MBPT Spotlight: New Turner Planning Tool to Help Agencies Evaluate, Adjust Spending

Turner Broadcasting is partnering with MarketShare to introduce a new predictive analytics planning tool for media agencies and their clients that will help brands more effectively buy across all of the company’s TV networks and digital properties.

Turner Incite, Powered by MarketShare will be available for clients to use across multiple categories in conjunction with the 2015-16 upfront buying season. Turner Incite will allow media agencies and marketers to look at current media spending on all Turner properties, evaluate performance and reallocate dollars as necessary to increase effectiveness.

The new tool goes beyond industry metrics such as viewership and engagement, which Turner says measures viewer interaction with ads but not advertising’s impact on sales. The company adds Turner Incite will be unique in alerting agencies and brands not only to which Turner networks are working for them, but also networks that are not as efficient.

Turner Broadcasting sales president Donna Speciale says the company is OK with that disclosure since the overall goal is to help agencies and clients achieve better sales results. She adds Turner Incite may also show the effectiveness of some Turner networks that marketers are not currently using.

“In our testing, we did find clients who were spending too much on one of our networks and not enough on another,” Speciale says. “So in that case, adjustments can be made. I’m hoping that some clients who have never advertised on CNN, for example, can use Turner Incite and actually see how they can benefit from it.”

Turner Incite will be available to assist agencies in planning their media buys this upfront for all Turner properties including TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN, HLN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, Bleacher Report and Turner Sports. As a precursor to its unveiling of Turner Incite, Turner last week announced it will be holding one upfront presentation that will include all of its TV, digital and mobile platforms.

Turner will also be expanding its viewer targeting tool, Targeting Now. During last year’s upfront, Targeting Now was available only to help with buys on TBS and TNT. This upfront, it will include Turner’s full portfolio of networks. Last year, Turner partnered with four media agencies and eight advertisers, including Taco Bell and T-Mobile, to do deals that incorporated Targeting Now data. Turner did deals in categories including auto, retail, telecom, packaged goods, financial, insurance and quick service restaurants. This upfront, the company will be looking to expand its deals to a broader range of agencies and clients across all of its networks and digital platforms.

Turner is the first television network to do a deal of this kind with MarketShare. Speciale says the agreement came together about six months ago and since then both sides have been working to customize and test the tool. Testing was conducted with brands in two categories—mid-size conventional autos and life insurance. She says models have to be built for each category, and that is the next step in the process as clients begin to get involved.

“We are already having conversations with agencies and clients because Turner Incite will have an impact on how and where they spend in the upfront,” Speciale says. While the tool could get the most use during upfront buying, she adds it can also be used year-round for scatter buys.

During the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, Turner hosted two senior-level client presentations centered around its vision for the “Future of Video Advertising” and at those presentations discussed Turner Incite. Attending those meetings were execs from 10 media agencies, along with many of their clients.

Speciale says the reaction from agencies and clients about the level of transparency Turner Incite will offer was very positive.

In addition to discussing Turner Incite, Turner also discussed TargetingNow and its return on investment product, ROInow.

While Turner Incite is a media planning tool that can be used to help agencies determine which Turner network can work best for their clients, Targeting Now is a tool to help agencies hone in on programming and where to reach their best potential customers once they select the networks they want to advertise with.

ROInow moves beyond using gross ratings points as a metric and moves into “key performance indicators,” or KPIs.

Speciale believes with these tools and programs, Turner is farther along in its initiative to move beyond simple audience demographics, which she says “don’t work anymore.”  She adds: “We want to become a true partner with our clients, not just sell them ads. We want to help them get the best return on investment possible through our all of networks.”