Schlage, the lock company, found a quick key to making its advertising more effective — switching to programmatic TV.
At a time when many networks are trying to persuade major advertisers to use data to do a better job of targeting viewers most likely to buy their products, Schlage was looking for a better way and the results indicate it might have found it. “We wanted a more surgical, data-informed and integrated approach to our advertising assets,” Schlage director of consumer marketing Jason Owens said.
The company was showing modest growth but wanted to step things up in preparation for launching a series of new products.
In 2016, Schlage consolidated its advertising with The Basement, an Indianapolis agency that had been handling its digital business. The Basement suggested tapping the data-driven techniques it used for digital to plan and buy TV commercials.
Schlage’s goals were to increase both qualified impressions and the amount of time its commercials were on the air as a way to ultimately drive more traffic to the company’s website and retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s.
“We felt really good about utilizing this approach,” Owens said.
The new approach meant making big changes, Brian Phillips, CEO of The Basement, added.
“We said, if we’re going to integrate this, we’re going to look at it from a different angle than the way you guys have looked at it in the past,” Phillips said.
Delving Into the Data
Instead of simply focusing on do-it-yourself-oriented consumers and buying HGTV, The Basement analyzed the data Schlage was getting from its digital advertising and from visitors to Schlage’s website.
The Basement put together a team to execute buys based on the data it was getting. The team included Centro, which provides technology that allowed Schlage to unify the planning and analysis of direct media buying, search and social campaigns. Centro’s platform provided a dashboard for finding audiences in programmatic TV buys as well as other media channels.
For programmatic TV, Centro worked with Placemedia, a supply-side platform with linear inventory that reaches 90 million households through cable networks, on-demand and addressable inventory.
Placemedia created the optimized television schedule around custom audience segments developed by The Basement for Schlage and performed in-flight optimization against the target audience, based in part on audience data provided by Samba TV.
With the new system in place, Schlage bought ads on 18 networks in 2017. The top three were History, Discovery Channel and Spike TV.
While the ads were running, the buy was optimized. That led to adding four networks — Animal Planet, ESPNU, FYI and Sundance TV. After the optimization, the top networks in the buy were HGTV, DIY, FX and AMC.
The buy was optimized again and Schlage’s campaign was spread over 21 networks, with the biggest delivery coming from HGTV, ESPN2, TBS and DIY.
The focus of Schlage’s buying also shifted more toward daytime and early fringe with each optimization.
The Basement also had a TV Sync strategy, buying second-screen ads that would appear when target consumers were engaged in TV ads from Home Depot or other hardware retailers.
The client was pleased with the results the new media strategy was getting.
“It’s difficult to attribute sales to a single asset, but with the overarching campaign we saw an overall increase in retail sales of 9% and e-commerce sales up 35% year-over-year,” Owens said. The programmatic TV buys increased the number of qualified impressions by 2.5 times and the amount of time Schlage ads were on the air grew by three times.
“It’s been really effective,” he said. “It’s something we can evangelically recommend.”