The Audience Daypart

John Piccone

Originally posted on MediaPost

More and more marketers, reacting to the chaos of fragmented TV viewership by digging deeper into when their target audiences are watching TV, find they need to relax their content restrictions as a result. And thanks to online media’s capacity to demonstrate the relationship of advertising expenditure to business outcomes, there is a slew of proof that valuable audiences are available around the media clock.

But TV is not the same as online, and its value continues to be organized mostly through day-parting, the practice of dividing the day into fixed time frames for the purchase of audiences. This has been an excellent proxy for audience aggregation that allows planners and buyers to scale media transactions and measure the value of reach and frequency.

Consumer lifestyles are very different today from when day-part definitions were created. Audiences are running amok, watching a greater variety of programming than ever before. According to Nielsen, 65% of all TV viewership is on shows that are rated a .5 or less.

So how do marketers get a handle on the dispersion of audiences to keep their reach curves constant without spending more money? Enter the Audience Day Part.

The Audience Day Part supplements traditional day parts by activating inventory with a specific objective that can drive business outcomes. Here are a few examples:

  • Competitive Conquesting Target audiences who have, or haven’t, seen a competitor’s ads. This tactic aims to improve share of voice for specific promotional events or limited time offerings by using the Audience Day Part to fill in gaps in reach.
  • Echo Effect Supplement contextual tent-pole activities such as NFL or college football games by retargeting those same audiences during the Audience Day Part when they are watching other shows on TV, for less cost.
  • Deep Activation Plan and buy advertising against targeting criteria such as Nielsen Buyer Insights, TRA, MRI or even the advertiser’s own first party data, by defining a time of day by the audiences viewing patterns.

In order to earn a box on TV’s reach and frequency flow charts, the Audience Day Part has to fit in and stand out at the same time. To fit in it needs to reach a specific audience as efficiently as the traditional day part schedule. To stand out, its inherent focus must be on business outcomes for a particular audience that is driven by new data and measurement techniques.

Combining the proven current practices of finding audiences on TV with the digital approach of data will further demonstrate televisions capacity to scale while applying best-in-class online advertising tactics.

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