We’ve been busy in the Media Products group here at Compete. In addition to launching Ad R/F™, we also got to announce our new Compete Media Planner (CMP). All in one day! CMP lets advertisers, advertisers’ agencies, and advertising publishers pick, mix and match from a library of 4,000 segments to target and scores websites according to a) how much of the target each site covers – a.k.a. reach – and b) how much of the site’s audience is ‘in target’ – a.k.a. composition.
CMP is different from other media planners. First, CMP segments are based on the actual, observed behaviors of the two million Compete panelists rather than survey responses. While there is nothing wrong with using survey data, using behavioral data allows CMP to bring new insights to media planning. Second, CMP is different in the depth of analysis that it enables. By basing the segments on the online activities of two million people, it’s possible to score even very small sites for how well they reach very specific groups, like consumers who downloaded Ford brochures online.
We had our fun this past week using the CMP to uncover sites with solidly regional audiences (the CMP contains demographic and geographic segments, too). Though we’ve put CMP through extensive testing, it’s still new enough that we get a sense of surprised satisfaction when its calculations conform with something we already ‘knew’ to be true: in this case, the CMP told us that the sites that index highest for regional audiences are…(drum roll)…regional sites. What we found interesting, in stream-of-consciousness order:
- Predominately, the sites that index highest for regional audiences are regional sites. For example, in the Mountain region, the sites whose audiences are most Mountain are local news outlets: ksl.com (Salt Lake City’s NBC affiliate), ktvb.com (Boise’s), abc4.com (also Salt Lake City), and cbs4denver.com were the top four, measured by composition.
- Even though regional sites over-index for regional audiences, at the same time they have a surprisingly large percentage of out-of-region visitors. In the Mountain region, for example, no site had an audience that was more than 72% ‘in-region’. A quick Web search revealed that someone else (Borrell Associates) published a paper just a few days ago that shared a similar finding about local publishers. Spoilers.
- Advertisers should not overreact to the discovery of those out-of-market interlopers. It remains true that if you’re going to make a placement directly with a publisher, then there’s no easier way to reach a local audience efficiently than through a local site.
- Now it’s time for more thorough research about effectiveness: how much of the next ad dollar should go to local sites, to local search in its various forms, or to geo-targeted networks. Stay tuned.