Attribution Challenge #3: Waiting Weeks/Months to Analyze Performance

by Calum Smeaton on Oct 18, 2015 3:00:00 PM Digital Marketing, DRTV

If a financial services company experiences a major loss, do you think it waits a week or two to analyze its data to figure out why? If a manufacturer’s supply chain breaks down, does it hold off on looking at its data until the following month? Of course not! These companies are analyzing current data to figure out what’s going right, what went wrong, and how to adjust their businesses to be the most successful.

Even though real-time data analysis has become a mainstay in other industries, TV advertising has not embraced it. While digital advertising is immersed in real-time analytics, allowing for advertisers to change and optimize their campaigns “on the fly,” TV advertisers are still analyzing old data (often inaccurate ratings data received weeks after a campaign aired). By default, the majority of advertisers don’t do anything to improve or measure their campaigns while they are running.

This is a bold statement, but one that I truly believe: Retrospectively analyzing campaign performance with data that is more than two days old is dangerous. By waiting weeks or even months to receive and analyze spot data, you eliminate all of your options to improve or optimize your campaigns “in flight”—which is something that CAN be done! (We’ll talk about that more in an upcoming blog post.)

If you’re not analyzing data in real time, you will never understand how a campaign—which often requires a large amount of money and human capital to produce—is actually working for your business and impacting ROI. Imagine the impact of real-time information on campaign performance; knowing if something is working or, if it’s not, being able to change it on the fly.

Real-time or close-to-real-time analysis is possible for every single advertiser. You’re already sitting on a wealth of data—from website visits, app downloads and call center and SMS stats—to make it happen. The technology exists today to allow for spot-by-spot, minute-by-minute analysis of the data you already have, which will give you a fast, accurate way to ensure campaign success.

Don’t wait to analyze campaign-performance data. If your organization is looking at data that is more than two days old, you have to seriously reevaluate how you’re measuring, planning, and optimizing your TV strategy.

Next time, I will touch on Attribution Challenge #4: Using a Static Baseline for Optimization.

Check out my previous posts from the series…

* Attribution Challenge #2: Planning Based on the Lowest Price
* Attribution Challenge #1: Relying Too Much on Ratings Data

* The 5 Biggest Challenges in TV Attribution

Photo by Gualberto107/

Calum Smeaton is CEO of TVSquared.

Calum Smeaton's blog
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