MediaTIPs is a unique and fresh solution designed to help brands allocate their budgets across a wide range of touchpoints. It adds a new dimension to communications planning, in addition to ad pre-testing and in-market tracking of brand health and advertising evaluation. This is about “media consumer research”.

It brings a focus on future media allocations, based on measures that matter, above and beyond just media exposure. It is more than just planning for the highest reach and lowest cost: it is about media allocation to improve impact.

A need to evolve

Today’s world of media proliferation means that marketers have to change their approach to media planning. With so many new touchpoints and emerging digital opportunities, the advertising sector seems to recognize the great potential, but it lacks the fact-based insights (and evidence) of how all the touchpoint choices work to optimize impact.

Currently, media planners seem mostly focused on getting the most exposure for the lowest cost. This is all about ‘quantity’ and cost, and it lacks inclusion of measures about the quality of what they are buying, such as value. The goal should be to maximize impact for the budget rather than just minimize costs for exposures. The evolution and empowerment of “programmatic buying” in the digital space is evidence of this new shift to paying a premium for stronger efficacy and impact. However, this is largely limited to online digital placements, and is not universally applied and reflected across all touchpoints equally. Nonetheless, programmatic buying is a step in the right direction. We need to expand the concept for any and all touchpoints.

The new foundation

The world of information and business science is evolving towards “roughly right”, “good enough”, and is learning to deal with an acceptable amount of uncertainty. The idea of waiting for perfection and certainty is a luxury most companies can no longer afford. The new world is about risk assessment, and working with ‘probabilities’. Efforts which are aimed to improve probabilities are considered relevant. In a sense, this is how programmatic digital media buying works. Advertisers are willing to bid higher prices for some media placements versus other types of placements if they believe the probability of a better target exists in the former. Ipsos Connect’s Media TIPS approach uses probabilities, and comparisons between the choices of touchpoints to help guide the smartest allocations. Which media allocations offer the greatest probabilities of impact and success?

MediaTIPs is a quantitative study designed to work in a “mobile-first” environment and asks impact and brand objective questions specific to unique categories. Results are delivered via an interactive Portal, which also includes a media Optimizer and media allocation Simulator. The Optimizer determines the best budget allocation based on the summarized inputs, with clients getting to enter and simulate different ‘creative quality’. The creative quality may come from pre-testing or other sources, or it could be assumed, or “guestimated”.

The combination of four elements (consumption, attention, creative quality and impact relevance) constitutes the overall “Touchpoint Impact Potential” score.And it is this score which is optimized by way of the best allocation of the media budget across the touchpoints.

Why not measure passively?

Some might say that you cannot ask people if advertising effects them, and that it is not reliable to ask people which touchpoints work better or less well. We have sympathy to this point of view, with some agreement. However:

  • There is no other better system to passively measure and derive impact across all of the different types of touchpoints (tagging and passive measurement does not work equally for all touchpoint types).
  • This tool carefully asks questions which can be answered. It avoids respondents to admit that advertising will affect them.
  • Furthermore, the tool works by optimizing impact between the choices of touchpoints. Thus, if there is a general bias in how people answer the survey, as long as the bias is relatively consistent across the touchpoints, then this is mitigated by the way the optimizer compares the impact in-between possible TP allocations. It is comparative in nature, and does not work on absolute levels of answers.

So, we now have a new, relevant solution to help clients allocate budgets across the wide choice of touchpoints and maximize their impact for better value.