Posts Tagged ‘measurement’

Technology and the Rebirth of Creativity in Advertising

May 14, 2012 Leave a comment

The headline in the LA Times on Dish Network providing its customers the option to skip commercials (something possible on Youtube most of the time), further emphasizes the speed at which technology is advancing is faster than the speed at which advertising agencies are able to react. Consumers are increasingly getting the tools to choose whether they believe an ad is worth their time. If every consumer was able to skip any advertisement which they deemed irrelevant, boring, or pointless, the measure of the success of a particular advertisement becomes very binary: watched or not watched, relevant or not relevant. Obviously, this type of measurement is most suitable for web, mobile, or internet-connected TV sets. However, measurement is increasingly possible in the offline world: how many people scanned a QR code on a print ad? How many consumers typed in a coupon code on a newspaper ad? How many users visited a Url on a billboard? How many Groupon customers came back a second time after their first discounted visit?

As technology becomes intertwined with consumer behavior, Lord Leverhulme’s well known saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted and the trouble is I don’t know which half.” will cease to be relevant. Every passing day increases our ability to measure advertising and decreases the uncertainty associated with it. This will be painful for some whose campaigns will be demolished by a lack of user response or engagement, but it will herald a golden age of creativity. It will challenge creative directors to not only create beautiful imagery, but to also understand the context, behavior, interests and reactions of consumers.

Technology is changing the nature and format of advertising. It will also change how advertising is judged and evaluated. The creatives who understand the impact of their work on the behavior and actions of the consumer stand to gain the most.


The Future of Media Measurement: Instantaneous, Ubiquitous and Quantifiably Qualitative

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Audience measurement has been developing rapidly (outside MENA anyway!) over recent years with the advent of connected devices and increasing broadband penetration. However, much of it has remained quantitative and sample-based. Demographic data has allowed content owners/ distributors/ advertisers to measure the number of people who have consumed their content. However, if anyone wanted to know what people thought of their content and whether they liked or disliked some or all of it, they could only infer it from the quantitative data. If the number of viewers dropped, it could be assumed they didn’t like the show. The data could be examined on a per-second basis in some cases to establish if specific story lines or characters were well received. However, to obtain qualitative information, content owners need to rely on methods such as focus groups, face-to-face interviews, behavioural analyses and surveys. These tools remain relatively expensive techniques that require time to deploy and analyse.

Contrast that with the power that today’s social media provides to content creators: while a program is being viewed or heard, comments from its audience can be tracked in real-time. In a live tv show or a radio program, this could be used to alter some aspects of the content in response. A small-scale example of this is now found in conferences where moderators and panellists often find themselves responding to comments/ questions/ criticisms from twitter while they are still on the panel. This is no different for a producer in a studio gallery or a DJ in a radio show.

As the reach of broadband (mobile and fixed) and dual-screen viewing (TV/ Tablet or TV/ Laptop) grow, it is only a matter of time before mining qualitative data in real-time becomes the “norm” for measuring audience preferences.

The Premier League and the Joy of Statistics

August 2, 2010 2 comments

A strange thing is happening at ADTV. For the first time, we are able to actually count the number of our customers. We recently launched our Premier League pay-tv offering and can now, in real time, all sorts of data: the number of subscribers, their location, the number of decoders in each market, the number of calls to the call centre, the average call answer times etc. We can react instantly and alter allocations of resources and manpower as the situation changes on the ground. This is so refreshing.

To most people in developed markets, remarking about this may seem trivial. As broadcasters, we have been numbed by years of late viewership data (6 weeks late, at times), incompatible research methodologies and limited market information. We routinely make assumptions that drive million dollar investments and set sales targets based on a loose mix of statistics and black magic. The internet changes that a little, but until broadband penetration reaches saturation levels, the internet will not provide the answer.

I can see why it would frighten some people. Waking up every day to a precise sheet of data that lets you know if your programming or media allocation decisions from the night before were right would be a scary thing. But it would be challenging and it would most certainly lead to a better product and a better marketing plan.