SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—If reach is “God’s gift to advertising,” to paraphrase the late media research guru Erwin Ephron, it’s a gift that doesn’t keep on giving, according to Howard Shimmel. “We downplay the importance of being able to plan to optimize reach,” says Shimmel, formerly of Turner Broadcasting.
Now the President of consultancy Janus Strategies and Insights, which is named for a Greek god, Shimmel says we’re now in a world where getting the right amount of reach in-flight is much harder.
“Whether it’s average weekly reach for a CPG company, or it’s reach within the last two weeks for a movie studio opening,” he says in this interview at Beet Retreat 2018. “TV’s reach is compressing as ratings go down.”
What hasn’t evolved is a measurement ecosystem “that actually allows you to stitch together all things addressable with linear so that you’re doing is using addressable to get the reach points that you’re not going to get with your linear schedule,” Shimmel adds. “And you’re also using addressable to avoid wasting addressable impressions with people who you could pretty well surmise are going to get a boatload of TV impressions.”
His example is a regular MSNBC viewer who is getting 20 TV impressions, “what’s the point of giving me two more impressions on digital? It’s just a waste.”
Asked whether that’s always the case, he says an exception could be advertisers using sequential creative messaging across platforms.
“One of the things as an industry we’ve made a mistake at is we’ve never invested the right amount of money in planning tools,” says Shimmel. “Used to be you would develop some reach and frequency curve off of Nielsen TV data and you’d use them for five years. Because the world really didn’t change.”
Today, an advertiser using 2016 data to plan for “some first quarter 2019 scatter, you’re probably twenty points off of the market in terms of average rating, so it means that reach and frequency curves have to change.”
Planning tools need to be more future-oriented, and planning and activation need to be closely meshed together. “So that you’re able to say here’s my TV base, I’m going to score an addressable population based on expected levels of frequency, and then I’m going to activate digitally to complement that in whatever an advertiser wants.”
This video was produced in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Beet.TV executive retreat. Please find more videos from the series on this page. The Beet Retreat was presented by NCC along with Amobee, Dish Media, Oath and Google.