A new survey and ethnography research that Hearts & Science conducted with Omnicom Media Group found that the TV and video consumption of 47% of Millennials and Gen Xers – encompassing the 22 to 45 age range – aren’t effectively captured by the TV measurement currency. We call this audience segment “The Unreachables,” because the industry systems of record for planning and measurement guides media buys away from reaching them. The Unreachables are highly sought after by our clients. And Unreachables aren’t as elusive as they seem, but in order to reach them one must look beyond the current incumbent TV planning and measurement tools.
Perhaps the more fundamental issue, however, is philosophical: traditional, panel-based approaches to TV measurement are old-school technology designed for old-school media. Panel sizes are too small to represent advanced targeting (beyond age/gender demos) and the TV-centric measurement methodology doesn’t accurately reflect today’s consumer viewing patterns. In short, they leave advertisers with a generation of Unreachables.
In the meantime, agencies and brands will – together – need to rewrite the media planning and buying playbooks. We’ll update planning systems to account for the glaring gaps in the measurement data, and will look to leverage new mobile datasets as they emerge. We all must champion the adoption of open SDKs that make it easier for publishers and broadcasters – and their audience – to be counted. Most important, we encourage brands to get their customer data in order so they’ll be ready to leverage identity-based marketing to competitive advantage. After all, the ability to reach future audiences depends on it.
Scott Hagedorn is chief executive of Hearts & Science, a media agency owned by Omnicom Group Inc.
Scott Hagedorn. Outside Voices: How Marketers Are Missing a Generation of ‘Unreachables.’ The Wall Street Journal.
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