May 2007 - ERA Perfomance Report Card

Making the Grade

By Patrick Cauley

Whether it’s the NRA or the DNC, members of many organizations are constantly left pondering the value of their memberships. Their mailboxes are frequently inundated with letters desperately asking for more money. At a certain point, you have to ask yourself: “What’s in it for me?” Now of course, no ERA member ever asks themselves those kinds of questions, but in case they do, Electronic Retailer wanted to shed some light on an under-the-radar, members-only benefit that has the potential to seriously increase ROI and help members make smart, strategic business decisions.

ERA’s Media Performance Report Card, initially launched in July 2005, is a compilation of data collected from the industry’s five largest media buyers. The qualitative data maps out in graphs how particular product segments have fared. The data is broken down by individual weeks in a given month. In addition, the report cards focus on beauty, entertainment, weight loss, pharmaceutical/topical, fitness hard goods, hardware/electronics, housewares, ingestibles, self-improvement and financial services-all in both long- form and short-form advertising. Marketers can then take the graphs and statistics and make very informed media buying decisions after viewing when a certain type of product does well.

ERA allied membership manager Jason Bell explains it best: “Companies have results based upon which they can build their campaigns; they have the ability to review information that directly relates to the potential success of their product. For instance, I can track if a product does better in the fall or the winter, better at the middle of the month, the end or the beginning. All of this information is provided.” Each month, Bell compiles the data as it pours in, and then it is formatted into the graphs.

For example, in the period between November 27 and December 25, 2006, entertainment items and housewares received the best grades among the product categories. Taking that into consideration, any business laying the groundwork for its holiday marketing plans for 2007 may want to more heavily emphasize products pertaining to either housewares or entertainment. However, to optimize ROI, members should look very closely at the data. In this instance, the best time to implement the plan would be the week of December 4, which has the best sale numbers.

According to the report card, products marketers might want to stay away from at this time of year would be weight loss or ingestibles (which would make sense given the holiday season). The performance grades are based on effectiveness of media buys to generate expected sales volume.

So, next time you get frustrated with the full inbox, realize that most of the organizations that you’re a part of are there to help you. ERA’s primary goal is for your business to flourish.

Furthermore, in an association world where member benefits can sometimes be lost in murky waters, Bell and ERA as a whole have a vested interest in the membership realizing the potential of the Media Performance Report Cards. ERA members are encouraged to utilize this research in the members-only section of ERA’s website.

For more information, please contact Jason Bell at (703) 908-1024, or via e-mail at [email protected].


No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment