Channel Selection – The Matrix Approach

There are seven hundred and eighty eight channels currently broadcasting in different parts of the country. How many can you name of the top of your head? 15, 20, 30? Chances are, your media plan too consists of a mix and match of those 30 channels only.

One of the biggest advantages of TV media buying is that it is the most scientific, number based decision you can take in your marketing mix.

With the help of TAM (Television Audience Measurement), you can actually gauge the performance of a channel over a prolonged period of time and check if you should be spending your hard earned marketing dollars on a particular channel. It’s not fool proof, but it’s definitely indicative. And that’s more than what you can say about most mediums !

The Channel Selection Matrix – How it Works:

Shortlisting channels for your media plan is a function of 4 basic numeric parameters:

  1. CPRP or Cost per Rating Point: A GRP is the easiest, most universally recognized currency for TV media buying. CPRP is in turn an indicator of efficiency in terms of how much you pay for one GRP. If a show or channel is garnering very high GRPs then it will charge a premium for its spots, or if a show has suddenly stopped performing well then it will reduce it’s rates. But as marketers, it isn’t possible to know the ups and down in TV viewership all the time. That’s where the CPRP helps us out. Simply put, the lower the CPRP of a channel, the more efficient it is. Of course, there are channels that have very high viewerships and command a premium for their spots, but that premium too is something that we have been able to benchmark over a period of time.
  2. Affinity: Another indicator of efficiency in media planning, it shows the weight of a specific target audience compared to the total population in case of a specific program/medium. In case this figure is higher than 1 (100%), it means that the program/medium is well targeted for our Target Audience. The higher this index the better the targeting is.
  3. Total Reach: Also known as MPR (Maximum Possible Reach) is the highest possible percentage of your target audience that a channel can reach. In the Indian context, we have noticed that no single channel can acquire more than 50% MPR. In this scenario, we explore multiple genres and a mix of channels to reach out to the maximum number of people we can in a defined budget.
  4. Average TVR: Also known as Television Rating Point, it is the percentage of the total population/target audience viewing a channel or a show at a given point in time. The higher the TVR of a channel or a show, the higher the chances of your spot being seen. Avg TVR (Within the TG) is the TVR the channel attains within the specified target audience. This is what we consider while buying, and not the Avg TVR of the channel/universe

Now that we have our basic parameters defined, what’s next? It seems like all these are indicators of efficiency, so maybe we should only look for channels with the lowest CPRP, highest Affinity, highest Reach and highest Avg TVR? That could be one way to do it, but realistically, very limited number of channels will be able to perform well on ALL the above parameters. Does that mean that the 750 other channels are bad investments? Not necessarily.

Step 2 of the matrix approach will explain how we solve this dilemma.

To normalize the redundancy in this approach, we assign appropriate weights to all 4 parameters, which we then index to get a rank for each channel within a genre.

Since CPRP has cost efficiency as well as viewership of a channel built in to it, the maximum weightage it provide to this.

Next are affinity and MPR with equal weightages, since one is a function of how many people in all you can reach with a channel and the other is how many within your target can you reach.

The least weightage it assigned to Avg TVR, since that is already covered as part of the CPRP.

They key to choosing the channels to place your ad on is drilling down audience consumption data to every minutest detail. Planning media for any brand requires a crystal clear understanding of your target audience consume information.

What we love the most about adopting the matrix approach is how numbers across every parameter leads to a decision that combines quantitative and qualitative judgment.

At Foolish we follow the matrix approach to channel selection so that we can bring in quantitative (cost, TVR) and qualitative aspects on the same plane and evaluate which channel will deliver better results for our campaign.