The TV Ad Industry Relies Too Much on Ratings Data
13 November 2015 • tvsquared

When talking about the world of TV advertising, the team at TVSquared often describes it as an industry just entering its “renaissance” after decades of being stuck in the Dark Ages. While the industry has made great strides in the past few years due to new buying and planning strategies, more sophisticated analytical technologies and the changing nature of TV viewing itself, TV advertising still has a long way to go before fully reaching its “Age of Enlightenment.”

One of the biggest challenges for advertisers is relying too much on ratings data (often referred to as “audience data” outside of the U.S.). Traditionally, TV advertising has been bought and designed around ratings, which is a “flawed currency.” It’s all about how much an advertiser spends to reach a specific target audience. Ratings data fails in three basic areas:

  1. Measurement: Ratings tell the marketer nothing about whether the advertisement was seen, recalled or influenced any decisions vis-a-vis the brand.
  2. Segmentation: With TV, the marketer has very limited targeting. It’s basically restricted to age and gender and a general audience type by network.
  3. Timeliness: It can take up to six weeks to even get ratings data.

Ratings data doesn’t tell advertisers the crucial details about their spots. How can an advertiser really know if a campaign is working? That it’s impacting ROI? That it’s contributing to new and returning customer growth? With after-the-fact analysis, an advertiser can’t accurately answer the critical question: What actually worked?

Today, TV advertising is increasingly being bought and designed around efficiency and performance – the two most critical things for advertisers. So, how do you do this? By leveraging spot and response data, advertisers can get much-needed, same-day insight into the value of their campaigns.

The only way to optimize TV campaign performance is through spot-by-spot, minute-by-minute analysis of an advertisers own response data from outlets like the web, call centers, app downloads, SMS, etc. We live in a fast-paced world and advertisers need to leverage the valuable data they already have to measure, improve and leverage the benefits of TV campaigns.