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Digital media planners: enough with the stats, speak English

For years, above the line media has used Gross Rating Points (GRPs) as a benchmark. This is how agencies and their clients can attribute value to campaigns to ensure that media budgets are allocated and spent cost-effectively. This is all well and good for traditional advertising, but when it comes to digital media, measuring effectiveness has not been possible.

With digital media, campaign plans are measured by estimated impressions, estimated clicks, estimated frequency, estimated click-through rates, estimated cost per views, estimated interactions, estimated dwell time and the like.

You get the picture? The strange thing is, the very measurements that are devised to create greater transparency between planner and client seem to do just the opposite. Many of the measurements are direct marketing related, for example: how many letters did we post and how many application forms did we received back?

Think sales funnels and conversion optimisation; all of the measures alienate brand marketers who want to know how many of the right kind of people received the message and how many times they saw it! How’s that for a great place to start?

During and post campaign we start to measure by signups, leads, likes, sales, downloads, calls, increase in visits, page views and time on site and this is all dependent on the medium, country, type of creative as well as the different metrics used as benchmarks.

And herein lies the start of the problem because the number of benchmarks are countless and this leads to confusion when trying to measure one against another. If we deconstruct it, digital is most certainly the most measurable medium but the myriad metrics can often obscure and obfuscate.

By applying this to a digital campaign we would start by evaluating the potential effectiveness of a campaign. So we borrow from our big brothers and apply a GRP model to a digital plan. This way we can see the effectiveness of a campaign in terms of GRP’s and we can now start comparing apples with apples.

For the digital media folk out there GRP = % of target audience x frequency x 100

Benefits:

  • We can now compare different media plans to the same measurement scale.
  • We can be cost effective as the GRP model is effectively a resource allocation algorithm thus allocating costs effectively.
  • We can thus make a media planner’s allocation easier.

Negatives:

  • The downfall of this measurement is that it doesn’t apply to all mediums – think social & searched based media, PR & advertorial, networks.
  • It doesn’t account for specific unit position or size – all ad sizes irrespective of position are treated the same.
  • It doesn’t take into consideration cross-user penetration, for example, a reader on a regular news site versus one on a political commentary site.

In terms of creating a benchmark for digital media campaigns, a GRP based model seems like one of the ways forward for digital media planners to allocate their budgets more effectively.

The measurement technique is not perfect but certainly a huge step in the right direction for awareness based digital media planning. It’s time to speak real English, people! (or people, it’s time we all spoke the same language).

Amorphous launches online media buying platform for South Africa and beyond

Amorphous Group has developed a platform called Elastic Media Africa (EMA), an online media buying tool that offers a host of products for brands. The landscape includes South Africa and selected countries in Africa.

EMA will enable brands and agencies to plan and buy online advertising space. The platform uses a real-world algorithm TM which blends available ad space with the desired target audience reach, frequency, price, budget, asset spread to optimise an online media plan with limited waste. It works on the premise of “the higher your GRP (Gross Point Rating), the better your campaign”.

“The holy grail of media planning is to talk only to exactly who you want to in a campaign, in other words, don’t pay for ads where you don’t need to. This idea was distilled into a neat algorithm that can maximise a client’s advertising spend to attain the maximum outcome for a particular budget. A first in South Africa,” says Grant Shippey, CEO Amorphous Group.

Why Africa?

Over 20 markets in Africa have over 1million connected users. These include Algeria, Angola, Cameroon Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Currently there is no generally accepted measurement practice amongst these sites like we have in South Africa in the DMMA.  Via a third party, a Private Ad Exchange is being constructed across 20 key African Markets. Ad exchanges are technology platforms that facilitate the buying and selling of online media advertising inventory from multiple sources. A Private Advertising Exchange is a network of advertisers that can be measured and utilized in a consistent manner.

The EMA Offering

The platform will has the following products, which will be offered at no cost to clients, while agencies will continue to receive a 16.5% commission:

  1. Optimal GRP (South Africa web and mobile)  - EMA will develop a media plan ensuring the highest GRP for the brand. All sites are DMMA registered members.
  2. All Ads Africa – this will be a generated media plan based on the top 40 performing sites across the selected African countries including South Africa.  The plan will target over 100 million connected users. All ads will be above the fold, quality placements from third party measured, reputable sites.
  3. Fini Ads Africa – will be a generated media plan based on the top 25 performing financial sites across the selected African countries including South Africa.
  4. Whatever Wherever – should a brand choose not to select the above products EMA will customize a plan.

More products will be developed as the need arises.

“It appears that South African companies and businesses targeting to do business on the continent are woefully under-spending in digital media. Nielsens say that in South Africa we spend about 2-3% of our total media budgets on digital assets despite mobile devices being the communication lifeblood of the continent. This needs to change,” concludes Grant Shippey, CEO Amorphous Group.

Heading up this Division is Cameron McNaughton, who joined Amorphous in 2010 where he has been involved in everything from media strategy, media planning, buying, analyzing and reporting to managing the relationships with several clients including Absa Capital, Nedbank SYSPRO, Hollard, SAB and Steers.

Call +27 11 380 6513 or mail: info@elasticmediaafrica.com

Amorphous Group (part of the Times Media Family) launches Elastic Media Africa.

“It appears that South African companies and business targeting to do business on the continent are woefully under-spending in digital media. Nielsens say we spend about 2-3% of our total media budgets, In South Africa, on digital assets despite mobile devices being the communication lifeblood of the continent. This needs to change.” spouts Grant Shippey – CEO of AMORPHOUS.

Amorphous and Times Media are investing in a mobile digital future via company acquisitions as well as product and service development. The Group intends to capitalise on what will certainly emerge as a growing trend as marketers shift spend to connected and mobile devices.

The nexus of the business is to sell audiences not advertising positions. The holy grail of media planning to is minimize wastage in a campaign, i.e. don’t’ pay for ads where you don’t need to. The idea was distilled into a neat algorithm that can maximise a client’s advertising spend to attain the maximum outcome for a particular budget. A first in South Africa.

“We love maths. We love media just a little more.” says Group CEO Grant Shippey. “The in-house developed algorithm is the heart of the business. The mathematical heart of the business. “

 Why Africa?

Over 20 markets in Africa have over 1 million connected users! These include Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

 What is the offering?

Elastic will be launching its offering with an Optimal GRP product for use by media planners and buyers. A Private Ad Exchange is also being constructed across 20 key African Markets. Ad exchanges are technology platforms that facilitate the buying and selling of online media advertising inventory from multiple sources. A Private Advertising Exchange is a network of advertisers that can be measured and utilized in a consistent manner.

The Private Network will be aimed at developing indexed products to help advertisers reach markets simpler, on larger scale with independently audited figures. Elastic Media Africa will be developing products for general reach across Africa’s significant audiences as we as products for specifically for a financial services niche.

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Boilerplate

 

Elastic Media Africa is a maths obsessed digital media and advertising agency that is part of the Amorphous Group – a Times Media family member. The media geeks have developed real-world algorithms to optimise media spends to maximize Gross Ratings Points! A first in South Africa. Maths can help you do anything.

www.elasticmediaafrica.com or call +27 11 380 6513

info@elasticmediaafrica.com

 

Elastic Media is a new venture from Amorphous Group (part of Times Media)

Times Media Group Strucuture

Times Media Group Structure