TV Gains accountability with online link

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Lee Cutler
Lee Cutler

The Internet is forcing every other media platform to replicate its high level of accountability in order to compete for advertising budgets. While television is a laggard in this regard, it might have an unlikely savior: the Internet.

The salvation lies in the connection between broadcast media and Web responses, a link that remains largely a mystery to many marketers. This blind spot woefully under-represents the power of TV — via both brand and direct-response campaigns — to drive consumers to various Web sites.

When our agency began to manage, the account was strictly a general advertiser. Rating point delivery was a prime determinant of evaluating success. The account needed a hybrid approach: brand awareness and response generation at the lowest possible rates.

To determine which TV spot on which station is better at driving Web site traffic spikes, we capture spikes by assigning an “attribution window” to each spot within our analytics program. The window can be stored by creative and length of spot. A window can encompass two minutes before a spot airs and 10 minutes after it runs. If many spots on different networks run in close proximity timewise, we look to historical instances where a spot has aired in a relatively clean environment and apply that spike to apportion the leads to spots. In the instance where history does not exist, we use what's called “station weighting,” which involves assigning a weight value to each station within a media campaign.

Because media accountability will continue to become more thorough, TV advertisers are advised to embrace these types of Web analytics in measurement and improvement.

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