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Future of TV Media Thinkbox

TV least risky marketing platform, finds Thinkbox


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

November 21, 2019 | 4 min read

Linear and video-on-demand (VOD) TV are the lowest risk marketing platforms, according to research from Thinkbox.


TV least risky marketing platform finds Thinkbox study

The marketing body for UK commercial TV analysed £1.4bn of media spend by 50 brands across 10 forms of advertising over three years, with help from Gain Theory, Mediacom and Wavemaker.

Rather than looking at platform effectiveness in isolation, the research analysed the effectiveness of campaigns that have run across TV, broadcaster VOD, online video, cinema, radio, print, online display, generic search, social media and out of home.

Perhaps unsurpringly, the research reaffirms TV's strong role in effective campaigns. Linear TV and broadcaster VOD were found to be the least risky form of advertising with just 20% of variance compared with the median return.

Platform variance

Online display, cinema, social media and print advertising were found to be a lot more hit-and-miss when measured against initial investment.

Thinkbox said these platforms can catalyse each other and drive efficiencies elsewhere, such as viewing a TV ad after hearing it on radio or seeing it in OOH first to build upon the message.

TV generated the highest ‘multiplier effect’ across all other channels, increasing the performance of other media channels used in a campaign by up to 54%. Print boosted other channels’ performance by up to 13%.

The research found that the average ‘multiplier effect’ across all channels was around 8%.

Of course, these levels of effectiveness come at a premium price, particularly in the VOD space.

TV was also found to be the highest of any pure ‘demand generating’ channel, followed by print at 10% in the first two weeks of any campaign.

Having studied the role that TV plays in the marketing mix, Thinkbox has released a tool that helps buyers optimise media mixes with TV at the center. The Demand Generator is available here and helps buyers experiment with cross-media optimisation strategies informed by the research.

It calculates platform effectiveness based on variables, including a brand’s category, budget, annual revenue, appeal, % of sales that take place online and its desire to minimise risk.

Matt Hill, research and planning director at Thinkbox: “Often we do some research, release the findings and that’s that. So it’s wonderful to create something tangible and practical based on such robust insight. We hope the Demand Generator will be a helpful springboard for the many brands that don’t already do econometric analyses of their media performance.

"They can tailor it to their exact needs to find the best place to start from when deciding their media mix. With marketers increasingly adopting a zero-based budgeting approach, having a tool like this should provide a great evidence-based foundation on which to build their decisions.”

Jane Christian, managing partner and head of business science at Mediacom, added: “Demand Generation provides the industry with the broadest view of media performance to date. It goes under the bonnet of what factors drive the optimal media plan for a brand, with The Demand Generator helping advertisers to tailor the result specifically for their brand.”

Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Broadcasting and UKTV are all stakeholders in Thinkbox.

Future of TV Media Thinkbox

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