Pritha Dasgupta
Jul 02, 2013

Monthly ratings system regressive, say marketers and media planners

Advertisers don’t buy on a week-on-week basis, contend broadcasters

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Even as ISA, AAAI and IBF try to arrive at a consensus to break the TAM-broadcasters deadlock, suggested changes to TAM ratings have been in the news.

One is that broadcasters want monthly ratings data, instead of the current weekly data.

“We are moving backwards rather than forward. Ideally, we should be talking about data coming in real time so that course correction can be done and optimum efficiencies are achieved,” said Anita Nayyar, CEO, India & South Asia, Havas Media.

She added, “In today's day and age, one month is a long window especially in a real-time marketing world. A week and the average of the weeks help spot trends for a more robust media plan. Marketers like to understand the pulse of a customer as it only takes a second to switch a channel. Month analysis would give historic reports of a show but as we saw with the Superbowl and Oreo, we live in a world where advertisers talk even in blackouts.”

Media planners argue that India should move towards a model with a frequency higher than monthly. With campaigns designed around the purchase cycle, a monthly model will not allow for timely measurement and course correction, they contend. Advertisers seem to agree.

Sanjay Tripathy, executive vice president - head marketing, products and direct channels, HDFC Life, said, “I feel that data will be relevant only if it captures currency and waiting for one month will be a bit dated on a primary medium like TV. I certainly don’t think this will help marketers in any manner especially in monitoring the campaign and making corrections mid-campaign.”

However, broadcasters believe a monthly rating system would be more consistent than a weekly one. Rohit Gupta, president, MSM, said, “A monthly rating system would be more accurate and it won’t have the weekly fluctuations. Moreover, advertisers buy a trend and they don’t buy on a week-on-week basis. The advertising contracts are long term. Most campaigns run for eight to 10 weeks and it is a misconception that if a monthly rating system is arrived at, then it will be difficult for advertisers to evaluate the efficiencies of the campaign.”

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