Using Advanced Demographics for Local TV Planning & Buying

This is a first for me. It is a jointly written blog between me and Rob Contreras, President of Whole Media Concepts, a Rentrak client in Austin, Texas. We both felt it would be a good idea if our combined readership learned how an ad agency used some of Rentrak’s information. I’ll start off, and then tell you when Rob comes in.

Rentrak gets complete automotive registration information about new and used car buyers from Polk Automotive. We then integrate that with our viewing data, in a privacy-protected manner. These charts are snapshots of some information in the Austin market, focusing on the Chevrolet and Mazda makes. Rentrak receives information down to the model level; this is just a taste of the service that’s available!

For this analysis, we looked in the Austin market at daypart viewing for the major ad supported broadcast affiliates. We pulled information for six dayparts, M-F EM, M-F Day, M-F EF, M-F PA, M-SU Prime, M-F LF, and SA/SU day. Our two automotive targets were Chevrolet buyers and Mazda buyers in the month of October 2012.


When we rank the stations by composition of Mazda buyers the list shifts a bit. First, we can see that Mazda buyers don’t have the same high indices as Chevy buyers do.


Composition indices, of course, just tell you how concentrated a target is on a station and don’t tell you the size of the target, the rating. The table below shows that information, comparing the top 10 ratings for Chevrolet buyers with Mazda buyers. Here we see the big four affiliates dominating, with Prime Time taking up the plurality of the slots for Chevy. Notice that the ratings for Mazda buyers both don’t fall in the same rank order and are lower.

ImageRanking the stations by Mazda buyers leads to lower ratings and little less dominance of Prime with only three winning stations, while Prime Access has four. Again, it is big four affiliates who do best.


Thoughts from Rob Contreras, President of Whole Media Concepts

There are two general theories we set out to test with Bruce’s analysis.

  1. Whole Media Concepts is consulting with a Chevy dealer to identify programming that delivers a higher marketing efficiency.
  2. We’re assisting a Mazda dealer who wants to create a more robust digital marketing infrastructure and we need to validate this business decision.

Let’s start with Chevy

Looking at the composition index graphs, we gain immediate clarity toward the importance of TV for each brand. For Chevy, the scattershot of programming above the 1.00 mark provides a clear visual indicator to support the fact that many opportunities exist to target viewers with an affinity toward Chevy. Rentrak can help us pinpoint the exact TV programs that hit a concentrated cluster of Chevy fans. This helps our firm develop a more strategic plan that focuses less on general TV ratings, and more on targeted rating points. Ultimately, we end up reaching more potential customers for less money, while maintaining the necessary reach and frequency levels of the campaign.

The next step is to look at station and daypart rankings by index. The Austin, TX CBS affiliate, KEYE, dominates in this area, inclusive of their Telemundo network. The high index of Spanish language programming is now on our radar, as well as the efficiencies that might be gained by taking a closer look at KEYE. What we end up discovering is that KEYE’s primetime audience delivers the lowest market rating, but the highest index for Chevy owners. When we apply Polk, we discover that KEYE’s 3.675 Prime Time rating turns into a 7.12 rating among Chevy owners. With a Chevy index about 55% higher than the ABC affiliate, KEYE’s daypart now delivers the equivalent of the 2nd highest rated show in the market. The lower cost of the KEYE primetime spot, based on its general market rating, fits perfectly into our ability to stretch our client’s marketing dollar.

Now, looking at Mazda…

For Mazda, the composition index shows fewer opportunities to reach a concentrated cluster of Mazda vehicle owners. In fact, it peaks at only about 20% above the market average. While this is generally a good index, the data supports the dealer’s gut-instinct that TV is playing less of an impact role in their marketing plan. At this point, we would dive deeper into ratings for the 40+ cable TV ad-insertable networks in the market. If those numbers proved to max out at a lower index level as well, it would help us validate the dealers desire to shift marketing dollars into a heftier digital strategy. We already took a look at ESPN, TNT, USA and FXNC, and none of them had any gain in general rating when we applied a Mazda index.

Again, the next step is to look at station and daypart rankings. Prime Time and Prime Access were the highest rated dayparts with the Mazda brand. An in-depth look showed that general ratings were almost identical to targeted ratings when we applied a Mazda index with Polk. This is probably one of the most interesting aspects of Rentrak, as it truly gives our clients a unique frame of reference. For the Mazda dealer to know that his brand has relatively little opportunity to speak to targeted clusters of Mazda owners via TV means that he can free up the most inefficient TV spots in his campaign and redirect those funds toward a digital campaign. He already knows his target audience is younger and more affluent than the general market, and Rentrak’s data was used to support this theory with facts. In fact, the demographic and lifestyle information we gathered regarding the Mazda consumer will guide our creative strategy with digital.

At Whole Media Concepts, we confidently use Rentrak as an unbiased source of information to help create meaningful and knowledgeable solutions for our clientele. The information gives us a distinct advantage in the marketplace, as our clients look to us as the authority on local consumer information.

Closing from Bruce

Thanks Rob. It is good to hear how Whole Media Concepts is utilizing Rentrak’s Advanced Demographics to not only define buys, but also to help set strategic direction on the entire media mix. Having a target of actual buyers that can be leveraged in more than one medium is a real advantage to Rentrak clients.

In case you don’t know, I am Bruce Goerlich, Chief Research Officer at Rentrak, the global standard in movie measurement and your TV Everywhere measurement and research company. I have been in the research end of the marketing business for more than 30 years primarily on the ad agency side, with my last stint prior to Rentrak in the role of President, Strategic Resources Zenith Optimedia North America. Somewhere along the way I morphed from young Turk to old fogey. Now that I have grey hair and am horizontally-challenged, I can speak with some authority on advertising and research issues – which I will do from time-to-time on this blog.


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