Why are ad analytics important?

Advertising has been around since at least ancient Egypt and probably earlier. Since the late 19th century, advertisers and the brands they represent have been trying to track and measure advertising efforts. In today’s world, there’s no reason any advertiser or brand shouldn’t have access to the most up-to-date information there is. The days of gathering data and evaluating effectiveness, reach, or competitor advertising activity in the marketplace, only to examine it once a quarter or less are over. Up-to-date, insightful advertising analytics data is available so advertisers and brands can continuously monitor their own advertising campaigns and those of their competitors.

Ad data and marketing performance tools are changing. With the advent of the internet and smartphones, streaming is increasingly becoming one of the main way people enjoy content and with things like smart TVs, it’s not only possible to know that an ad was aired with an estimate of how many people saw it, but it is also possible to know exactly on how many individual TVs an ad aired. Before, advertising agencies had to put a lot of trust in the things they were told by broadcasters. But now, modern ad data tools put the power into the hands of marketers and advertisers to track their campaigns in real time and ensure that their ads are airing as promised.

What are advertising analytics?

Advertising analytics include many things from competitive spend reports to actual ad tracking. Increasingly, ad analysis includes things like attribution – putting actual numbers to the effectiveness of an ad or a marketing effort. At its core, advertising analysis exists to provide quality control, measure the effectiveness of advertising, and help keep track of competitors. Some advertising analytics are available publicly, but most require a subscription to an analytics platform such as AdImpact to access their suite of advertising tools and proprietary advertising data. Those advertising tools and marketing performance tools will vary from platform to platform, but we have listed some of the most common below.

Price/Rate Comparison

One of the key pieces of ad analytics data that buyers and sellers need to see is pricing and rate data. This advertising data is rich with hidden information and potential. Rates indicate how competitive a time slot or program is. Certain advertising inventory can be more or less competitive based on a number of factors, but price most directly correlated with audience and reach. The Super Bowl is notoriously one of the most expensive programs on TV because it brings in one of the most consistently enormous tv audiences. But size of audience isn’t the only important data point, reaching key demographics can also make a program more expensive.

Rate data is important to both buyers and sellers of advertising inventory. For buyers, knowing rate data before going into a negotiation can give them the information they need to ensure they are getting the best rates possible. For sellers, rate information allows them to price their inventory better and adjust their rate cards to make sure they’re not missing out on money or ad loads. For industry watchers, knowing how much a Super Bowl commercial costs is a critical piece of information that everyone wants to know. Basically, anyone can benefit from rate data and while it’s a crucial piece of advertising intel, it’s not the only data point available.

Demographics

If a company markets beauty products, its marketers are probably going to target women more than men. Likewise, consumer brands are likely to target younger audiences whose brand loyalties are not set in stone. There are a myriad of reasons to want to know the demographics of an given ad’s audience. Things like age and gender or race and socioeconomic class are available to advertisers to help them better understand their audience and target ads appropriately. Additionally, advertisers will use location information if they want to target an audience with more granularity. This requires different media strategies as cable is more granular than broadcast and CTV/OTT promises to be even more granular than that. As CTV/OTT develops, further demographic information may become widely available as providers and analytics firms collect more information on the viewing habits of consumers.

Ad Volume/airing data

Another key piece of information ad analytics provides is the total ad volume of an advertiser or group of advertisers. Beyond the price of an individual ad, knowing how many ads an advertiser has run can be useful information. Combining this insight with daypart, program, and audience information can take analysis to the next level. With this combination of data, advertisers can understand during which programs an ad is running, and how many times it has aired. Whether studying their own brand’s ad, or that of a competitor, airing information can provide the critical intel needed to make powerful decisions. To take it one step further, ad volume can be combined with spending data to come up with a total ad spend estimate. For marketers and advertisers, ad volume and airing data is one of the most crucial pieces of information available to ensure that ads are running when and where they should be.

Ad Tracking

Some ad analytics are hard to quantify, such as message, tone, use of humor or heart, spokesperson etc. However, these data points can be useful when trying to understand the market or gain intel on the competition’s advertising. For that reason, one of the most important pieces of ad analytics data is the ad creative itself. The ability to quickly peruse the actual ads of competitors, or analyze a transcript report can make all the difference in the world when crafting the right messaging campaigns. Knowing what the competition is saying can help a marketing team set its brand apart. It would be impossible to study the entirety of a competitor’s advertising by simply watching TV, so access to full coverage of their advertising campaigns is vital to successful messaging.

Most frequently, advertisers want efficiency; how can they reach the most people in their target demographic for the least amount of money? That’s where a tool that combines all of these ad analytics into an easily digestible format comes in handy.

Here’s what that means for you:

AdImpact brings all this data together in our analytics platforms to help you make sense of the data available to your team. Subsequently, you are empowered to make smarter, more informed decisions. Your brand can monitor a competitor’s ad on TV, find the specific creative in AdImpact’s ad tracking database, and immediately see where and when it’s running around the country. This airing data is paired with demographics and other ad analytics to help your team better understand competitors’ strategies. Such data also takes away the need to rely on broadcasters for reports on ad campaigns, allowing you to verify that your ads are running when and where they should be. Having the entire array of ad analytics at your fingertips puts you in control and allows you to make more informed, strategic decisions.

Who benefits from ad analytics?

There are a variety of advertising analytics available, and clearly the application of advertising data can help inform decisions in any number of roles. To more fully illustrate the benefit of ad analytics for specific industries, we have outlined some potential use cases.

Advertising firms

You’re hired by a large company to create and kickstart a new ad campaign. In addition to everything else you have always done for due diligence, you now have a wealth of ad analytics at your fingertips. You can instantly access every commercial the company has run in the past two years. Beyond that, you can see the demographics these ads target and, just as important, the demos they do not. Running the same analysis for a brand’s competitors can help you understand the marketplace and know where there are opportunities for differentiation of the brand. You can see how long competitors typically run a campaign. You can also quickly view the performance of your ad and use that data to pitch future clients with the successful execution of your campaigns.

Marketing and Advertising Execs

Your quarterly meeting is coming up and a few stations’ run logs don’t look right. Instead of hounding the stations, you jump into a customized dashboard and verify that your gut was right; these stations did not air your ad as much as they say. In another scenario, you want to check that your new ad campaign is running smoothly. By having close to real-time occurrence information, you can rest easy knowing your campaign is running as you hoped.

Political Professionals

Campaigns, agencies, stations; everyone can benefit from political ad analytics, because unlike with non-political data, the numbers aren’t estimates. If you’re running a campaign, you can get up-to-the-minute intel about where your competition is advertising plus alerts when a new ad airs in the race. As an agency account executive, you can get real rate data to better negotiate your ad buys and get make-goods when the campaign is over. If you’re a station manager, we will help you hit your sales targets as we make lead generation a breeze. You can know not only who is spending where, but also each advertisers’ approximate budget and agency of record, giving you a leg up when you reach out and try to get them to advertise with you.

Reporters and News outlets

Whether you’re a political reporter, a culture reporter, or an advertising and media reporter; ad analytics can certainly color your reporting. Everyone sees ads all day every day, and ads often reflect society at large, so having access to the entire library of commercials currently on air can certainly be useful. Money is an increasingly important topic in politics so being able to immediately access data on how much is being spent where, down to the city council level, can make your reporting that much more insightful.

The reality is, in today’s fast-paced world, data is available how and where you want it. Accurate data and insightful analysis can be the difference between a good advertising and advertising that actually makes an impact. We’re not the only advertising analytics platform out there, but we’re certainly one of the fastest and our easy-to-use tools put the data you need in your hands to make better, more powerful decisions.