[ Summer 2009 ]

Beijing and Beyond: A Customized Approach to Defining the Impact of Cross-Media Events

By David C. Tice, VP, Group Account Director

Brands and events that encompass new and traditional media are becoming more common every day; think of TV networks that have Web sites and radio stations, or sports leagues whose portfolios include Web sites, TV networks, and magazines. Defining how these media are interacting, and helping advertisers understand their collective value, stretches the bounds of today's research – especially if you need timely information from a single, nationally representative source.

Knowledge Networks has pioneered a new approach to these challenges: TotalTouch™, which leverages KN's nationally representative KnowledgePanel® and brings unduplicated audience data across platforms to clients via a simple but powerful reporting tool.

Standard audience measures have drawbacks when it comes to measuring this kind of multiple media coverage:

  • They are not single source. No analysis can be made of unduplicated cume audiences or audience combinations across the different media
  • They are not designed for overnight turn around. Some platform measures are not available on this rapid daily basis
  • Their measurement of out-of-home usage is limited or not available
  • They do not measure simultaneous use of different media platforms
  • They do not include custom variables that can be used for analysis

tvsNBC Universal faced these problems in measuring its coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics – coverage that delivered more hours of sports action across more media than had ever been attempted for a single event. No one knew how people would respond to the extraordinary number of media options – and being able to understand the choices people were making and adjust as needed on a timely basis was crucial.

KN's solution – which won the 2009 CTAM Case Study Competition for Knowledge Networks and NBCU – used its MultiMedia Mentor® single-source methodology as a foundation. KN can adapt the Mentor single-source framework to the specific needs of a situation; in the case of NBCU, it measured:

  • "Yesterday" time spent and location used for each NBCU Olympic property for each of six dayparts covering a 24 hour day
  • Any "yesterday" viewing of the Olympics via HD, VOD, or a DVR
  • Prior Olympic media use and expected future use for each property to build "Games to date," and estimate "total Games," media cumes
  • Any other non-NBCU exposure "yesterday" to the Olympics
  • Product category and NBCU proprietary questions

While the NBCU project measured five Olympics-related media – from video on demand to mobile phone applications – KN can apply the same high-accuracy techniques to almost any combination of media.

Knowledge Networks has also applied the TotalTouch approach to measuring the impact of a TV movie that was being released or screened, during a short time span, on a broadcast TV network, VOD, iTunes, and DVD. With TotalTouch, KN gives the client easy access to data on the reach of the movie in each medium, multiple viewings from different sources, and a variety of other metrics.

Tabulator provides instant access, analysis

Bringing immediate actionability to this range of data is the TotalTouch Tabulator, a custom reporting tool that is more flexible and friendly than "off the shelf" software or banner tabulations. Built on an Excel spreadsheet platform, the Tabulator can produce:

  • Daily media cumes across media
  • To-date cumes
  • Projected total cumes
  • Time spent with the media
  • Simultaneous TV & Internet use
  • Touch points

The Tabulator can generate reports for literally thousands of different data combinations, including age, gender, dayparts, locations of use, networks or media properties used, socio-economic variables, combinations of media or properties used, technology present in the home, and product purchase or use.

With its unique combination of high-accuracy data, cross-media coverage from a single source, and quick data access via customizable software, TotalTouch could be adapted to such challenges as

  • Total reach of sports playoffs
  • Overall consumption of a network's primetime TV assets
  • Understanding the "day in the life" of a brand's consumers, or assessment of competitive brands
  • Short-period multi-platform content release (media used or consumers)
  • Evaluation of an ad campaign that includes multiple media plus other elements, such as out-of-home ads or in-store displays

As more and more events and brands broaden their media footprint, this approach offers an elegantly simple, reliable solution for media planning and targeting.

David TiceDavid C. Tice is Vice President, Group Account Director, Custom Research, for Knowledge Networks and Director of The Home Technology Monitor™. Tice has also directed audience and advertising research for many major sports properties (The Olympics, NFL, NBA, NASCAR, etc.). He has frequently presented findings at research conferences and has been called upon by major media outlets to provide background and context for news features.


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For more information, contact:

David C. Tice
908 497-8075

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