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Mobile Research Firm Uses TiVo Data to Show TV ROI

Mobile audience research company NinthDecimal, working with viewing information from TiVo, says it is able to track the impact TV advertising spending has in getting consumers into stores.

NinthDecimal uses location data from people using mobile apps to see if their users are in restaurants, stores, auto dealers and other physical retail establishments. Its new LCI TV product matches that data with TiVo’s commercial exposure information to generate return on investment information for advertising.

NinthDecimal can also track mobile and digital advertising, which enables it to compare the effectiveness of TV to digital media, or to see how TV works with other media in multiplatform campaigns, the company says.

“This is a game-changing opportunity for television,” said David Staas, president of NinthDecimal. “If you’re a QSR brand, a retailer, an automotive brand, any brand with a physical location, you now have entirely new metrics of how your advertising campaign is performing.”

The advertising research world has been looking for are ways to measure how the sales impact of TV advertising. And in a multiplatform world, they want a way to compare the impact of different media.

Some research matches TV viewing with credit card purchase and loyalty card scans. Frank Foster, senior VP and general manager of TiVo Research, says this new product offers a much larger panel to study. He also says that in many categories cash transactions are the norm, so foot traffic is a key indicator. NinthDecimal’s foot-traffic results are also processed quickly providing instant feedback.

The new research comes at a time when marketers are shifting dollars to digital media, which are seen by some as more measurable than TV.

“Agencies say they know television works, but finance people are telling them to prove it works with ROI metrics and they’re getting pressure not to use TV,” Foster said. "With LCI TV, “they can defend their television spending and show it’s more effective than what they’re doing in mobile or online. We have a single metric that works across all platforms and that’s incredibly powerful.”

The companies say they are already working with a number of agencies, TV networks and clients. A cable operator is looking to include LCI-TV measurement as part of campaigns it’s trying to sell, Staas said. And for a national QSR brand, they studied a TV campaign and found it created a 15% increase in incremental foot traffic.

LCI TV can compare apples to apples to apples by employing a single metric, Staas said. “You can understand how TV is performing and how it compares against those others. Also you can look at different combinations of media, so not only can you understand how TV and mobile might perform against each other, but you can look at people who are exposed to TV and mobile to see which combination performs best,” he said.

(Photo via Johan Larsson's Flickr. Image taken on Oct. 16, 2015 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.