5 Best Practices for More Effective TV Planning and Buying

At any given moment, there are literally thousands of possible permutations which could be considered when planning a television buy. And even the most dedicated TV planner simply cannot afford the time to experiment with endless combinations in the hope of identifying the perfect schedule.

Not only that, but the television environment is constantly changing, with programme substitutions, competitive counter-programming and many other factors potentially affecting programme performances. As a result, advertising schedules planned and implemented when advance bookings opened may well exhibit significantly-altered performance characteristics as the broadcast airdate approaches. Constantly monitoring a wide array of TV schedules can be a labour-intensive task.

Now, there’s a better way.

Technology has come to the rescue, in the form of the new TVmap Schedule Optimiser and Campaign Manager. These latest enhancements to TVmap®, currently rolling out around New Zealand, are designed to enable television planners and buyers to follow five best practices as they work to achieve better, more effective TV planning and buying and to ensure that the campaigns that actually go to air are as up-to-date as possible.

The five best practices include:

Best Practice #1: Evaluate Many More Possibilities to Achieve Better TV Buys

During the development phase for this new TVmap offering, we asked ourselves how TV planning schedules might be further optimised to achieve the very best buying results.

What if, during the planning process, TV planners or buyers could evaluate twenty or more buying schedules with just a click or two, to develop the ideal schedule for each client? (The facility has existed within TVmap for some time, but this is the first time it has been fully integrated into the TV planning and monitoring process.)

Naturally, planners would wish to have the facility to tailor requirements for schedules, including TARP goals and budgets (adjusted to each client’s individual parameters). So we made that the starting point for the TVmap Schedule Optimisation process.

In addition, planners can customise the usual parameters such as:
• defining broadcast weeks
• choosing the time period from which to source ratings
• adjusting performance predictions to match seasonal fluctuations
• selecting channels and determining relative shares
• choosing spot length(s)
•setting ideal peak/offpeak ratios.

Once the primary elements have been selected, the Schedule Optimiser will automatically develop a wide range of alternative schedules that meet the criteria specified. The Schedule Optimiser will then run reach and frequency estimates for each of the proposed schedules.

Next, the Schedule Optimiser will allow the user to rank the results in accordance with their own preferences (by clicking on the appropriate column header), to assist planners with their decision-making processes.

Planners can then review the various recommended schedules and choose the options that best meet their requirements.

Planners can then double-click on any selected schedule to access the details. The Schedule Optimiser will then proceed to the underlying spot list, imported into the TVmap buying environment.

Best Practice #2: Fine-Tune Spot lists to Ensure That the Desired Results are Achieved

Planners can treat the imported spot list as they would any other spot list: refine it, make any changes and buy it.
But they can also inspect any of the schedule alternatives that have been put forward by the TVmap Schedule Optimiser, by simply navigating to the toolbar near the top of the screen and using the arrows to switch between any of the recommended schedules.

Best Practice #3: Book the Preferred Spot list Directly from the Schedule Optimiser

Once the ideal version has been developed, the spot list can be booked electronically in the usual fashion.
But the magic doesn’t stop there.

Once the bookings are made, the schedule can be linked up with the Pre-Analysis module in the Campaign Manager.

Best Practice #4: Painlessly Run Pre-Analyses Every Single Day Up Until Broadcast, to Ensure That All Schedules Are Still Delivering Their Objectives
The TVmap Campaign Manager can automatically run pre-analyses each day, against the objectives that have been defined, and display summarised results in a useful dashboard.
These pre-analyses need not be specified by the user. The Campaign Manager will automatically define goals based on initial schedule performances, and will run daily pre-analyses against those initial goals (although these can be user-modified at any time).

Best Practice #5: If Anything Appears Likely to Under-Perform, Campaigns Can be Easily Reviewed and Adjusted
Campaigns with potential issues are highlighted in orange. To review those or any campaigns, simply click on the appropriate summary section.

Over on the right-hand side of the screen, details of any issues will be flagged for consideration and possible correction. In the example below, the selected campaign is identified as being a little over budget and six tarps under the desired performance.

The Campaign Manager will identify the information required to determine whether or not a particular campaign is expected to meet its targets. If any campaign appears to need more detailed review, simply double click to drill down further.

That will lead to an environment within which a top-up buy can be executed if necessary, to meet campaign targets. Campaign targets and results can be further customised if necessary and then exported to Excel to be integrated with buying sheets if required.


To see more detail about these exciting new upgrades to TVmap, refined to unify the entire TV buying cycle, please watch the videos below. 

This video provides a general overview of the new Schedule Optimiser and Campaign Manager.

This training video will provide more detailed guidance on creating a new campaign.

This video explores how to adjust campaign priorities.

In this video, we discuss setting up a new schedule within the Schedule Optimiser, and how easy it is to convert a client brief into a television buy.

This video discusses how to set up customised duration splits in Schedule Optimiser.