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ThinkTV research backs media buyer ‘gut feel’ on shortfalls of search advertising

ThinkTV has released research that backs the “gut feel” media buyers have about the longterm benefits of TV advertising compared to the shortterm gains of other channels.

Part five of the Payback Series looks at the campaign performance of 60 brands with a collective annual media spend of $450 million to interrogate the optimal media mix to support brand growth, taking into account budget, opportunities for growth, risk and the relationship between investment, channel scale, and sales growth.

The research found that the rate of incremental sales for TV reduces more slowly than any other channel, meaning increased investment in TV will improve ROI over time. Meanwhile, search has the strongest ROI but is one of the weakest media selections when it comes to generating sales beyond the shortterm timeframes.

ThinkTV director of research, insights and education Steve Weaver says the findings confirm media buyers’ intuition about the performance of search over time.

“Absolutely they [media buyers] know it, I don’t think it’s ever been quantified though so this will give comfort to the gut feel they have,” Weaver tells AdNews.

“It’s going to help media buyers work out how much is too much, or how little should they be spending and try to help them find the sweet spot in terms of the ratio of media channels that can generate demand versus search which is more of a conversion process for them.”

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The research also found that when campaigns allocate, on average, around 18% of spend to out-of-home, this spend accounts for less than 16% of media-driven sales. On the other hand, when TV has an average of more than 50% media allocation it delivers more than 50% of media-driven sales.

“Marketers have long been chasing the best return on investment for their campaign spend but the research shows efficient ROI may not always be effective ROI,” says ThinkTV CEO Kim Portrate.

“While ROI is important to all brands in all categories, not all ROI is equal. This research suggests a much-needed reassessment of channel selection is required to ensure campaigns are being optimised for maximum ROI and maximum sales impact over both short- and long-term timeframes.

“And that’s where TV comes into the equation. TV has the strongest media-driven incremental sales of any channel and the capacity to scale up with the only limit the size of the viewing audience. With an average monthly reach of more than 20 million people, TV is hard to beat.”

The latest edition of the Payback series was produced in partnership with GroupM Australia and global marketing effectiveness consultancy Gain Theory.

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