How Pepsi Measured Its Way to Smart Media Buys
Fueled by a desire to compare TV and digital advertising metrics head-to-head, as well as a refusal to wait long periods for comparable measurements, Pepsi took on the messy media landscape—and measured its way to better media buys.
Jim Totten, Pepsi’s director of analytics, NA beverages, and the teams at Pepsi spent the last year dedicated to understanding how to make the most of their media investment decisions.
With more than 30 different campaigns driven by various objectives, it was a variety of tools and the right amount of teamwork that led Pepsi to the three discoveries below.
Reach the Right Audience
With 78 percent of digital impressions delivered to the wrong audience, it’s more important than ever for companies to understand their digital reach in real time. By evaluating campaigns throughout their duration, Pepsi can now shift to higher performing Web sites in-flight and hold back initial investment until they know where to spend.
Deliver to the Right Audience
Finding the right audience can sometimes mean looking at the wrong one. Although Pepsi’s campaigns were reaching the right group of people, at times they were reaching the wrong group more often. Understanding frequency as soon as possible allows advertisers to refine their reach goals and eliminate waste.
Align Audience and Campaign Objectives
If you’re anything like Pepsi, once you’ve found a digital audience sweet spot, you are unlikely to let it go. Despite significantly low response from one of its highest audience-concentrated sites, instead of reallocating investment, the company went back to its campaign objectives—which at the time were focused on awareness. By thinking about its audience, a group already aware of the brand, Pepsi was able to shift its campaign objectives and develop an ad campaign to serve a different and more effective purpose.
And finally, the last two lessons learned were:
- Combine both reach and resonance to pinpoint big digital improvement opportunities.
- Put it all together to combine reach and resonance across TV and digital to determine which is working harder.
“If you’re thinking about a Venn diagram with TV and digital, you can say, what’s more important: Is it to make the bubble bigger? Or is it to maximize the overlap?” Totten said. “For our business, we could argue frequency is just as important as reach.”
Even a year later, Totten and the teams admit that deciding how to invest media dollars is still pretty messy—and that the learning is continual. Nevertheless, they’re as fired up as ever to keep measuring their campaigns, finding their audience, refining their message and pushing their advertising to work harder. By establishing objectives that cover multiple measurement touch points, the company can set checkpoints and make sure their investments are aimed in the right direction.