The president of analytics firm Decentrix says that you can. By closely monitoring and analyzing the sale operation and taking action based on the data, a TV station “should reasonably expect” to grow spot revenue by more than 11% and achieve a return on its investment in the analytics within months.
The broadcast industry has become a complicated place.
In addition to dealing with an ongoing period of flat spot TV ad sales, broadcast stations face the prospect of declining ratings and increasing competition from over-the-top (OTT) providers. They are unsure about the true impact of “cord cutting” on their business. They realize they need to develop a strategy for moving into the world of ATSC 3.0, but they don’t know how to chart that course — or even what their end goal should be.
While stations see new business threats and opportunities coming from many directions, they often lack the means to judge their true significance or potential impact.
Analytics are the only tool that empowers stations to move away from the hype and the fear associated with continued convergence and toward a true understanding of their business and its place on the current and future media landscape. Good data, used effectively, is an indispensable asset for stations working to stay competitive in today’s cross-media marketplace.
Leveraging the wealth of data generated by daily broadcast operations, analytics can present a true picture of station performance in terms of ad sales, subscriber valuations, and revenue profiles not only across the linear business, but across all properties and platforms.
Analytics can alert station executives to atypical revenue shortfalls that can’t be accounted for by normal business cycles and then point to the root cause, whether at the client, sales office, station, or market levels.
They can, for example, tell executives how the station doing in sales to automotive clients, what types of offerings are most popular and lucrative, and how spending by its automotive clients compares with overall auto industry spending.
For account executives at the station, analytics can support custom notifications that indicate the ideal time to address a particular market or client, or the type of product that will yield the best result for a particular client.
Analytics can accurately identify trends specific to the business — and then suggest concrete actions that will bring the station success. With a sophisticated and robust analytics system in place to provide intelligence, insights, and action items, a broadcast station should reasonably expect revenue increases well in excess of 11% and — for those on the cutting edge — ROIs in a matter of months.
Decentrix clients have experienced several levels of return, depending upon the degree of data granularity and type that have been operationalized. For example, analysis of inventory utilization with associated rates showed clearly that salesperson behaviors were tied to budget and reporting cycles.
By changing just those cadences, a broadcast station could lift revenues by a conservative 3%. By adopting tighter control of rate floor levels, better segmentation of priorities through measurement and exception management, the same group could easily consolidate that revenue uplift closer to 5%.
With the addition and use of more data, audience data in particular, these numbers start approaching the 11% plus that was previously suggested.
This jump in revenue results primarily because buys that are better aligned with specific demographics and sub-demographically priced audiences allows for better allocation of inventory across the entire available inventory pool, leading to improved utilization of inventory.
This model leads to less waste, and potentially the ability to satisfy or makegood campaigns with alternative inventories. The effects of using audience data are further amplified with other diverse inventory pools such as OTT and digital.
Robust analytics for broadcasters employ state-of-the-art machine learning technologies to continuously monitor sales operations and tap into curated, timely, and actionable intelligence.
In doing so, the analytics system simplifies the processing and interpretation of tens of millions to billions of data points. By coupling historic market trends with customers’ business cycles, the analytics system within a broadcast station can yield a picture of what normal business operations look like and, in turn, identify anomalies and missed opportunities.
Using this understanding of the business, the system monitors sales operations and surfaces new alerts, opportunities, and risks to relevant stakeholders. The system continues to learn as market conditions change and as the business grows and evolves.
Analytics thus can give broadcast stations a way to surface vital information such as the external factors causing them to reach or miss their goals. Going beyond the why, analytics can leverage learning algorithms to help broadcast stations to take corrective actions and to avoid new or recurring pitfalls.
Broadcasters are entering uncharted territory, and the intelligent assistance of modern analytics can go a long way in ensuring that stations advance into the realm of cross-platform media with confidence. Working side-by-side with the station and its staff, the analytics system can make the broadcaster smarter in running a profitable next-generation media business.
As president of Decentrix, Taras works with Fortune 500 media companies to enable their data-driven approaches to business leveraging the Decentrix BIAnalytix media-specific analytics platform. More information about the company can be found at www.decentrix.com.