Sophisticated strategies target TV’s consumers

IN the highly competitive television marketing war, millions of dollars are spent every year to convert client advertising budgets into retail sales.

If what you’re watching on television in the early evening makes you feel hungry, the marketing departments, advertising agencies and media buying groups are probably winning the war.

However, the strategy behind television commercial placement is often far more sophisticated than placing a fast food commercial in the ‘hunger zone’ or toys in children’s programming.

Research commissioned by the marketing industry aims to identify the target market for consumer goods and the viewing patterns of this group.

Increasingly market research is focused on psychographics, the behavioural patterns of a particular age group or socioeconomic strata.

Starcom director Alan Matthews said Starcom uses syndicated research information that profiles individual programs in terms of viewer patterns.

“When most clients come to us they’ve identified primary, secondary and tertiary target markets,” Mr Matthews said.

“We use various software and our intuition to a lesser extent to make a selection of programs in a given week to obtain exposure to a given market.”

Marketforce senior media buyer Andrew Newman said Marketforce clients generally were looking for schedules in the prime time television viewing market from about 6.00pm to 10.30pm when all the major shows were on commercial television.

“Some campaigns are dictated by the classification of the commercial but generally we buy on a program specific basis,” Mr Newman said.

Advertising for certain retail products including alcohol, betting and gambling and telephone sex lines are restricted by a code of practice set out by the Federation of Australian Commercial Television Stations.

These products are restricted to viewing periods outside of children’s programming and telephone sex line advertising can only be broadcast after 11pm.

Market research also suggests that audiences have become more narrowly focused and only hear information that fits in with their personal view of the world.

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