Behavioural evaluation of advertising media

If, as has famously been said, ‘I know that half of my advertising has been wasted but I don’t know which half’, it’s time we understood more about the link between budgetary spend and waste. Essentially there is budgetary waste if you go on ‘preaching’ to the converted, and there is budgetary waste if you spend your time ‘preaching’ to the unconvertible. Setting generalized media exposure goals (3+ OTS) against generalized target groups (18-34 men) is a recipe for waste. A means of predicting differences in the rate at which sub-sections of the target audience will ‘take-up’ OTS (opportunities to see advertising) and retain the knowledge over time is required to provide a more effective means to determine and distribute advertising weight. In a standard media schedule evaluation comparison we judge one schedule against another on the basis of ‘effective’ reach. What constitutes ‘effective’ reach is in reality extremely complex but in practice is made using a simple concept of frequency (for a given cost). Effective reach may be taken as total gross contacts delivered, net contacts delivered – at least 1, at least 3, at least 5 etc. or weighted net reach where a (relative) value is applied to each level of exposure (= a ‘response’ curve) and summed to provide an ‘effective reach’ score.

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