Reach alone doesn't equal success

By: Dan Schiffman, CRO & Co-Founder, TVision Insights

The initial promise for advertisers was to reach people, whether on newspaper, television, or the Internet. Without a way to truly measure human behavior or engagement, we created surrogates for success: circulation, ratings, impressions. They’re indicators of reach, sure, but it’s important to remember that these are really just a guide for delivery. Not success in and of themselves.

In the digital world, we have seen the transition from impressions and CPM pricing, to paying only for viewable impressions with a viewable CPM (vCPM). Once the impression has been verified that it appeared on-screen, then it has an opportunity to make an impact. Digital advertisers, their agencies, and media publishers made this shift together, from CPM to vCPM as a better measurement for quality. Impressions always reflected quantity, but lacked the quality measurement needed for both sides to truly measure value.

However, while this shift occurred on digital, television advertising remained the same - relying on tried and true ratings to verify value. But while ratings do a great job at representing the quantity of in-demo people that have a TV on during a particular show, they stop there. To tell the quality story, the attention story, TV needs more data. With so many programs, across so many channels, the television industry need a shift from GRPs, to effective GRPs (eGRPs), in order to help advertisers measure value.

But what does the ‘e’ really mean in eGRP? If we were to apply the vCPM model from digital, what would that look like? Is it simply having the TV on in the room? Or maybe, it’s not only that the TV is on, but also that there is someone in the room. Or does it go beyond that? Do we need to also verify what demo that person fits into? If one person is in the room, is it Mom, Dad, or one of the kids? And even if that’s the baseline, we’re still ignoring whether or not Mom is actually watching the TV, or simply has it on for background noise as she plays Candy Crush on her iPad.

When it comes to TV measurement, I believe the best solution is to match the definition for attention, meaning the ad has the opportunity to be seen. That means that we must verify that someone was in the room. Any further analysis – who the person is, where their eyes are looking – would be an additional indicator of value, but beyond the baseline. There are technologies available to measure visibility and attention, which, while new, have the ability to fuel this kind of transition.

It’s already happened in digital, and it’s time for TV buyers and sellers to adopt the same principles. Transparency, accountability, and results will all stem from verifying visibility and attention to commercials and the content surrounding them.

This shift from reach to effective GRPs is coming. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.


This piece was originally published on LinkedIn.

TV and CTV Attention Report
The TV and CTV Attention Report