Using Data to Optimize Media Buying

use data optimized media buying

There was a time, not that long ago, when TV media buying was less about targeting the right market as it was about targeting any market.

Today’s sophisticated data tracking tools have turned that world on its ear, but having so much data available doesn’t mean that TV media buyers are using it as well as they could be.

Programmatic marketing demands that buyers learn more and more about their demographics, especially when it comes to the crowded stream that is television. Shooting marketing dollars into a space where no one who cares is watching is a huge waste of time, effort and money. Before you buy one more spot, make sure you’re using your data to optimize your TV media buying.

Data to Grab Onto, Data to Ignore

Data is invaluable, but there’s far more data out there for TV media buying than is strictly necessary to get the job done. Being afloat in a sea of information can reduce all available statistics into meaningless numbers unless you understand how to use them.

Before you take another step, learn your metrics and what each means – then you’ll be able to use the data like a TV media buying master. Also, remember these tips:

Determine your business objectives first. We all aim to put our clients’ information out in front of the right audiences, at the right times, but that doesn’t mean we all have the same KPIs. Different KPIs, or key performance indicators, can still lead to the same goal, but it’s up to you to isolate those that match your TV media buying goals before setting out to crunch data.

Remember that negative results are still results. When we work with data reporting, sometimes the data doesn’t tell us what we expected to see. This is ok, it really is, so long as it’s used to improve a media campaign. If you’re not seeing the conversions you expected from programmatic marketing, consider tweaking your message or aiming for a different demographic. In many cases, negative results give you more information than positive ones.

Understand that sometimes good enough is good enough. Although there’s always room for improvement, constant tweaks can be as dangerous as not responding to data at all. When you’ve found a campaign and demographic that seem to mesh, leave it alone until you start to see a decline in response. Constant changes can be upsetting to viewers, to the point that they may get completely turned off by your message.

Reach, Frequency, Demographics and Psychographics

Ultimately, you’re going to be looking for results in the areas of reach and frequency, and these will be determined by your demographics and psychographics. Set a goal for reach and frequency after you’ve determined your core audience, then you can work harder to please that particular group. A reach of 60 percent and 2.0x frequency are good numbers, but by really understanding your data, you may be able to reach much further.

Of course, reach isn’t everything if you can’t convert that particular demographic into buyers. This is where a direct response message can help gauge interest. Simply asking television viewers to call or connect via the web can give brand awareness campaigns a way to connect their reach and frequency data to actual consumer behavior. All the data in the world isn’t very useful if the product isn’t selling, but asking the customer to do something specific will tell you right away if your programmatic marketing is hitting the right audience.

Whether you decide to pursue a brand awareness campaign, or are working on a direct response effort, you’ll get better insights if you have more data to examine. Some of it is crucial to hitting your mark, while other data may help steer your efforts or support hypothesis about what to try next. In TV media buying, data can be the key to optimizing campaigns, saving your customers money and increasing sales by making only minor changes in your approach.


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