14.6 Media Analysis Data

A great many services reveal to advertising professionals where ad dollars are spent. By analyzing where competitors and previous campaign professionals have allocated their budget, the communications professional can infer a lot about the intended audience for those messages.

Media analysis is a data-intensive aspect of work in strategic communications involving decisions about:

  • how to set an ad budget.

  • how to determine competitors’ ad spending.

  • how best to reach the target audience with specific ad purchases of time or space.

  • how to locate sponsors and the most effective means for communicating your client’s message.

One important set of data tools to help with this task are those available from Kantar Media Intelligence. Their many publications report advertising expenditures in 18 major media (Ad$pender™); competitive multi-media expenditure and occurrence information for 19 media, with a national and local market view of the advertising marketplace, including Branded Entertainment (Stradegy™); and in-depth online advertising intelligence on millions of brands across thousands of web sites within the U.S. and Canada (Evaliant™)

For instance, you could learn how much Proctor & Gamble spent on advertising for all its products in any year, or how much they spent on advertising for just their Head & Shoulders® shampoo brand, and how those ad dollars were apportioned among the different types of media (mostly magazine and network TV ads, it turns out). The allocation of those dollars tells you something about who the P&G advertisers thought their audience would be.

You could also learn the total number of ad pages and total dollars spent in specific magazine titles (how much does Cosmopolitan magazine bring in from P&G product ads each year?) or the amount of money spent on advertising for particular categories of products, such as personal care products.

Using these media analysis data tools provides an insight into which audiences are receiving what types of messages through which media. If you are trying to define the best audience for your ad campaign, you want to see what competitors have done with their decision process about audience. You can think of this as a sort of competitive analysis process.