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Make Your Media Spend Data More Actionable Through Automation

By Jennifer Pelino, Global Media, IRI

Media spend data comes in many forms from different organizations. Regardless of the source, you can only action the info if you can pinpoint how specific elements of your media spend link to your actual sales results. Traditionally, this has been a difficult and tedious process for brands. It can be so daunting that many organizations are unwilling to use the time and resources necessary to even attempt it.

To get the best results from your media campaigns, you need to understand how individual media tactics impact sales and how those results differ across geographies and demographics. It is also important to develop a similar understanding for competitive brands to be able to gauge share of voice to share of market.

Many CPG brands we work with that have tried to undertake these efforts on their own are often exasperated by the time they’ve had to spend trying to integrate their purchased media spend data with their point-of-sale data. It’s usually a labor-intensive, manual process using Excel spreadsheets or other tools. But there’s a faster and easier way to get to the information you need.

Automation.

Automated responses to essential business questions

Using a media planning and competitive intelligence tool such as IRI Media Advantage™, you can eliminate both the disconnect between your media data and sales data, as well as painstaking manual work. You can automatically analyze a multitude of different media and sales metrics, too, not just for your brand, but also for your top category competitors.

Via easy-to-understand, data-focused visualizations, you can quickly generate responses to important business questions such as:

  • Is my brand getting enough media support and its fair share in its category?
  • What impact does my media spending have on sales and share of my brand and that of the competition?
  • How does competitive spend impact my brand’s sales and share?
  • What new creatives did my competitors launch last quarter? When did they turn on advertising for their new items? Have they undertaken any regional spending that might indicate a test market?
  • How does my brand’s share of voice stack up to competitors?
  • Which designated market areas are performing best?
  • Should I reallocate funds across the portfolio based on performance?
  • Does my brand have enough media support to fuel dollar sales growth?
  • Which media channels contributed to my brand’s spend increase/decrease?
  • How does my spending compare with the overall category and how much are specific competitors spending in these channels?

The answers to these critical questions provide the granular and strategic insights you need to fuel better media planning that can, in turn, boost your return on marketing investment and allow you to continually improve the allocation and return on your media spend.

Functionality for actionable insights

Using automation, you can refresh your data dynamically — as often as weekly for continuous media monitoring of your brand and competitors — and even set up alerts about the market changes that are meaningful to you. For example, you can be notified when your brand’s share of dollar sales dips below a certain percentage so you can act immediately, optimize your results and protect your market share.

The information you generate and use to enhance your decision-making is also easily and highly customizable. You can create custom hierarchies, custom categories and custom specifications to provide a true understanding of media and brand activity in your preferred format.

This approach frees up countless hours of work time and financial resources allocated to manual data manipulation, while also providing deeper, more actionable insights that provide a potent return on investment in the technology.

Successful use cases

We continually see clients who use this tool to improve their understanding of cross-causal and media stimuli across the marketplace. This helps them better manage their product portfolios and generate more effective marketing plans by having a greater understanding of the latest trends and competitive activity.

Clients can also use this tool to establish momentum for new products. This avoids wasting impressions and dollars by starting national campaigns too early, including when shoppers don’t yet have the opportunity to buy the product.

The insights generated also have helped brands strike a better balance between media and distribution, and where and when to apply each to work in concert.

Faster insights in a time of rapid change

As changes in media and buying behaviors continue to evolve, you need to be able to automate insights wherever you can, both to accelerate your understanding of your performance and to be able to quickly allocate your media spend in response to market changes. Data, technology and the speed of insights are proven catalysts for organization growth.

Especially in a rapidly changing environment, tools like this can help you quickly integrate your media and POS data to generate the insights you need to answer your most pressing business questions. They help you align your marketing tracking, eliminate tedious and costly manual work, and customize your results to your needs.

Most importantly, you’ll gain the deeper, faster insights you need to optimize your media spend and accelerate brand growth. Let us show you how.

For more information, reach out to your IRI representative or IRI@IRIworldwide.com.

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