Single source (longitudinal, individual level) data is now available in the USA, showing buying and TV advertising exposure.
This is terribly exciting, because this data can, with careful analysis, provide a high quality quasi experiment. That is, without the effort and expense of devising a controlled experiment you can use this live market data to give you the same experimental outcome. You do it by sorting category purchases into those that were preceded by no recent exposures to your advertising and those that were (and further divide these into 1-exposure, 2-exposures etc). Then you simply compare your brand’s share of these different groups of purchase occasions to see the real sales strength of your advertising. Your brand’s share, of course, should be higher amongst purchase occasions that were preceded by your advertising!
This is vastly more trustworthy than trying to achieve the near impossible and quantifying the sales effects of a particular ad using a statistical analysis of aggregate time series data. It’s also much faster, you don’t have to wait a year before finding out what the effect of last year’s advertising was supposed to have been.
TRA and Nielsen Catalina Solutions are two companies that currently offer single-source data by overlapping data from buying panels and TV viewing panels (i.e some households are in both). NCS also monitors on-line and mobile media exposure.
These data let you identify which ads work better so you can drop non-performing ads and drastically improve the effectiveness of your advertising. And you can use this sales effectiveness data to learn how to make better ads.
And you can measure how much incremental effect is gained by additional recent exposures, i.e. is bunching exposures worth it ?
And whether ads work better in different contexts, on different channels, in different pod positions. There is so much valuable information that can be learned once the true sales effect of advertising is known. Much R&D needs to be done. The potential to improve the sales effectiveness of TV advertising is immense.