MediaVest Group has formally launched two of its global television planning, buying and analytics tools in India, TARDIIS and M Orchestra. While TARDIIS is a multi-market reach optimiser, M Orchestra is a multi-market GRP Optimiser. Starcom is hailing this as a 'revolution in television planning and buying'. The thought behind these tools is that television is still a very important medium. As per the agency's data, 34 per cent of media budgets are spent on television; the figure is 47 per cent for Starcom clients specifically.
Ravi Kiran, CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group, South Asia, remarks that today's media planners are a frustrated and worried lot. They spend 40 per cent of their time in client servicing/coordination, 50 per cent in implementation planning (monthly plans) with barely 10 per cent invested in strategic/holistic planning. They are prone to shortcuts and explore fewer options, which lead to sub-optimal television planning, undifferentiated plans and over-emphasis on negotiation.
The typical media planning and buying process consists of four steps: strategic planning, pre-negotiation (deciding what to buy and how much to pay), negotiation and implementation planning. Starcom's tools will help in three of the four processes (all, except negotiation).
Both the tools will work on the raw data provided by TAM (Starcom claims that at this point, it is the only agency in India to buy respondent level data from TAM). The tools, although of global origin, have been customised to suit India.
M Orchestra is a multi-market GRP optimiser, which covers areas such as Media Information Suite (audience behaviour, duplication and so on) and Optimisation System Suite.
TARDIIS, on the other hand, is a multi-market reach optimiser. For instance, an ad on a GEC is seen by the entire HSM belt; TARDIIS will segment it marketwise, instead of taking an overall average, which can be misleading. It will also delve into affinity planning by planning on high affinity day-parts/ genres/ programmes. India is the first market in Asia and the seventh globally in which this tool has been unveiled.
TARDIIS stands for Target Audience Reach Delivery Inventory Investment System and is being touted as the third generation reach optimiser because it works on three levels: basic optimisation, TARDIIS optimisation and allocation and TARDIIS integrated analysis, planning, buying and allocation.
It will access television panel member viewing patterns, optimise respondent level audience data to maximise the scheduling of television spots, identify the most cost-effective combination of television channels and day-parts/ genres/ programmes. TARDIIS will also help manage corporate inventory - if a client has several brands in his portfolio, the tool will ensure that the brands are given their due in an optimum way.
TARDIIS' aim is to move things beyond GRPs and move towards reach. It will answer questions on the planning, buying and research aspects, such as how stable a plan is likely to be, if reach and ratings can be projected with reasonable accuracy, what is the truly optimal combination of spots against a combination of GRPs, budget and reach, what channel, day-part, genre and programming mix is required for annual deals and what are the trade-offs. It will also check into programme and plan performance for short-term buying.
Further, TARDIIS allows for co-viewing analysis. For instance, if a mother and a child watch an energy drink ad together, it will probably have a bigger impact than just the child watching it alone. Similarly, if an ad for a sanitary napkin brand has to work with a teenage girl, it would rather target her on shows she is likely to watch alone than with someone else.
Kiran says that on an average, a smart planner is able to come up with 15-20 manual iterations to optimise a plan. TARDIIS promises 15,000 iterations to optimise a plan.
What TARDIIS promises clients is significant efficiencies on reach-based planning, significant value for multi-brand optimisation and corporate allocation, and ability to include quantitative and qualitative variables. It claims to save up to 30 per cent of client resources. In addition, it will relieve the planner of drudgery.
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