Geo-targeting as an option provides an opportunity to leverage an expensive medium like TV and still advertise only to a relevant geography. As a concept, geo-targeting has been in place for the past few years; however, it’s only recently that advertisers, agencies and broadcasters have started taking it more seriously due to the tremendous potential it has.
Geo-targeting helps the advertisers in two ways. For current advertisers on TV, it helps them advertise on national channels without any wastage of exposing the communication in markets where they are not available. It also helps advertisers to deliver communication in local languages enabling them to talk to consumers on a national channel/other channels in their own language. For small/medium advertisers, who find it difficult to be present on TV, it helps them to be on the medium at a much lower cost than they would have otherwise spent. In other words, geo-targeting helps advertisers optimise their investments on TV and reduce wastage.
South India, West Bengal and Maharashtra (to an extent) are the markets where any advertiser would have to put monies on the respective regional channels to ensure that they are achieving their media objectives. However, there are certain markets like MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP and Punjab where local channels are not that strong. In such markets, one would have to depend on national channels to get the required GRPs, which makes the entire proposition expensive.
Geo-targeted pricing works in such a manner that if we buy into three to four markets of a particular channel, we would more or less pay the same amount as for a national channel for all markets. Hence, the best way to optimise costs would be to buy not more than two to three markets of the channel to get the best value. It helps advertisers reduce wastage of the advertising dollars by targeting only geographies that are important to them. In a country like India, it helps increase the effectiveness of advertising by enabling them to target markets with communication tailored for each geography.
While geo-targeting does have potential, it has its own set of challenges like channel basket and measurement. If we take a look at the West, geo-targeting is available and works well in the US. For example, Comcast Spotlight offers over 50 TV and digital networks across the country.
But the real growth of TV geo-targeting will happen when the access of TV content happens through IP. While Europe has the largest installed base of IPTV, Asia is expected to grow the fastest. India still has a very small installed base and thus, promises much scope.
The author is MD, MediaCom