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Using the TouchPoints Channel Planner

How coverage and frequency is derived from the TouchPoints Channel Planner and how it can be used

1.  The Definition of Coverage and Frequency via the TouchPoints Channel Planner

Before using the Channel Planner it is important to understand how coverage and frequency is derived from the Channel Planning Database.
Media vehicle by media vehicle coverage and frequency results are calculated from the Channel Planning Database as follows:

    • Currency level personal contact probabilities have been created for each individual in the Channel Planning Database from the official industry media research currencies of BARB, NRS, JICREG, RAJAR, ROUTE and FAME.  In effect the Hub Survey media usage data has been replaced by the currency level equivalent.
      The TGI product & brand databases have also been integrated onto the Hub Survey.
    • Datasets used for the TouchPoints integration process can be found here.
    • For each individual in the Channel Planner, personal contact probabilities (from within TouchPoints itself) have been created for those media that do not have industry  currency status i.e. Search, SMS Text, Direct Mail and (selected) Broadcast and Event Sponsorship.
  • Finally, the cross-media coverage inter-relationships were carried across from the Hub Survey to each individual in the Integrated Database.

In combination, all of these data allow ‘currency level’ coverage and frequencies for individual and combined media channels to be established through the Channel Planning Database for user defined target markets.

2.  General Considerations

Planning inputs
Currently each medium is planned using its own rules and conventions.  For example television is often planned by allocating TVRs to individual dayparts by channel, whereas press is planned by adding insertions to individual titles.  Outdoor is planned through packages of panels by outdoor contractor and radio is planned by allocating spots to time bands by radio station.  Cinema on the other hand is planned by admissions by cinema contractor.  All in all, a confusing array of inputs if one is not currently a cross-media planning expert.
However it is important to remember that although the planning inputs may be different by media (i.e. numbers of – insertions/panels/TVRs/spots/admissions) each input type can be outputted as common measurements of GRPs and coverage and frequency for each medium. These results can then be combined to show total GRPs and coverage and frequency across all media channels.

3.  The Application of Media Weights

It is important to remember when planning that each currency has evolved its own measurement of contact that is relevant to that particular medium and it is these that make an appearance in the TouchPoints Channel Planning database. 
For example: 
For Television it is presence in the room with the set switched on. 
For Press it is ‘read or looked at’ (the publication) for two or more minutes. 
For Radio it is ‘listening to’ for at least five minutes during a fifteen minute period.
For Cinema it is presence in the auditorium. 
For Posters it is ‘eyes on panel’.

The value of an individual contact in each media in relation to the defined communications task is another issue to consider.  For instance, for a specific campaign, a planner may decide that a contact in one medium may be worth 0.8 the value of a contact in another medium.  The planner must then weight each medium accordingly in order to produce his/her equivalent of ‘effective’ OTS and ‘effective’ coverage and frequency.

All of the above should be considered when evolving a cross-media communications strategy.  Fortunately the TouchPoints bureaux (IMS, KMR and Telmar) have included a variety of functionality to deliver the flexibility required by their users in these areas.  What this means in practice is that the bureaux will allow adjustment weights to be entered for each medium.  This will have the effect of reducing the contact probabilities by media type and in turn, reducing reported coverage for that medium.  The result could be seen as a users controlled ‘effective’ coverage.

4.  Planning inputs by medium

4a. Geography/regional breakdowns
TouchPoints covers Adults aged 15+ living in Great Britain.  It allows regional analyses in the form of non-overlapping BARB areas.  These are as follows:
North West
North East
Central Scotland
North Scotland
South and South East
East of England
South West

4b. Television
For terrestrial and digital channels the inputs are TVRs by channel by day-part. 

Mon-Fri / Sat / Sun

Digital channels are also identified by genre:

4c. National Press
– The inputs are the number of insertions per title using the NRS Publication list.

4d. Regional press
– the inputs are the number of insertions per title using the JICREG publication list. Titles are also identified by publication frequency and whether they are paid for or free titles.
Groupings: By sales house

4e. Radio
– the inputs are GRPs by radio station group by day-part.

Mon-Fri Sat/Sun (Separately)
06:00-09:59 06:00-09:59
10:00-12:59 10:00-12:59
13:00-15:59 13:00-18:59
19:00-23:59 19:00-23:59
00:00-05:59 00:00-05:59

Groupings: By sales house

4f. Outdoor
– the inputs are GRPs by poster size.
Note when calculating outdoor schedule estimates in the TouchPoints Channel Planner.
The integration process for ROUTE onto the TouchPoints Hub involves a final calibration stage to ensure that the schedule results from the TouchPoints Channel Planner matches those from the individual currency results as closely as possible. The calibration takes place on three points; 1+ coverage, 4+ coverage and total GRPs.
Due to differences in the construction of the TouchPoints and ROUTE databases, the calibration process on the outdoor data has only been able to match on the 1+ and total GRPs. Compared to ROUTE, schedules run on the TouchPoints Channel Planner will tend to produce lower coverage estimates at the 2+ to 6+ levels and higher estimates further down the frequency scale.  We are working with ROUTE on a solution to enhance this fit in the future.

4g. Cinema
– the inputs are admissions.

4h. Online
– the inputs are schedule GRPs by website type or named websites.

4i. Direct
– the inputs are percentage of households in the target market expected to receive Direct Media.
A user defined audience if specific individuals in the household are targeted e.g. ‘Head of Households’

4j. Mobile

4k. Broadcast Sponsorship
– the inputs are named events (where people have ‘watched on TV’).

4l. Event Sponsorship
– named events (which people have attended).

4m. Planning costs
– these broad planning costs are produced by WARC

2012 Cost per thousand (GB£)

Medium Format Adult cpt
Television 30 seconds 4.55
Newspapers A4, black and white 9.00
Magazines Page colour 5.00
Radio 30 seconds 1.80
Out of home Various 2.12
Cinema 30 seconds 36.00
Internet Banner 468x60 0.95

Source: WARC 2012

Back to: How TouchPoints is being used

Last updated 17/08/2015

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