12 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With BARC Data

Ritwika Gupta, May 7, 2018

For advertisers, it is of prime importance to understand viewership numbers and data in order to know where to invest. However, a lot of advertisers are not even aware what all they can do with the data released by BARC India. Here’s what you get if you scratch below the surface!

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has been providing us with weekly television viewership data for almost 3 years now. For advertisers, it is of key importance to understand viewership numbers and data in order to decide where to invest, on the basis of television ratings. But is the industry fully aware of what all it can do with BARC data? BARC India’s media workstation or BMW, is a multi-feature tool that gives its users powerful analytics capabilities, which can be deployed to gain deep insights. Here are 12 things that you did not know you could do with BARC data:

1. Granularity
BARC India gives agencies, advertisers and television networks access to viewership information with possibly the largest number of cuts available in any TV viewership measurement market. This includes 90 markets from town class, 4 new consumer classification system (NCCS) and 7 age cuts within gender. This kind of granularity yields valuable insights which are eye-openers. For example, a marketer can study the extent of female viewership for sports and news, kids’ contribution to ratings (co-viewing) as well as urban vs. rural and male vs. female viewership contribution.

2. Advanced Analysis Possible With BMW Software
BARC India Media Workstation (BMW) allows for several complex high-level analysis. Many advertisers are, however, not aware of BMW’s full potential. The general perception is that BMW, as a software has limited functionality and does not give a desired analysis. Most people create a template and keep generating data week-on-week, without using its full feature set. Some of the features include:

a. Behavioural Targeting Of Viewers
BMW software allows advertisers to create a set of target viewers and profile them. This helps the advertiser understand its viewers correctly and plan targeted advertising on television. For instance, an advertiser can create a target group of: ‘Male, 15+, NCCS A viewer from Mumbai’. Using behavioural target, the advertiser can, then, add new content or channel based on what is largely viewed by this set of audience.

b. Individual Analysis Using BMW Software
BMW helps in understanding both exclusive and duplicated content consumption. Through the software, the advertiser can get a clear idea of the number of people who watched a particular programme. For instance, the IPL Auction. The module allows users to bucket these viewers into those who watched IPL Auction as well as the India vs South Africa match. In addition to this, one can also know how many exclusively watched IPL Auction. The module helps in bracketing viewers as heavy, medium or small consumers of a particular channel or programme. All these aspects can lead to better targeting of audiences.

3. Use Of Impressions For Better Analysis
Advertisers can only get to action if the communication message is seen and if the impressions are there. To understand the reach of ad spends, advertisers need to grasp the huge impact of growth in TV penetration and/or ownership. BARC India covers 183 million TV homes and 780 million individuals, having access to television in India. A larger sample size will give advertisers more confidence to rely on the data. Using BARC’s high reach efficiency, advertisers can run smarter campaigns and use the impressions for a better measure of reach of a campaign.

4. Pre And Post Evaluations
BARC India’s data allows for pre and post evaluation of advertising campaigns. The data captures on-ground changes that will help marketers to design campaigns, based on evaluations made from past experiences and viewership. This will also allow advertisers to evaluate campaign performances by considering various on-ground changes such as key events, demographics, TV ownership and distribution.’

5. Ad-Split
BMW Software provides split beam advertising and spot-monitoring data to marketers. What this means is that one can track ads being displayed on a particular channel in a particular region. For instance, Maruti, used geo-targeting in 2015, through split beam technology for the launch of Celerio. The campaign, Celerio — Dil thi Gujarat maate was run in four key cities — Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara. For Gujarat, being a key market, this campaign was designed at the onset of Navratri. A similar campaign was started for the East coinciding with Durga Puja. Local channels were targeted and this doubled the enquiries and retail sales increased by about 35%. As more and more companies opt for geo-targeted advertising, the importance of this data is only growing. In a nutshell, advertisers can better target their viewers and plan campaigns with deeper insights with split-beam advertising.

6. Human Behaviour, On-Ground Influences And Consumer Choice
Marketers are aware that there is no homogenous “Indian” consumer and the same goes for television viewers. There is a huge diversity in content sampled and preferred by audiences across the country. For instance, in Maharashtra, viewers prefer general entertainment (GEC) and music channels. News channels are a big draw for Hindi speaking markets and south viewers gravitate towards movie channels. BARC India data keeps a finger on the pulse of a viewer. The data records what all is happening on the ground, which can help marketers to derive insights on consumer behaviour and target them better on television.

7. 560 Channels And Counting
There has been a sizeable increase in the number of channels that BARC India measures. From 450 channels in 2016 to more than 560 now. It is important for marketers to know the large landscape that BARC India covers for better planning.

8. HD Viewership Reports
BARC India reports HD viewership separately. This data provides an insight and access to a niche viewership that consists of high spenders. Over the last one year, the number of HD channels has grown by 41% while viewership has risen a whopping 169 %.

9. From Data To Insights
If you already did not know, BARC India offers more than just data. It delivers insights and provides reports for better analysing data. The Alpha Club, for instance, is a set of premium audience that includes viewers from NCCS A1, A2 and A3 in the form of a four-week roll-over average viewership numbers. This provide sharper consumer insights, particularly for niche channels and advertisers for whom NCCS A is significant. Other reports include the kids’ genre special report and THiNK (a monthly insights newsletter).

10. Bio Advision
BARC India has introduced a new product called Bio Advision for marketers. This is an easy to consume visualisation tool which can help advertisers to get on-the-go analysis about the performance of their own brand as well as competition. Bio Advision provides 3 modules for analysing media campaigns – analysis by category & competition, time-band and channel & genre.

11. Trends
BARC India data helps one to understand trends, which are useful when it comes to conducting a marketing campaign.

A few growing trends are:

a) Viewership For News Is On A Rise
BARC India data shows that English News has grown 127% and Hindi News by 25% in the last one year. Viewership for news is high especially during special events like elections or any important announcements and occasions. This is surely a genre to look into. Are marketers leveraging on it?

b) The FTA Revolution
In the past one year, there has been a number of new channel launches in the free to air (FTA) space as rural markets have shown strong preferences to FTA channels. Advertisers should capitalise on this FTA phenomena. With the addition of rural data, advertisers can now see that rural viewership is a huge landscape. This has spurred growth of FTA channels. There has also been a rise in the viewership of sports like Kabaddi. Total TV viewership is also on a rise, as is time spent. And while Hindi GEC may be declining, movies and news has been growing strongly in Hindi speaking markets. Monetising these effectively is key to future growth.

c) Sports Revolution
With BARC India measuring rural, the biggest revolution that came in the sports genre was the launch of a private FTA sports channel. Besides this, today, 20% of sports viewership comes from non-cricket events. Out of this, 80% comes from Kabaddi, football and the Rio Olympics. There is also an emergence of celebrity brands outside of cricket players like PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik etc.

12. Moving To Cloud Based Data Management
Moving forward, BARC India is working on setting up digital viewership measurement. For all this to be achieved, incremental improvements are not enough. Realising that it needs a quantum leap, BARC India is moving towards cloud based data management solutions like ‘Spark’ and ‘Hadoop’. While Spark will enable a seamless collection of data from cable operators, Hadoop will open up a new world of rapid processing of reams of unstructured data. We will just have to wait and watch how this shift will bring significant changes to the way advertising on TV is delivered and consumed.

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