they change by the minute. Using historic data to calculate baselines leads to wildly inaccurate information and costly errors. Unfortunately, this is an all-to-common practice for advertisers.

Minute-by-minute baselines from same-day measurements can help advertisers identify how TV campaigns are performing in close-to-real time. There are analytical models available that continuously calibrate to create this type of dynamic baseline, giving advertisers the ability to see how TV is really working for them. We’re talking about same-day information on how a campaign is performing, which advertisers can use to proactively improve the performance of their TV spots (and increase ROI to boot).