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Television and Traditional Media: The More the Merrier

04 Jul 2011  |  Denise Turner 
Denise Turner

Denise Turner, Head of Intelligence, MPG Media Contacts, says there is still a place for traditional media, and that when it comes to multichannel campaigns, it's a case of the more the merrier...

How many channels do you really need to use in a campaign to be effective? What is the role of different channels and are traditional channels holding their own, in the face of the rise of digital?

A new report from the IPA (Datamine 3 New models of marketing effectiveness. From integration to orchestration), based on an analysis of its databank of over 250 case studies of effectiveness from 2004 to 2010, reveals that 'traditional' media still have a vital role to play in driving marketing effectiveness, and indeed that multichannel campaigns drive incremental effectiveness over and above single channel ones.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the media landscape in the UK has changed radically over the years covered by the analysis. We have witnessed a massive growth in the media opportunities available to consumers, and therefore to marketers to communicate with them. The digitization of every media channel has transferred control to consumers. No longer are they bound by a linear schedule, when broadcasters choose to transmit networked TV programmes, but can consume content on their terms, as and when they want it. And the same is true for other media too.

At the same time these years have been a tough period for the industry. According to WARC, whilst from 2004 to 2007 we observed an increase in total advertising investment, this wasn't significant when taking into account price inflation (an adjusted rise of just over 1%). From 2008 inwards, when recession hit, the pie contracted considerably, by 17%. The massive growth in internet spend has only served to stem the decline in traditional media.

It is in that context that we looked at the IPA databank to assess the impact of these changes on channel planning today. The data used in this analysis focuses on two main measures of effectiveness: hard business effects and soft/intermediate effects. 'Hard' measures include sales and share gains, price sensitivity, customer loyalty, penetration and, of course, profit, while soft/intermediate effects refer to the so­called 'soft' consumer measures, such as brand awareness, image and fame.

The analysis yielded three key learnings about channel planning and effectiveness:

1. Campaigns that include TV are on average more effective than those that don't.

One of the key findings from previous analysis of the databank was the effectiveness of TV - given the massive shifts of marketing investment to the internet is that still the case? We looked at all campaigns through this lens; the use of TV in any capacity versus activity which did not use the medium and the success in both hard and soft/ intermediate measures of effectiveness. Despite the huge growth of alternative bought media channels over the past decade, adding TV into the marketing mix still produces better results on both hard and soft measures, than not including the medium: 75% of case studies with very high effectiveness in hard business results used TV, while 53% didn't; and 66% of cases that had high effectiveness in soft business benefits used TV, while 49% didn't.

2. Traditional media still have a role to play in leading campaigns

We then looked at the lead medium; the medium identified in the cases as the primary channel with the highest spend or focus. This analysis is restricted to TV, press and outdoor as there are too few cases in the Databank where other communications channels were noted as the lead. Using press as the lead medium demonstrates the biggest hard business effect (80% of cases), versus 76% and 67% for TV and outdoor respectively. Outdoor comes into its own on more intermediate effects such as brand fame or awareness with 79% of cases demonstrating an effect, versus 66% for TV and 60% for press.

3. Multichannel campaigns are better at driving effectiveness than single channel activity

When we analysed the number of advertising channels used in a campaign cross the years 2004 to 2010, the data shows that more is better - 78% of cases with three channels demonstrate hard business effects versus 67% of those with only one channel; there is however a point of diminishing returns beyond three channels. However for soft/intermediate effects we see a different pattern emerging that suggests 'the more the merrier'; with increasing effectiveness in line with the increasing number of channels used.

Denise Turner is co-author of the IPA's latest Datamine report: 'Datamine 3 New models of marketing effectiveness. From integration to orchestration', along with Kate Cox, Head of Integration and Orchestration, MPG Media Contacts, John Crowther, Managing Partner, Creston Unlimited (ex-Publicis), and Tracey Hubbard, Research Director i to i research.

For more information on the publication and how to purchase, click here.

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