Research you can actually use

Research you can actually use

It’s time to create effectiveness studies that deliver actionable findings rather than simply sell media channels. Jay Rajdev invites you to take part.

It’s hard to move these days without a study extolling the virtues of one channel or another.

They should be helpful but, all too often, they simply tell us that the person funding the research has surprise, surprise the most effective media channel.

That’s no surprise, after all, when you work in marketing, your work involves selling products and services, so why shouldn’t channel marketing organisations sell their own products?

It’s a pity because planners – and I speak as an ex-planner – genuinely need great effectiveness studies. We need sector norms for all channels, we need genuine insights into the way that each channel works with another, both within each medium and beyond.

Planners want clear, authoritative and credible data that they can use to identify opportunities and support recommendations in their plans to clients. Such data is particularly important at this time of year as agency teams finalise their client recommendations for 2017.

Sadly, too many of the studies we see don’t provide this level of applicable facts, are rarely used and, after a flurry of trade press coverage, disappear in web archives never to be seen again.

Already this year we’ve seen a huge number of studies proving that ads work.

Most recently, in Effectiveness Week we saw the The “Godfathers of marketing effectiveness”, Les Binet and Peter Field, unveil the first part of their new study for the IPA, sponsored by Thinkbox and Google. Of course, TV excels, as does YouTube.

It’s not yet clear how this tallies with Google’s study from April, which showed that online video delivers up to 50 per cent higher ROI than TV advertising.

Newsworks has also recently worked with Peter Field to demonstrate that newspapers can drive a 36% uplift in business effects.

The IAB also has a whole drawer of studies showcasing the power of digital, including most recently a look at video effectiveness.

What these studies do is help get channels on planners’ and marketers’ radars. What they don’t do is tell them how to use those platforms to best effect for each category and rarely in conjunction with other media.

In any case, many clients already invest sizeable sums on tracking, modelling and sales impact work, they have a good idea of what’s been working for them. What they are missing in a rapidly changing media environment is credible guidance on how to evolve.

There are exceptions, of course. Thinkbox’s study TV Response: New Rules, New Roles was valuable and provided insights and norms to help planners understand how TV can drive response across categories and for a range of different metrics.

Our goal is to create more such studies. Studies that can actually be applied in the day to day work we all do. As a video advertising platform, we want to be open about how video fits into the wider Total TV and media landscape.

This is critical because a Total TV approach doesn't discriminate across screens. A Total TV approach understands the fluidity of viewing across channels, screens, and platforms.

It recognizes not just the defining strengths of TV in all its forms (both legacy and digital) but having the passion to find out how it all works together and how the cross-screen planning principles differ by audience and sector.

It means asking ourselves how the rules change if the objective is short or long term and what's the impact that each element of the Total TV mix provides in terms of outcomes such as digital behaviour and search.

In 2017 we want to shine more light on these questions. We’re looking for brand partners who’ll collaborate with us. We’re willing to commit our research budget to undertake an extensive analysis of how screens work together to drive sales of your products and/or services.

We want to assemble a team of the most progressive brands, the smartest agencies and the brightest in the analytics business to come together to help figure it all out. If you want to join that team then please drop me a line.