Key Media Process Terms You Need To Know
If you are just starting your DRTV media campaign, or, perhaps you’ve launched and are now hearing phrases and lingo related to the media process, read on. Here are the most common terms you need to know:
Direct Response Media: Any media purchased on a remnant and/or pre-emptible basis at reduced rate. A large majority of networks sell inventory on a direct response basis when they do not sell out their inventory to general or upfront advertisers. This can include major national networks with 100 million households to the smallest networks.
Pre-emptible: Inventory that is pre-emptible is not guaranteed to clear. DR inventory is often pre-emptible, although there are often higher rates that can be Non pre-emptible if an advertiser needs inventory to clear to support a specific time period, i.e. Mothers Day Sale or to support retail during a specific window of time. Non pre-emptible rates are more common on larger networks that are typically more oversold.
Broadcast Month: TV media is booked and billed typically on broadcast months. Broadcast months always start on a Monday. The first week of a broadcast month will contain the 1st of the month. It is best to use a broadcast calendar to keep track of broadcast months each year.
2015 January: December 29, 2014 through January 25 (4 weeks)
2015 February: January 26 through February 22 (4 weeks)
2015 March: February 23 through March 29
2015 April: April 30 through April 26
2015 May: April 27 through May 31
Broadcast Week: Broadcast weeks run from Monday 6:00 am through Sunday 5:59 am in national cable and Monday 5:00 am through Sunday 4:59 am in local broadcast. Weekly reporting of media is based on broadcast weeks.
Direct Response Rates: When an advertiser purchases direct response media, they receive direct response rates, which are anywhere from 50% to 80% off the general rate card. If a network or daypart is mostly sold, sometimes the discounts can be lower if there is more competition among DR advertisers for the inventory. Unsold DR inventory will be awarded to the highest bidders. Networks DR rate cards are negotiable. Experienced DR media buyers already know the lowest clearing rates and therefore give their clients the lowest clearing rates at all times.
Rotations: Direct response media is purchased based on broad rotations or daypart rotations. Spots can air any day or time within the booked rotation, such as:
· Monday to Sunday 6a-12a (Broad Rotation or ROS-Run of Station)
· Monday to Friday 9a-4p (Daytime)
· Saturday-Sunday 9a-7p (Weekend)
· Monday – Sunday 6p-12a or 8p-1a (Prime)
· Monday – Sunday 11p-2a/3a (Late Fringe)
· Monday – Sunday 6a-9a (Morning)
· Monday – Sunday 3a-6a or 12a-6a or 2a-6a (Overnight)
Rotation hours vary by network.
Based on results or programming requirements it is possible to narrow rotations but sometimes this may result in a higher rate per spot.
Clearance: Clearance means the amount of spots and dollars that actually aired during the week. Since direct response media is pre-emptible, we plan and evaluate not only what is booked but also spots cleared (spots aired).
Post Logs: Post logs are a report received from stations at the end of each broadcast week stating the spot times and costs that cleared for the prior week. Stations do not guarantee logs are 100% accurate. Post logs are used to generate weekly reporting of clearance to advertisers. Post logs are typically received Tuesday or Wednesday for the prior broadcast week.
Overbooking: Since spots are pre-emptible, DR buyers must often overbook to clear the advertisers’s desired budget. Part of the planning process in direct response is managing booked spots vs. cleared spots specifically as it relates to clearing budgets. Buyers must estimate the amount they expect to clear , which can often be anywhere from 60-85% and then they must overbook to clear the budget.
Optimization: Optimization in direct response media buying includes cancelling unsuccessful networks or rotations, and rebooking or increasing bookings on successful networks or rotations. This can also include narrowing rotations as needed and negotiating lower rates if a network is struggling or even increasing rates slightly to clear a network that is a top performer but has stopped clearing.
Buy Management: Buy Management is the process by which DR buyers manage the process of planning, overbooking, clearance and optimization over the course of a quarter. Since inventory is pre-emptible, buyers must reallocate monies that do not clear to future weeks. If an overbooked week clears over the budget, then future week’s budgets are reduced accordingly. This type of buying is best for ongoing campaigns that are seeking the best possible results over time. This process allows buyers to manage campaigns on the fly according to allowable, and be most aggressive with rates.
Affidavits: Affidavits are invoices from stations and networks that certify the actual amount of media that cleared and is being billed. Affidavits are sent to agencies at the end of the broadcast month. Once received, agencies review invoices against booked schedules to ensure accurate billing. Actual spending is not final until affidavits are received.
tandemROI is a cross-channel advertising and marketing agency located in Tampa, FL.
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