There’s More To Big Data Than Just Big Data


(By Bob McCurdy) Big data is getting a lot of headlines and has made the process of purchasing media more sophisticated over the past several years, as everyone is searching for ways to maximize the impact of their marketing spend.

But, in addition to more effective targeting, there are two other critical media components that are equally important, if not more so, to the success of any campaign. I’m referring to “creative” and media selection. Get either of them wrong and the chances of a successful marketing campaign goes out the window.

Let’s focus on media selection.

For decades we’ve been talking about the importance of being visible at key media decision-making levels (client or agency) but “visibility” alone will no longer cut it. We need to bring value to the planning and media decision-making table. We can now do this more effectively with Commspoint.

The media sun doesn’t revolve around radio, which means it’s critically important for us to understand and communicate exactly how radio can complete the complex media planning puzzle.

Any given year’s media plan is often a duplicate of the previous year’s, give or take 5%-10% being allocated to experiment with the latest new digital offering. So it’s imperative that we’re involved with this process if we want to influence media selection.

Below is what we discussed with an automotive group earlier this week that’s been focusing tier-2 dollars primarily on TV. It was a top 20 market and actual market pricing was utilized. The budget in question delivered 125 TV GRPs per week for four weeks.

The marketing tactics chosen were:

– Generate channel reach quickly (get the sale message out there).

– Control by day of week (don’t want all messaging communicated Monday to Wednesday – late week is key).

– Heavy frequency within the week (generate a powerful share of voice, call-to-action. Out-shout the competition).

– Control by MSA (since this is tier-2 money, the dealers want to spend it where they benefit).

The messaging tasks stressed “price” (buy now) and “high quality” (great car) while the strategy tasks focused on generating “awareness,” “consideration,” and communicating “where to buy.”

We first discussed the point-of-diminishing returns with the client. The chart below highlights that after only 100 GRPs, TV begins to duplicate itself heavily. This might not be optimum for a “clearance sale,” as the more consumers reached, the greater chance of reaching someone who’s looking to buy a car.

Note: 108 GRPs will delivers approximately a 45 reach, 144 GRPs generates a 52 reach. This translates to the advertiser spending +33% more dollars to reach only 15% more consumers. At the 216 GRP level, which costs twice as much as 108 GRPS, the advertiser would be generating only +35% additional reach. Clearly the point-of-diminishing returns.


Next we had Commspoint, using the previously specified criteria, produce five plans ranging from 60% TV to 100% TV. The plan that appeared to deliver the greatest return on specified objectives was the 70% TV/30% Radio plan. The budget allocation by plan is below:


The following slide highlights that the 70% TV/30% Radio plan was considerably more effective in generating additional reach, getting the “pricing” messaging to register, generating appreciably more “awareness” and “consideration,” and easily out-performing the TV-only campaign in getting the “where to buy” messaging communicated. (A 2% difference between plans is considered significant.)


The next chart highlights the unique reach generated by the addition of radio, as well as the duplication between the two media, which points to the synergistic “priming” that occurs between the two.


Finally, and possibly most importantly, the frequency distribution for the 70%TV /30% Radio was far more desirable, with 35.8% of the target being reached 8+x over four weeks, which was double the TV-only schedule (17.3%).

Commspoint enables us to work more intelligently and effectively with our clients and agencies as they finalize their media selection for 2017. As the Bangles sang in their 1986 hit record “Walk Like an Egyptian,” moving forward, the more we walk (and talk) like a marketer, the more successful we’ll be.


  1. I have to note how Bob can supply an ongoing series of information (data) that would be of use to any AE who is willing to study and apply the material. Other sales professionals have done likewise.
    These are, after all, some very sophisticated presentations.
    However, when programming/communications-types get complex, radio people go all ape-snake an’ stuff. I do (sorta) wonder howcum that is.
    And thus endeth my whine for the day. 🙂


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