With the current state of audience fragmentation and the proliferation of viewing platforms, Reach is a critical goal for advertisers seeking to engage with their desired audiences. In Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, Reach measures how many unique individuals are exposed to an ad.
Today’s media partners are increasingly interested in knowing just how accurate their campaigns are, amplifying the industry’s need for precise on-target percentage measurement to assess campaign results as well as publisher performance. But when it comes to campaign evaluation, on-target delivery only tells part of the story.
To better understand Reach, Nielsen analyzed the concept of “reach efficiency” to see if advertisers are spending their dollars effectively. Reach efficiency refers to how efficiently a campaign and its individual media partners reach unique audiences within a specific demographic group given a set level of gross rating points (GRPs).
To understand the value of reach efficiency, Nielsen evaluated it across six campaigns. Each campaign served about 25 million gross impressions, had similar GRP levels and a desired audience of persons age 18-49. Using Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings benchmarks, we assigned On-Target performance rankings of low, medium and high to the six campaigns. There were two campaigns within each category: one showing significantly below-average Reach and one showing above-average Reach (based on the average Reach achieved by campaigns with 22-28 million impressions).
Campaigns and publishers with similar On-Target Percentages and GRP levels can generate significantly different target reach levels. For instance, Campaigns 3 and 4 both achieved a 74% On-Target rate; however, Campaign 4 achieved a reach level that was nearly four times as large. While Campaign 2 appears to be a low performer in terms of its On-Target percent, it delivered reach more efficiently than Campaign 5, a high On-Target performer, meaning it reached more unique individuals within a specific audience.
This analysis demonstrates the variances in campaign performance that reach efficiency can drive between campaigns with similar objectives. Despite having similar parameters and goals, campaigns can perform differently based on the sites they’re served on. The main factor in terms of a campaign’s reach efficiency is these sites’ ability to serve and optimize ads effectively. Keeping this idea in mind is critical for advertisers to understand whether Reach goals are met and which sites are contributing the most to this goal.
When it comes to creating a media plan, bigger does not necessarily mean better—especially when deciding which publishers will deliver Reach most efficiently. While the size of a publisher’s audience is an important factor, publishers need to be able to control their ability to reach a broad enough set of people during the life of the campaign using marketing tactics and frequency capping.
“Reach efficiency should be strongly taken into consideration at all points of a campaign’s life if advertising dollars are to be spent most effectively,” said Randall Beard, Global Head, Advertiser Solutions, Nielsen. “With the expansion of endless devices and ways to watch and consume content, it’s imperative that advertisers have the tools to develop campaign management strategies for optimizing their performance within and across campaigns.”