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Making reach more effective in building brands

Sudarshan Saha and Dibendu Moulick of WPP's EssenceMediacom in Vietnam explain how a simple framework – for use in data-fragmented markets – can help with investment decisions by combining views and reach

The media landscape has seen a definitive shift towards usage of digital media platforms post Covid, but the measurement landscape has not evolved in many markets at the same pace, making brands struggle with decisions on cross platform investments. In fact, the pandemic has only accelerated this shift as advertisers have tried to leverage the growth of online marketplaces, gaming platforms and exponential growth of new platforms like TikTok.

However, business results are at best inconclusive on the impact of digital media investments. This has put more focus on the effectiveness of digital media as more of advertisers’ budget has shifted in this direction but there is a lack of a robust cross screen measurement system in most markets.

Initially, the last click attribution was taken as a measure of success of digital investments and this led to increasing shift of spends to channels driving the last click before online purchase. However, increasingly data shows that attribution gives too much credit to short-term return on investment (ROI) versus longer term ROI.

Data also shows that video platforms drive better impact compared to non-video platforms. This makes understanding the impact of different video channels very important, especially since consumers’ attention is becoming increasingly premium. This creates an added challenge of delivering brand message which is key to long term brand equity.

The current state of planning reach

Reach remains central to media planning principles, as penetration is a key driver of market share growth. In driving reach, video remains a key asset.

With different video platforms coming in on top of linear TV, cross-screen reach has become the key metric for brands. TV’s reach made it the go-to medium to deliver mass audiences at scale historically, but linear TV audiences are shrinking, especially among younger viewers. For many years the media industry lived by the rule of random duplication (or the ‘Sainsbury’s rule’):

(1-(1-Reach%MEDIA_1)*(1-Reach%MEDIA_2)* … * (1-Reach%MEDIA_N))

At GroupM, the use of mScreen – which is a video reach optimiser – uses platform level reach and frequency (R&F) data feeds, and proprietary deduplication data across platforms to create cross-screen media plans. By introducing the estimated overlap of multiple media channels, the combined cross-screen reach leads to a more accurate picture of cross-screen reach planning.

This methodology has brought digital video platforms into the media mix and has created a way to estimate incremental reach that every platform drives delivering cost efficiency in driving reach-based planning.

The current challenge

However, the current methods of reach-based planning – though extremely robust in terms of delivering efficiency – do not capture the impact of effectiveness fully. Reach is still measured based on impressions, which comes from the legacy of non-skip versions of videos. But with the movement towards skip videos on online platforms, reach being measured by impressions delivered could impact effectiveness – as five-second views are considered as reach.

Is there a new way?

The key factor that drives ad recognition is how much of it is viewed. The average recognition of an ad increases from 52% to 66% when the audience views the ad rather than just being exposed to it. When we look at online video platforms, the real seconds that are viewed per 1,000 impressions are as below (Figure 1). This translates to just 14 complete 30-second views – that too is not in full.

Online video platform views

The importance of viewable ads brings into consideration the importance of an often-neglected metric during the reach-planning process: the view through rate (VTR). VTR also varies by platforms: when VTR on TV is 100%, an online video – 42% (market benchmark).

The way forward

Current video optimiser tool mScreen takes in TV and online video R&F feeds and combines them to arrive at the total reach. We introduced the VTR factor during the upload of the R&F feeds into mScreen and then ran the optimisation. These were some of the standard inputs that were used for the simulation:

  • Viewability of online video platform: 90%
  • VTR of online video: 42%
  • De-duplication: Based on GroupM proprietary Audience Origin data.
  • R&F objective: 70%@1+
  • Duration: 4 weeks

Multiple data runs reveal TV as a platform receiving 140% - 360% more investments across different target audiences. They also reveals insufficiency in terms of media budgeting due to the current impression-based reach planning approach.

The inclusion of VTR as an input metric in the planning of cross-screen allows advertisers to compare reach from different platforms on a more equitable basis. It reveals potential underinvestment on platforms that deliver completed views, and hence an impact on creative effectiveness.

Combining broad effective reach, taking VTR as input metric and creating tailored content for platforms like TikTok that is engaging for consumers will create the framework for cross-screen video reach planning going forward.

Acknowledgements: Nitin Kumar, GroupM in Vietnam; Soumya Ranjan Panda, Mindshare in Vietnam; Hau Ho, GroupM in Vietnam; Amit Thakur, Mindshare in Vietnam; Duy Hoang, EssenceMediacom in Vietnam; Long Ha, GroupM in Vietnam; Ly NguyenThien, EssenceMediacom in Vietnam; Chau Tran, Wavemaker in Vietnam

Sudarshan Saha and Dibendu Moulick


published on

30 November 2023


Technology & data

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