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    Channel 4 builds attribution platform after finding ‘weak correlations’ in existing models

    The broadcaster has teamed up with ViewersLogic to track viewer behavior after being exposed to a TV campaign.

    Channel 4 has tied with ViewersLogic to develop a cross-media attribution platform after finding weaknesses in existing models on the market. 

    4Sales, Channel 4’s ad sales arm, sought the help of panel-based measurement firm ViewersLogic to show its advertisers how their TV campaign impacted metrics including sales, footfall and app downloads.

    ViewersLogic and Channel 4’s model uses single source data collected from 8,000 people who have been paid to be part of the panel. All data is collected automatically through an app that tracks both online and offline behavior in the days and weeks after being exposed to a TV campaign.

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    Using the longer-term data, advertisers can benchmark current campaign performance against previous campaigns and understand how it compares to competitors.

    Most attribution models in the TV ecosystem are small window solutions that work by measuring spikes in activity five minutes after a spot has aired. According to the companies, the traditional attribution model results in “weak” correlations between ad viewing and sales. 

    Channel 4’s head of sales and business development Ewan Douglas says the two-year project came about after finding holes in existing attribution models on the market. “I respect other attribution models that have been in the market, and lots of people are using them, but we felt that something more could be done here. We felt there wasn’t a full picture,” Douglas says.

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    Ronny Golan, chief executive officer and co-founder of ViewersLogic, adds: “This [small window] model has worked in the past 10 years, but it’s completely wrong. We see that less than 10% of this traffic comes within the five-minute window, but normally within the first week.”

    At launch, the product will be available to Channel 4 and some select UKTV and Discovery channels where 4Sales is the sales house. Both companies hope the model will be adopted by the wider industry.

    “It’s not meaningful in the long term to have one of these measurement tools that only sits across part of the market. For it to be truly meaningful for an advertiser, you want to be able to measure all your TV activity using it,” Douglas says. “This project is all about supporting effectiveness across all TV.”

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    Strangely for a market where streaming has overtaken linear TV, Channel 4 has built this product for linear only – although Douglas assures it will eventually be available for video on demand (VOD). “It was really important for us [Channel 4] to get a solution up and running with linear as it’s still the majority of where most advertising goes,” Ewan says. The second development phase will be rolling out on its broadcaster VOD.

    After its initial roll-out, ViewersLogic will be exploring ways to measure how price and promotion TV campaigns affect in-store behavior, as well as getting access to the walled gardens. “Our goal is to see the entire journey of the consumer,” Golan adds.

    “We are always trying to find ways to reassure our advertisers that their investment is good, and try and lower the barriers to entry into using TV advertising,” Douglas concludes. “In lots of other media, performance data is given on a really quick turnaround basis. We don’t want to match that exactly, but we want to start competing better in that space.” 

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