Having worked for multiple not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) and now helping Australia and New Zealand’s leading charities to increase donor acquisition performance from mass media, I’m continually surprised at the TV advertising traps that not-for-profits have fallen into and the beliefs that they have surrounding TV advertising.
1: Basing TV advertising performance on free spots
As a not-for-profit organisation, you might have dipped your toes into TV advertising through Community Service Announcements (CSAs), charity grants on SBS or through filler ads organised by your traditional advertising agency. After the campaign, you were told, 'You received 250 free spots' or 'Through the CSAs, you reached 500,000 people'. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
If you feel like your TV campaign didn’t deliver the expected increase in donations, you might want to have a review of the post-TV data report. This is a report that you or your advertising agency can acquire from the TV networks that shows you exactly where each of the TV spots was placed.
You might have reached 500,000 people or received loads of free spots, but the question is, where did the TV spots fall? Unless you look at the post-data, you will never know. Don’t be surprised if the majority of the bonus spots were placed between midnight and 6am. These ‘midnight to dawn’ spots are great, but only if you’re targeting night owls.
If you didn’t see a dramatic increase in results from your TV ads, don’t give up just yet. You’ve already invested in producing your TV ads, so why not review the post-TV data report and use those insights when planning your next TV campaign. In my experience, optimising your media placement for spots that are driving response is the easiest way to drastically improve your performance.
2: Assuming you need a big budget to be on TV
Whenever I talk to people who work in the not-for-profit sector about the amazing outcomes that I have seen from TV campaigns, I often get asked the following question: 'Those organisations who see great results from TV campaigns must be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a month?' The simple answer is ‘No’. You don’t need huge budgets to be on TV. If we set aside the one-off production costs for a TV commercial, you can be on TV with a test campaign from as little as $10,000 a month. Once you see the results, you will probably wonder why you didn’t increase your TV advertising investment earlier.
3: Asking the wrong questions
Many charities have been tracking their acquisition channels by asking their donors, 'How did you hear about us?' I suspect the majority of donors say 'Google' or 'Internet'. Just because they found you by googling your organisation, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t attribute this lead generation to your TV campaign.
How do you know that they didn’t see your TV ads and then google your organisation as a direct result? A slightly more accurate way to record your lead generation source is by asking people if they have seen your TV ads. If the answer is no, then you can ask how they heard about you. You will be surprised how many people did see your TV ads before visiting your website.
4: Not measuring the right elements
Unlike large businesses with multi-million dollar marketing budgets, NFPs don't have the luxury to invest in a TV campaign and hope for a return on investment. When you're spending your donors’ valuable money, it must deliver results.
Looking at many post-TV data reports, I've noticed just how much wastage there is. NFPs are putting the money where they THINK they are going to reach their target audience, but how do you know how many people have actually donated after seeing your TV ads?
Well, there is a way. Unlike many other Melbourne advertising agencies, at Direct Response Media, we mainly work with performance-based clients on a cost per acquisition basis. We have the capability to measure exactly how many people called up or visited your website to make a donation after each TV commercial went to air. This allows us to understand the ROI for each and every TV ad that you have bought, allowing for media optimisations and constant increases to campaign performance.
Once you have insights into the best performing day of week, time of day, TV network etc., you know where (and where not) to invest for your next TV campaign. We have helped clients in a variety of industries to dramatically reduce their cost to acquire a new donor or customer through data analytics and optimising media schedules. If you would like to find out how we can help you, call me for a chat.
Image credit: http://doesitreallywork.org/