Television and radio advertising remain staple channels in many marketing plans, especially for driving brand awareness. However, accurately tracking the return on ad spend (ROAS) for broadcast media can be challenging compared to digital platforms.

With digital, metrics like clicks, views, and conversions are easily tied to specific ads. But how can brands determine the real business impact of a TV or radio campaign?

It requires going beyond simplistic metrics like reach and frequency to capture true effectiveness. Using a mix of new attribution models, offline sales data, surveys, and other tools provides fuller picture.

Here are key considerations for brands seeking to optimize their broadcast advertising through better performance tracking and measurement.

Look Beyond Reach & Frequency

Reach and frequency have long been the core metrics used to evaluate TV and radio campaigns. But reach (how many people potentially saw an ad) and frequency (how often they saw it) have limitations.

High reach and frequency don’t necessarily correlate to sales impact or brand lift. Ads could be running at 2am in front of low-intent audiences. Or they may appear during programs whose viewers aren’t right targets.

While useful baseline metrics, reach and frequency should be complemented with other KPIs to determine true ad effectiveness and influence.

New Multi-Touch Attribution Models

Digital led the shift to multi-touch attribution – recognizing multiple ads and consumer touchpoints combine to drive conversions. New models now allow similar analysis for TV and radio.

For example, marketing mix modeling uses statistical analysis of sales, media activity, pricing, distribution, and other data to isolate TV’s impact. Advertisers see how sales respond to increases or decreases in TV spend.

Other platforms like Attribution by Nielsen combine big data sets like purchase data, ad exposures, and panelist surveys. They track the influence of TV/radio alongside digital on individual consumer paths to purchase.

This multi-touch analysis better represents the customer journey and highlights broadcast’s unique branding role that leads to offline sales.

Correlate Ads with Sales Data

Directly connecting business outcomes to TV/radio ads also improves measurement. This may require deeper data integration if sales systems don’t sync automatically with media tracking platforms.

But combining granular sales data with spot-level details for broadcast schedules helps gauge response. Sales can be analyzed before, during, and after campaign flights in local broadcast areas to identify lift generated.

Things like foot traffic to stores, website traffic, 800-number call volume, and digital search trends should spike in concert with TV/radio activity when aligned.

Surveys Reveal Brand Sentiment Lift

Direct consumer surveys also provide qualitative data to complement sales correlation analysis. Asking audiences about brand awareness, favorability, consideration, and intent before and after exposed to campaigns illustrates lift.

Nielsen’s TV Brand Effect survey platform reveals how metrics like brand favorability may rise 10% among consumers who viewed a TV campaign. Survey-based brand lift studies capture TV’s ability to shape brand perceptions and attitudes.

Monitor Online Search Traffic

TV and radio drive consumer discovery and interest. So changes in online search behavior can reveal response to broadcast campaigns.

Platforms like Google Ads and SEMrush allow you to track search traffic for branded keywords in local broadcast media markets targeted by ads. You can identify surges in search interest following TV or radio campaigns.

This method helps connect broadcast exposure to downstream digital actions by TARGET_TELEVISION_RADIO_AUDIENCEs indicating engagement.

The Layered Approach for True Impact

Like most marketing tactics, broadcast media requires a layered evaluation approach combining both quantitative data like sales lift and surveys as well as qualitative brand metrics.

With cross-channel attribution models, sales correlation analysis, brand lift surveys, and search data, brands can better quantify TV and radio effectiveness beyond limited reach and frequency.

It takes work to integrate these disparate data sources. But unlocking granular insights into broadcast’s impact on the consumer journey enables smarter optimization of budget and strategy.

Rather than treating TV/radio separately, they should be monitored within the context of a synergistic omni-channel effort where unique strengths of each medium come together to drive results.

With the fragmentation of modern media, truly understanding your best advertising investments requires an analytical, data-driven approach. Taking time to thoroughly track and measure broadcast’s performance moves beyond guesswork to intelligent decision making that maximizes your media ROI.