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Planning with JICMAIL Series: Issue 3

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When we launched TouchPoints back in 2006, the media landscape (in terms of the variety and number of media choices available) was vastly different to the world that we now inhabit.

Back in 2006, social media as we know it today was still in its infancy. A TV was a TV and the lack of truly high speed internet meant that loading up anything more than a short news clip was a struggle, and to even do that you’d likely have to power up a computer and wait for it to finish updating.

In short, the world of media was simpler then.

Or was it?

In the media world, we talk in acronyms of emerging platforms - of SVoD, BVoD and AFVoD; of blockchain, programmatic and addressable media - and the new opportunities these delivery mechanisms offer for marketing.

But how often do we really step back and say, “Hey, wait a minute. What has actually changed in the lives of the people we are marketing to? And are they even aware of this change?”

In investigating this idea, I decided to go through the TouchPoints data from the perspective of a consumer to look at video, audio and text consumption from their perspective. I grouped all the available media in 2006 and 2018 that fit into these three categories, immaterial of how they were delivered, and I analysed the data to look at the reach on an average day from the TouchPoints Diary.

My expectation was that I would end up with two charts that bore no resemblance to each other. The reality was quite different.

Text and audio based media still peak around breakfast time and video builds across the day to deliver that large peak in the evening.

I know what you’re thinking. “Hang on a minute, that’s not what I’ve been told! The media world is in turmoil, surely consumers are literally spinning in their connected worlds, frantically swiping left and right in search of an ever elusive content fix."

In the 12 years between the launch of TouchPoints and its most recent release, yes the delivery mechanisms of content have changed dramatically. However, when it comes to the media need states of today’s consumer, not much has changed at all.

To consumers, they’re still waking up, finding out what’s going on in the world news, listening to sounds coming from one box and by 9pm sitting in their living rooms watching moving pictures on another box, and everything is wonderful. (Well, maybe not everything.)

Of course, this thinking itself isn’t even new. In reality we’ve know these things all along. What makes the point suddenly more striking is the fact that industry standard nationally representative data from TouchPoints provides real data to bear these assumptions out. It's data which provides gold-standard justification for pre-existing assumptions.

A Matter of Fact

In 2017, the IPA and ISBA joined forces to launch 'A Matter of Fact', an initiative to re-inforce the need for accountable media data whereby all interested parties on the buy and sell sides support 5 key principles.

The key point was to support the gold-standard Joint Industry Currency (JIC) model for audience data, and to hold proprietary datasets to the same level of accountability that the JICs are subject to. The underlying goal was to re-inforce trusted relationships between clients, agencies, media owners and, ultimately the person at the heart of all of this, the consumer.

As Eric Schmidt of Google said, “in a networked world, trust is the most important currency”; and as Unilever have articulated so well recently, accountability and reliability in media data are paramount as the media landscape fragments.

In many ways the requirement of accountable media data isn’t just about meeting Keith Weed’s Needs, but about realising that his needs are the needs of everyone involved in the industry and - surprise, surprise - they have been all along.

And so back to TouchPoints

Since 2006, the IPA has been integrating Joint Industry Currency datasets onto TouchPoints, to create the only industry available cross-media channel planner, allowing industry agreed calculations of cross media reach and frequency for campaigns.

It has provided a planning safe haven where confidence and trust in the data are intrinsic, and 2019 represents a landmark year, being the first time that JICMAIL’s data has been incorporated into the TouchPoints channel planner, providing trusted data for a media channel with an annual expenditure of over £1.7bn.

Now that figure may shock you, as it did me when I heard that mail was the third biggest media behind online and TV in terms of spend at the recent JICMAIL Planning in a Multi-Channel World event.

And as these media myths that drive our perceptions abound that “nobody watches TV anymore”, or “nobody reads mail these days”, I’m just glad we have accountable Joint Industry Currency data that we can trust to set our perceptions straight.

This is the third of “Planning with JICMAIL” – a series of articles and guides by industry experts and practitioners that seek to unlock the value of JICMAIL data for advertisers throughout all stages of the planning cycle.

Advertisers can access JICMAIL data for a free subscription period. If you’d like to see the value of JICMAIL data please contact tara@jicmail.org.uk or go to www.jicmail.org.uk.

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