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Proving the power of cross-media campaigns

by Niko Waesche , 15.04.2014

Which ad format can we leave out of our campaign without jeopardizing the overall impact?“  If this question sounds familiar, you are not alone. We are living in a cross media world. There hardly is a television campaign today which is not combined with digital advertising, including search, display and retargeting.

Despite the obvious overlap between different media in today’s digital world, the way the audiences are researched remains almost entirely siloed. This creates a huge challenge for today’s advertisers and marketers, who are tasked with fine-tuning media plans that maximize audiences and deliver the best return on investment. Many different digital ad formats are booked and it is unclear which ones deliver the most value in combination with TV.

For most brands, the power of television to create mass traffic cannot be replaced by another channel. So the smart thinking goes into finding better placements and new ways of combining TV with other media channels and digital activities, to tailor the campaign to particular objectives and, ultimately, obtain better ad effectiveness.

Here are three case studies from projects we’ve carried out using our cross media solution that illustrate the power of combining TV and digital. Many of the findings genuinely surprised our clients and resulted in a reassessment of strategy and tactics, delivering that all-important improved ROI.

Evaluating the combined power of TV and digital

Advertisers have data on reach in TV and digital, but have very little knowledge of the effect of these media when combined. One large e-commerce client recently wanted to know how their TV campaign interacted with their digital activities, especially retargeting, paid search and display. The results we unearthed surprised them and led them to re-evaluate their entire spend on TV – which they increased – and the way they combined TV with digital ad formats, particularly retargeting and paid search.

Our data showed that the direct effect of TV was limited: only 3% of site visits were directly prompted by TV advertising without any flanking effect of digital. However, almost 70% of site visits driven by the campaign were influenced by TV, in combination with digital. The effect of television advertising is massive, but in combination with digital. Of all digital ad formats, display ads had only a minor effect. For this precise campaign, our client could have saved his money by dropping display. We know, that results vary from campaign to campaign, for that reason, continuous panel management is a big plus.

Evaluating the impact of a multimedia campaign on brand loyalty

A leading European coffee brand wanted to understand the effects of a three-month branding campaign consisting of significant TV, print and social media spend. Did it increase loyalty among existing buyers of the brand, or induce trial among new customers? The results of our longitudinal study identified where brand switching was occurring, the importance of loyalty during the campaign period, and how that impacted repeat purchase afterwards.

By integrating cross media reach with household purchasing data, we showed the immediate and medium term effects of the campaign; extending out to cover the four months following the campaign. The ROI of the total campaign was 1.08, but only when including post-campaign effects on brand buying - which represented one third of the ROI. About 50% of the ROI was generated by brand switching during the campaign, while loyalty effects were more important over the medium term.

What our study suggests is that analysing just the direct response for ROI does not capture the full picture and longer term effects of an ad campaign, which can be significant.

Adding social media to the mix can help reach further than with TV alone

A major consumer goods brand wanted to show how a campaign run across TV and Facebook together worked to add incremental reach to the brand. Our research showed that this cross-media combination achieved a strong impact: people exposed to Facebook and TV ads were 54% more likely to purchase the product than those exposed to just TV alone.  By being able to measure TV and web in a single source, and track purchase behavior, the brand could justify the value of Facebook as a channel for earned and paid-for marketing activities.

To find out more about measuring cross-media campaigns, please contact Niko Waesche at Niko.Waesche@gfk.com

You might be interested in our other research on Digital and TV: How should we decode online chat about TV shows?