If you merely glanced over a recent article in Advertising Age you may have thought it was about media buying. The first sentence of the article tells us Demographics have almost no effect on whether TV ads produce sales, and consumers’ purchase history is the most reliable predictor of success. Okay I say, but how do I buy TV media based on purchase history?
The article goes on to tell us that ads produce a greater sales lift the closer they come to the purchase decision. Again, can I buy TV ad slots based on my target’s purchase decisions? We do learn however that we shouldn’t shy away prime time placement and higher prices because in general prime time’s sales return on media investment trumps other day parts. That is something we can use – keep buying prime time.
But you may have read this entire article except for the last sentence and missed the most important conclusion highlighted by TRA President Bill Harvey at the Advertising Research Foundation 360 Measurement Day Workshop in Chicago. His company has been pairing data from set-top TV boxes with retail loyalty-card purchase data since 2008.
There are limits to what media choices alone can accomplish. The ads themselves matter most. Mr. Harvey said, “Data suggests 65% of TV ROI is attributable to the creative and 35% to the media.” Now that is something I can control. The worst mistake of all is to spend all your time nitpicking media choices and neglecting to invest in choosing great creative.
Why this lopsided emphasis? Maybe because it was a media workshop and not a creative conference.