Digital media planning has been given a boost with the announcement for the Digital Media and Marketing Association that audience data provided by its official measurement provider Effective Measure has been integrated into the media-planning tool, Telmar.
“Telmar is the de facto industry standard planning tool because of its comprehensive coverage of media. Having digital options reflected using the same metrics and comparisons to AMPS means that planners now have the whole media universe presented to them in one place. It’s great news for the industry as it means digital will finally be classed as another legitimate media channel rather than a strange outlier,” says Jarred Cinman, chairman of the DMMA.
The news has been enthusiastically met by agencies.
“It’s good news all round. Integrated campaigns will potentially be better planned from single view data than viewing multiple data sources. This move is also in line with the direction of the digital media and traditional media world because the lines are blurring. In terms of the next big wave of digital, we will see more of the virtual world integrate into the physical world and media will do the same,” says CEO of Avatar, Zibusiso Mkhwanazi.
Data from Effective Measure is delivered monthly, and weighted in terms of age, sex and region to the AMPS population. The data is then re-weighted to the internet population, as determined by a formula devised by the DMMA working with Echo Consultancy.
Alan Morrissey, managing director of Effective Measure South Africa, says the move is “a significant step in the South African advertising industry”. “Digital ad spend in the developed world is hovering at around 33%, so this move will help South Africa catch up with these international markets,” he says.
“I think that the digital industry is very much in its infant stages, and all though it is difficult to say definitively whether it is a good one or not, these kinds of progressive moves have to be done in order to pave the way forward,” says Kyle Hauptfleisch, commercial manager of Burn Media, part of the Memeburn group.
“I think that this industry is in dire need of some stable and consistent metrics and some sort of standardisation is definitely a good start. Hopefully this will ease advertisers apprehension with regards to putting decent budgets in the digital space. It needs to happen eventually as technology is becoming integral in all companies across all industries. Everything is moving towards digital. As for the accuracy of the data, that really depends on how it is being analysed, and by whom,” he says.
The MediaShop’s Richard Lord says digital agencies have had access to Effective Measure data all along, but now traditional agencies will be able to access the information. “Traditional planners weren’t able to access this information – now they will be able to see what websites perform against their target audiences just as they would when looking at print or radio,” he says.
“So this will enable planners to be more informed and aware and make digital a little bit less mystical. The more traditional planners are able to understand and unpack digital as a medium, the more money they will spend on the medium. Whilst AMPS has certainly improved the amount of information available about how consumers use digital, it is still a bit thin and the so the addition of EM will certainly help!”
Mkhwanazi says brands spend on thing they know from a risk perspective, leading to the slow uptake of digital advertising. “This is more an evolution rather than a revolution on media planning,” he says. “An increase in spend will depend on how well media planners can justify digital spend which an integrated platform makes better and how open minded clients are. It’s all about maximising on the reach of traditional media and the engagement and conversion advantage of digital.”
The Telmar dashboard allows for cross-tabulation of these metrics against the demographics supplied though the EM questionnaire as well as the AMPS targets markets. Reach and frequency metrics are also available in Telmar’s Multi-Media Planner using a Poisson-based formula that calculates the average daily page views in line with international standards.
The man who wrote the book on media planning, Gordon Muller, says he’s been using the DMMA data in X-tab format since 2012. “I don’t use the Internet Planner programme because I tend to do strategy rather than detailed scheduling but I can certainly see its value.
“So is it a good idea? Yes. Being able to accurately quantify exposure is always a valuable contribution. Will it change media planning? Probably not but it will certainly change media reporting. By the time a planner starts using Telmar at this level, the strategic decision-making has already been made. So if you haven’t motivated digital media into the mix for strategic reasons, then putting audiences and demographics to the equation will not help.
“The real problem remains that this is still website based information (might be wrong here but that’s my perceptions) so we are basically measuring display. We still can’t measure search which is the where the big bucks go.
“I believe that DMMA/ Telmar partnership is excellent news but generally speaking DMMA has not done enough to explain the tactical contribution of digital, mobile and social media platforms in South Africa. This is the quantum leap generator that will make a difference.”
Habari Media’s Garth Rhoda says the move is an “excellent step forward for the industry”.
“Digital will now be more accessible to all media planners across the board, when making the decision of which channels to use to reach the right audience for their brands, in the platform that they are using on a daily basis,” he says. “This will certainly impact positively on the size of the pie that digital will receive, with the spend for digital historically under reported. It’s very important that we are bringing the traditional and digital conversation closer together at this important part of media planning, we should be able to now compare reach and audience effectively when allocating budgets.”
Cinman says the DMMA worked with Telmar and Effective Measure through “several iterations of internet data, and during this time we have progressed from simply providing traffic data in terms of browsers, to weighting this data to the AMPS universe and incorporating these metrics. This enables us to provide more effective data to local media planners”.
The September 2013 data, weighted to these new populations, is now available for media planners to access through Telmar. Morrissey says the aim is to re-deliver June, July and August 2013 demographic files so that we can integrate this data into the Telmar dashboard as well.