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TV Data vs. Gut Decisions: How Do You Buy?

August 17th, 2017   ||    by Monta Monaco Hernon   ||    No Comments

The amount of choice in a grocery store means shopping for a product often becomes a decision-making mix of information recall and gut feeling. The same could be said of advertising. There’s been a lot of emphasis on the importance of big data when making ad buys, but a new survey from Borrell Associates shows intuition still plays a role.

The good news is that broadcast TV is near the front of the pack of traditional media outlets when it comes to using TV data to determine which spots to buy. But when you look at the entire chart from the 2017 Borrell survey—which ranks buying decisions from “mostly gut” to “mostly data”—broadcast is just past the middle.

So, how did the 14 different types of media stack up? Outdoor, magazines, and radio—numbers one through three on the list—were pretty much all gut. However, data was the primary driver for search engine, email, and display data—the last three on the list. Cable TV was number eight on the list, followed by broadcast, which means TV buyers still rely on instinct, but are increasingly utilizing data to inform their decisions.

For the Gut, There’s the Account Executive

The survey emphasizes the continued importance of a good account executive. Let’s return to the grocery shopping analogy: A shopper wants to buy a frozen pizza. Like in most stores, there’s practically an entire row of freezers dedicated to this product. So, how do they choose?

Brand awareness comes into play, as does price, and sometimes product packaging. But what if there was a persuasive representative in the freezer aisle offering free samples and information on how well the cheese melts or the crispiness of the crust? For some customers, the friendliness of the salesperson matters.

Here too, the same can be said for advertising. An account executive has the opportunity to build on the “warm, fuzzy feeling” a buyer has for a particular form of traditional media. According to SpotsnDots, Greg Borrell, president at Borrell Associates, said during a recent webinar that the representative must be able to create a “great relationship” and provide “great service” to convince the advertiser that traditional media works—and can be used in conjunction with digital for a multimedia strategy.

For Everything Else, There’s Data

There is a growing need (and openness) for the account executive to be a consultant, particularly for small- and medium-sized businesses that want to learn more about the role data can play in traditional advertising—including, of course, broadcast TV.

“They want a lot of education on trends and metrics, and they want a lot more data,” Borrell said. “And they want people to be honest and open about the ROI [return on investment] of the campaign.”

Programmatic and automated TV buying technology provides an automated approach to ad buying that incorporates TV data to determine the best fit for a particular message. Education about this methodology will enable advertisers to extend reach to potential customers when and where they’re watching.

The account executives can also inform buyers about the continued power of local television, including the feeling of community it creates, its trustworthiness, and the role it plays in emergency preparedness. Equipped with this valuable information—and the ability to analyze data—an advertiser can turn a gut feeling into nearly a sure thing.

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