If you buy direct response (DR) TV or radio advertising and are responsible for the creative in your campaigns, you probably manage a database of versions. Each one has its own Industry Standardized Commercial Identifier (ISCI), and is put into the format of your choice to keep track. In addition to placing the media order, you have to send traffic to the station. This might seem like a simple process, but so much can go wrong. If the same ISCI is mistakenly applied to two different versions, this could cause lots of confusion internally, at your chosen asset delivery platform, and at the traffic departments of the stations receiving the spots.
If the same spot is assigned to two different stations in the same market, the data becomes compromised, and the unique results to determine station performance you were hoping for are long gone. Once the spot is trafficked to the station, the phone number must be properly labeled with your media tracking company, or once again, your data will be weakened. Organization is key for successful traffic management, and there are several steps to achieve it.
- Apply a unique ISCI to each version, and record that number in a clearly labeled list.
- Send list to media distribution partner.
- Decide where to place each ISCI, per your media buy, and traffic spot and instructions to station.
- Label each phone number associated with the ISCI per the station it will be placed on (i.e. if spot is airing on NBC in NY, the label should reflect the station and market).
- If phone number volume is an issue, whether for cost reasons or accessibility, there may be a need to use multiple phone numbers at the same time. This can be done without affecting tracking data if the number is used in distant markets. In this case, results can be tracked to the proper station based on location of call.
While these are the basic steps to organize traffic, an elaborate campaign with many creative versions can benefit from a management aid. Zenith Media Tracking allows you to manage media buys and traffic in one platform, reducing the risk for human error or oversight. And since Zenith Media Tracking holds all of the phone data, every aspect of campaign operation is easily integrated.