According to MarketEdge, during a period of economic recession like Nigeria is experiencing now, brands and advertisers have been advised to employ the tools of audience measurement to ensure that their funds are channeled in the right direction.
The CEO, Novaria Investment Ltd, Mrs. Hembadoon Peter-Thomas made the call while speaking to MARKETING EDGE in Lagos, adding that since advertising was a big industry in Nigeria worth over N50 billion as at 2015, brands needed to avoid spending ‘blindly’ without the assurance that their ads reached the target audience.
She further stressed: “Now we are in a recession. This is the best time to know where you are putting your money into. You can’t just spend N100 million on advertising not know where your money is going and without being able to ensure that your ad is reaching your target. You wouldn’t be helping yourself as a brand if you don’t get these figures, because you would just be spending huge budget without having any accountability. That is the process of marketing. So even marketing as a public relations tool is something that must be measured.
“If you are sending out emails to a number of people, you want to be sure that they are able to get them so that you can make an assessment. This is the reason why digital media is slowly taking over, because it can be measured. People are advertising online now because they can actually tell the number of people that have viewed their ad. You can profile impressions, locations to know where your audience is coming from just by a click. We cannot do this with traditional media,” she added.
In the last couple of years, the advertising industry in Nigeria has craved for more focused approaches to reaching the target audiences. However, beyond traffic count and audience profiling, many advertisers have been unable to specifically access their preferred consumers.
Two months ago in Lagos, the Advertising Practitioners Council (APCON) in partnership with a UK-based company organised a seminar for advertisers in Nigeria and the crux of their discussion was audience measurement.
Audience measurement is the evaluation of advertising display which allows advertisers get scientific analysis that helps them evaluate the effectiveness of their adverts. It generally measures how many people are in an audience, usually in relation to radio listenership and television viewership, but also in relation to newspaper and magazine readership and, increasingly, web traffic on websites.
Although, the general saying that traditional advertising might soon go out of fashion, Peter-Thomas is still an advocate of the traditional media hence her keen interest in audience measurement. “I am very conservative so I am an advocate of the traditional media. My song as far as advertising is concerned is, ‘try and find a balance between traditional and digital advertising’. You cannot focus on traditional alone because times have moved on and you cannot focus on digital alone because you have a broad audience and you must be able to meet each and every one. When you marry them together, imagine that you have a whole world of this body that you are reaching out to. The digital media already has some forms of measuring its audience but we cannot do the same for outdoor advertising. We cannot do it for road shows, exhibitions, product launches. These are things that thrive with the process of marketing. If you are going to do all of these things, why don’t you make it as effective as possible?”
Besides advertising, this tool also comes in handy in retail metrics and can be employed by store or supermarket owners. “You might want to see audience habits / behaviour around your store. Imagine walking into Shoprite for instance, the milk section will have every brand. How can you tell who is buying which brand? So if you do a metric of that retail point, you can tell the number of people who are female, male, children, you can tell their age group, the number of people that looked in your direction. So that kind of habits can now be used to modify your reach. It could be that your packaging is not neat. If you find your audience is more of children, you can now modify all your other ads to focus on children and their mothers,” she explained.
Peter-Thomas who also runs NovaData which is the data collection service under Novaria Investment, added that audience measurement was something that brands and agencies in Nigeria are seeking but don’t know where to go.
In 2013, the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) commenced an Outdoor audience research project. The research which was the first of its kind in West Africa was to produce audience estimates for Outdoor advertising and tell advertisers how many people saw an Outdoor advertising campaign in specific locations in the state.