From time to time, we are asked our view on the "optimal media plan". Those who ask know that we've studied ad effectiveness for years and that we have a database. Surely, they reason, we must know what works!
Planning by Numbers - Millward Brown: Point of View by Sue Elms
The subtext of this question usually has to do with how to embrace media beyond television. Advertisers with the resources to do so will usually choose to centre their activities on TV, but many are uncertain as to how to effectively extend their activities to other channels that may build sales and brand equity more effectively. Of course there is no single "off-the-peg" ideal; a range of factors drive media plans in different directions: budget, demographics, consumer involvement, communications task, and competitive environment. In the end, the answer for each brand has to do with the category, the advertising task, and the target consumer.What We Know
TV still carries the biggest load
Until audio-visual content can be disrupted widely and cost-effectively by other means, such as internet, outdoor, digital reader screens, or even wafer-thin video screens in the pages of magazines, TV will continue to dominate. While TV is rarely the most cost-efficient medium in our CrossMedia evaluations, it does deliver volume in terms of quantity of impressions and ultimately, response.Two (or more) media are better than one
Multiple media work better than one medium alone. We see this time after time in our CrossMedia research. A multimedia campaign can deliver a bigger overall bang for the buck for two reasons: We can cost-efficiently manage diminishing returns in delivering reach, and people are often persuaded when they receive a message multiple times in different contexts. The trick, of course, is to find ways to connect with people at times and in places where they are open to receiving the communication and when it is most relevant to them. (Some of the "new" media are better for exploiting these opportunities than are mass channels; we explore this in ChannelConnect.)Response to media is highly variable
We know that the response to different forms of media and media plans varies enormously. Groups with different demographic characteristics have very different media habits. Some of the most obvious splits are: younger vs. older, male vs. femail, working vs. not working, and richer vs. poorer.
Even within a single demographic, people with different levels of involvement with a brand or category will respond differently to a brand's communication. For example,your loyal users will readily notice your advertising; you don't have to buy heavy weights or premium positions to talk to them. People who don't know about your brand will be much more difficult to engage. And of course, there are many levels of familiarity between these two extremes.