Was advertising relevant this past Superbowl Sunday?
I kept a log of the advertising I was exposed to either on TV or on my laptop so I could actually MEASURE how much of the advertising was relevant to me.
I had the TV on most of the day, from the news programs in the morning, to movies and then, of course, the Superbowl, multi-tasking much of the time so this was a great day to amass a lot of data…I logged in114 TV commercials and 52 digital ads to be exact!
Now, before I get into the results of my diary, let me say that I tracked two kinds of relevance; relevance to me as a consumer and relevance to me as a shopper:
- Consumer relevance: is this a branded product or service I currently use or could imagine myself at least considering at some point in the next few years
- Shopper relevance: is this a type of product or service I am actively planning to buy, meaning I have already engaged, or definitively plan to engage in some activity intended to result in a purchase decision.
The presumption is that relevance to me in both ways will make an ad much more likely to impact my behavior and shopping choices.
So, to answer my own question, yes, advertising is relevant…but there is room for improvement. About 40% of ads were relevant to me as a consumer which is higher than I thought it was going to be. On the other hand, a much lower percent, especially for TV, was relevant to me as a shopper.
Bottom line? Only 11% of TV commercials were relevant to me BOTH as a consumer and as a shopper, although this percent was 2 ½ times higher for digital. In particular, I was surprised to come to the self-realization as to how relevant the ads in Facebook were. Presumably digital does better at targeting me as a shopper because there is a greater ability to target based on interests and behaviors and Facebook certainly knows my interests (although probably not as much about my behaviors).
When you think about it, isn’t it obvious that the way to increase advertising ROI has to be to target advertising so that it is more relevant to people as both consumers AND shoppers? If you could sort out impressions delivered by those that are not relevant, relevant to someone as either a consumer or shopper but not both, relevant to someone both as a consumer and shopper, couldn’t we confidently postulate that advertising to the third group would have to have much greater effect? Shouldn’t we test and confirm this theory?
This is aligned to the well-established principles in recency planning that I previously blogged about. From a research and measurement point of view, the concepts of consumer and shopper relevance could be really powerful ROI builder metrics for which an advertiser could set goals that their agencies would have to meet. In turn, it is logical that increasing the proportion of ads that are targeted based on behaviors and interests or are self-directed (e.g. search, abandoned shopping carts, and clicking links that take you to a landing page that has a shopper planning purpose) are ways to make these metrics grow over time. To raise shopper relevance scores, identify and tag digital behaviors that indicate pre-shopping and make advertising as self-directed as possible. Even video advertising can have self-directed elements by making the commercial and coordinated content interactive.
Want to reduce advertising waste? It is simple. Use digital capabilities to increase the relevance of ad impressions to individuals at the moment of exposure, in particular, to individuals as shoppers.