Innovative Tracking

Important to know: Both graphics are based on data from same tracking survey. In conventional analysis the changes observed are low and not significant, this is often the case with traditional tracking analysis. In such a situation communication effects can’t be proven. Therefore learning effects are low. The development of advertising effectiveness criteria can be analysed in the OTS-Tracking in relation to the number of opportunities to see (= ots). When communication effects increase (e.g. spon-taneous brand awareness, spontaneous ad recall, product sales) with enhanced exposure to the campaign an effective communication is indicated. However, when effectiveness criteria do not change with rising ots or even drop after a temporary increase, it mostly indicates an ineffective communication campaign (overall or in specific media).

The largest proportion of the marketing budget is usually spent on communication. No other marketing mix element can vary so significantly in effectiveness than communication. The key question of any communication is therefore: Which additional sales effect does your communication cause or achieve? “Thousands of marketing heads and top executives have been asked this question. The answers were surprising, if not shocking – the majority did not know it. Principally speaking this is one of the basic questions in the business world which every entrepreneur or manager should be able to answer in order to achieve their own business objectives.” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany’s leading newspaper) 06.06.2005 p. 18)

The answer to the question “Which additional sales effect does your communication cause or achieve? “ is of course not as easy as it initially may seem. Usually you can not observe a direct correlations of different forms of communications with the sales development. The reason is that a lot of other factors may also influence sales results (such as price, quality, media strategy, distribution gain or loss, competitors’ activities etc.)

The aim of communication tracking surveys is to measure the direct effects of advertising, multi media, promotions etc. (such as spontaneous/prompted awareness, brand image or sales) caused by the campaign and to monitor development over time.

Effective communication tracking tools help you to control controll whether specific campaign targets are reached in market reality and how observed communication effects can be further improved. Therefore the following objectives of communication tracking surveys can be set:

  1. To assess and monitor the specific contribution of classical and non-classical communication to brand development and success, independent of other marketing activities.
  2. To measure, evaluate and optimize the effect of specific executions/creativity.
  3. To assess and optimize the impact and efficiency of the media strategy (including single media and media mix effects, optimal frequency of opportunities to see/hear etc.)
  4. To be able to forecast the future campaign development after only a short time period of communication (e.g. increasing values, wear out).
  5. To measure additional interesting information (such as purchase frequency, development of customer satisfaction, need structure change monitoring) in a so called “brand health” monitor, trend monitor or “early warning” system.


Communication can only have an impact on those people exposed to it.

This heading seems to state the obvious. However in most communication tracking surveys this important premise is neglected or ignored. Most communication tracking surveys have been developed in the sixties, seventies or eighties when only a limited number of communication and media options were available. Nowadays we are faced with a bewildering array of media options – above and below the line. Therefore it should be an obvious and basic requirement in every postcommunication analysis to measure the respondents´ number of opportunities to see or hear (= ots) the specific campaign or its elements under observation. However, most of the widespread communication tracking surveys either do not take individual media behaviour into account at all or only to a limited extend. Without knowing if and how many opportunities individual respondent had to see or hear, the findings of communication effectiveness analyses are at least questionable. We repeatedly noticed the following phenomena in tracking surveys for different clients - without considering individual media behaviour- such as:

  1. Huge deviations were measured e.g. in spontaneous ad recall from period to period, with unchanged advertising execution and advertising frequency.
  2. Conversely, only small or no changes were achieved on ad effectiveness criteria despite huge changes on advertising expenditures (with effective campaigns) or on the media strategy.


Our future fitted ots tracking system analyses the communication effectiveness reliably, based on individual opportunities to see or hear, thus preventing potential wrong decisions. It enables you to evaluate and optimize the effect of your advertising execution/creativity as well as your media strategy.

If you analyse tracking data in appropriate research design incorporating ots (opportunity to see) you are likely to gain the following relevant insights in addition to the findings of conven-tional analyses.

  • Which communicated information is remembered? How many ots do you need to communicate specific messages?
  • Which impact regarding awareness, recall, image and sales effect are achieved with the actual communication campaign? – or by specific media executions?
  • Which influence (alternative) creative executions or ots frequency do have on recall, image and sales etc.?
  • How do single media or different media mixes influence the communication effect? What is the optimal media mix or budget allocation?
  • Which target group is reached and convinced by your communication campaign? Is the target group of sufficient size?
  • Which brand preferences exist in the market and how do they change with rising ots numbers?
  • How well are existing users of your brand(s) satisfied and how does this customer satisfaction develop over time?
  • What (image or sales) effects do different communication activities achieve for your brand in consumer perception? Which important brand image dimensions are changed and how? Do you achieve the consistency in the probably bewildering array of your communication mix that is needed to build or maintain strong brand images?
  • Does the growth potential (brand switchers in favour of your brand) need a higher ots dosage than your current users? Is a different communication pressure required for light and heavy users of your brand? How high is the optimal ots frequency for alternative target groups?
  • What is the added value (ROI) of various communication forms and mixes in relation to the ots frequency ?
  • How unique is your communication execution from the addressees point of view? Which keyvisuals and slogans, contents and formulations prevail? And which are assigned to more competitive offers than your own brand?
  • How should the communicative execution and/or the media strategy be optimized to increase effectiveness?