Here’s a secret – you need message frequency to get people into your stores. Heading into the holiday season you’re going to see the major players using frequency to insure they make their numbers – but frequency against who? None of us have unlimited resources to target everybody, especially if you're a regional retailer completing with some of the national and international chains. So, the real secret is you need to have a clear understanding of who your current customer is. The ability to use that understanding is the key to sharply targeted media buying.
That may sound like a daunting task. But, if you have the right tools and the right people using them, it's easier than you think. It helps if you have long-term database management and recent research available to work with. We manage many of our client's raw transactional data and turn it into valuable insights that can be used for a wide range of business purposes. This allows us to have an understanding of the age, income, ethnicity and other demographics of your customers.
With this information, the first step is to update your customer demos to make sure we have the clearest, most up-to-date understanding of who you are capturing as customers today.That, in turn, allows us to do a better job of media planning to reach not only your current.customer base, but the potential customers who are look-a-likes with that base.
Creating these demos is a natural outgrowth of managing client databases. While we normally use this data to create sophisticated predictive models for improving direct marketing results, using this same data to identify the best customer and her profile for TV demo targeting is key to reaching them more frequently with the right messages.
Once we know what your customers look like, then we need to target the programs they watch with as much frequency as we can afford to buy. In years past, you could not get the granular data necessary to figure out exactly what those programs are in the ever-fragmenting TV and cable TV universe. Now, we've found an alternative to the Nielsen rating service for television media buying. Rentrak, a marketing research and buying tool, has become our partner for giving retailers a narrow targeted TV buy. Combining this superior product for finding and targeting programs with the data we've culled from each retailer's database, we're able to select the best programming your customers are watching.
What makes Rentrak a better fit for the retailer data we use? They provide more information about the viewers. This television audience measurement tool records viewing behavior from more than 20 million televisions across the country compared to Nielsen's estimated 250,000 homes. This granular data matches up nicely to the granular customer data we already manage. And what we’ve learned is that a clear understanding of your current customer is the key to using Rentrak to optimize TV buys in order to increase frequency against that customer.
The resulting buys have proven that more frequency against a narrower target results in more sales. So instead of buying one American Idol spot with a huge general rating, we have found that, for the same investment, we can buy a mix of programs that achieve the same reach and achieve substantially more frequency against a specific target that is more likely to buy from our retailer. Managing customer sales data has allowed us to demonstrate the results of our planning. One client’s sales are up more than 20% using this strategy.
The TV planning and buying process has grown increasingly similar to the online planning and buying process. Marketers and agencies are looking for more precision and more accountability. Rentrak’s data feeds the new generation of TV planning. Armed with their superior arsenal of information, we’re able to eliminate waste and directly target qualified shoppers. By combining our own client data, Rentrak’s massive viewing intelligence with third party consumer behavior information from sources like Polk, Experian, Simmons and Epsilon, our buyers develop unique applications and sculpt analytics and knowledge-based solutions for a more targeted approach to ad buying. A more targeted approach adds frequency against qualified viewers, which leads to more sales.
A Happy Holiday shopping season this year will come from more targeted messages seen more frequently.