It’s Time to Be Upfront About TV Measurement

It’s almost that time of year again – the TV upfronts. With all the parties, celebrities and big contracts, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. While the upfronts are splashy, they only tell half the story when it comes to executing a successful TV campaign. Television measurement doesn’t have a dedicated party circuit yet, but I think there is a lot to celebrate about today’s enhanced measurement and optimization opportunities.

I recently joined the team at Crossix, and I’m excited to see how the team is bringing a heightened level of accountability to media investments for the pharmaceutical industry. Even though pharma spends 71% of its DTC advertising budget on TV, there has been a gap in the marketplace around ongoing measurement of DTC TV campaigns. With recent advances in analytics and more opportunities to reallocate investments throughout the year, I believe that linear TV advertising can and should be just as accountable as digital.

Looking Beyond GRPs
In our work with pharmaceutical brands, we’ve seen TV have an impact – not just on new patient starts – but also on adherence, doctor visitation and diagnostic testing. Yet, many brands are still using the accuracy of their demo targeting as the gauge of success of their TV campaigns. With the advanced analytics tools available today, pharma brands can use media metrics, in combination with health metrics, to answer critical business questions: Is my TV campaign reaching the right audience? Are potential customers visiting a doctor and starting a new prescription? How does my qualified reach compare to my competitors? What’s the audience overlap between networks? What’s the optimal frequency for brand conversion?

Annual Measurement is Not Enough
Because of the additional cost and time required to perform marketing mix analyses and other traditional media measurement, many pharmaceutical brands measure their TV campaigns just once or twice a year. With this limited transparency, brands often go for long periods with little or no visibility into the effectiveness of their TV spend.

In our work, we have seen brands both over-invest and under-invest in TV, in terms of both media waste and competitive share. No upfront plan will be perfect, and every plan will require some fine-tuning. The key is to make sure marketers can identify those gaps early and adjust in a timely manner. To do so, brands need an effective and dynamic measurement plan in place to base those adjustments on actual business impact.

Last month, Crossix launched DIFA TV, a new solution to help pharma marketers connect their linear TV campaigns to health actions. With DIFA TV, marketers and their agencies can now make data-driven decisions, based on both health data and media metrics, to understand whether their TV messaging is reaching the right audience and influencing behavior. Best of all, this data is updated throughout the campaign, in the DIFA platform, enabling brands and their agencies to make ongoing optimizations both across and within television networks.

With DIFA TV, we are truly bringing modern analytics and flexibility to pharma TV advertisers. Since our launch last month, we’ve seen tremendous traction, and I’m eager to see how the adoption of dynamic TV measurement solutions will impact the industry overall.

If you would like to hear more about how Crossix helps health brands drive the most value out of their TV investments, contact me at

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