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Tunnl | Paid Media Measurement | Earned Media Measurement

The Importance of Media Measurement in Controversial, Highly Regulated, or Crisis-Prone Industries

July 2nd, 2023 | 9 min. read

Brian Rose

Brian joined Tunnl in October of 2019 and currently serves as Chief Revenue Officer.

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E-coli outbreaks, oil spills, data breaches, drug prices… behind every headline-making hot topic is a business bearing the brunt of public criticism from citizens, news anchors, and regulators. Some industries cannot escape the sword of Damocles, the ever-present sense of impending doom that accompanies big innovations and tiny, well-meaning marketing decisions alike. 

But the public is listening; every ad or news clip they hear about you and your industry could be a nail in your corporate coffin or a golden ticket to your organization’s goals. 

The linear TV measurement tools in Tunnl Premium, our industry-leading audience intelligence platform for linear TV advertisers, are helping multibillion-dollar national brands, vital trade associations, and everyone in between track their reputation through exciting advancements and controversial crises. Media measurement dashboards could be the data solution you need to simplify reputation management on linear TV for your organization as well.   

Let’s explore how media measurement can help you navigate regulation, crisis, and increased public awareness about corporate responsibility, so you can decide if Tunnl Premium's media measurement tools are the right solution for you.


How Do You Measure and Manage Corporate Reputation in Media?

Changes in consumer expectations have turned up the pressure on corporations. ESG and DEI policies are firmly entrenched in today's corporate space, causing organizations to walk on eggshells in an attempt to promote their values without alienating factions of their consumer bases.

Demo custom audiencesShort of asking every shopper and voter how they feel about you, your industry, or your issue, how are you going to know what the nation really thinks? The linear TV they watch can give you a reliable hint. 

Linear TV media measurement is a must-have for proactive and reactive marketing, including crisis management advertising and brand reputation management. The two main types of media measurement track the performance of media space you buy and the screen time you earn on linear TV.

  • Earned media measurement gives you an at-a-glance understanding of how you and your competitors are being depicted in news media.
  • Paid media measurement puts your purchased media side-by-side with your allies and adversaries so you can see what’s influencing voters when they turn on their TVs every day.

Keeping track of these two marketing elements will enable you to maintain or regain control over your reputation, a benefit craved most in highly-regulated and crisis-prone industries.


The Benefits of Media Measurement in Highly-Regulated Industries

Entities in high-regulated industries should consistently expect to be in the spotlight, for better or worse. There's no shortage of public narratives and complex communications challenges, adding an extra level of attention that can work against what you and others in these industries are trying to achieve.

Mark Zuckerberg, Cofounder of Facebook / Meta, is deposed by the U.S. GovernmentTake the tech industry, for example, which changes far faster than the legislation that governs it. As new technology emerges, problems surface and a public outcry for regulation kicks in. How tech companies respond to user demand and government oversight is a reputational minefield. 

Healthcare organizations face a similar challenge. The care they provide is crucial and medical advancement is a must, but politics is woven into every prescription cost and insurance policy. Even the types of care medical professionals provide can tie back to controversial political agendas that vary from state to state. 

In both industries, innovation is happening at lightning speed, but requires regulatory wiggle room to continue at its life-changing pace. It’s a difficult balance to strike with lawmakers and a challenging narrative to sell to consumers. Media measurement lets advertisers know how they’re doing in the battle for balance.

"Our tools amplify strategic messaging to help advocate for changes - or sometimes for preventing changes - to regulatory systems across a host of industries," says Adam McInturff, Tunnl’s Director of Business Development. "Media measurement enables you to precisely monitor the climate around your issues and industries, allowing you to stay a step ahead and maintain the upper hand in your strategic communications plans."

Using paid media measurement, advertisers in highly-regulated industries can track their impressions and see what competitors, adversaries, and allies are paying to publicize so there’s little question about who is winning the race to saturate an audience. If you’re using Tunnl Premium, paid media measurement dashboards will also show you: Paid_Media

  • a hard count of impressions for all paid media creative around an issue or topic
  • clips of the ads you, your partners, and your competitors are broadcasting
  • which networks are airing those ads, and when
  • estimates of how much other advertisers are spending on their paid media placements 

Paid media measurement offers a lot of information that can help you keep track of how your industry’s regulatory narrative is playing out across the country, especially if combined with earned media measurement as well. 

Both will also help you land on your feet if - or when - a crisis strikes.


The Benefits of Media Measurement in Controversial Industries

You already know if you’re playing in an industry that’s prone to harsh public scrutiny, and we don’t have to tell you what’s at risk if you’re caught flat-footed in a crisis. Industries like healthcare, big tech, and energy are more prone to controversy because they:

  • Support or serve large, diverse groups of people
  • Can be perceived as having divisive pricing models
  • Intersect with government or politics 
  • Are generally unavoidable elements of American life

a laptop shows a Tunnl earned media measurement dashboard tracking topics including Ukraine, COVID-19, Crypto, Renewable Energy, and more.Knowing your industry is potentially inflammatory is baby step number one. Understanding how people feel about your industry and the role you play in it is the hurdle many advertisers trip over - but media measurement can give you a leg up.  

Earned media measurement is particularly effective for crisis management. It helps advertisers keep a pulse on how the public is hearing about you and your industry. In Tunnl Premium’s earned media dashboards, you’ll see news clips that mention the key topics you want to track, including:

  • Your organization’s or candidate’s name
  • Products or services you offer or are interested in
  • Policies or legislation relevant to your industry
  • Influencers you’re working with
  • Competitor keywords or buzzworthy issues in your vertical

Mentions of all of these things comprise a portion of your overall public image. And every earned media instance counts. 

The court of public opinion is made up of the customers, consumers, and voters who are forming their opinions about not just you, but your industry at large. It’s a challenge you need to overcome to be the positive standout in your industry, not just another symptom of the perceived problem.

“Skillfully influencing narratives is never easy," says McInturff. "But the blueprint of how to do that in Washington is often better understood than how to do it elsewhere. The message that John Smith hears in Nebraska is really important to your industry's reputation and grassroots sentiment, and that's the piece that so many are struggling with in today's climate."

Get the State of the U.S. Policy Opinion Makers Report- Man on the BookWith media measurement dashboards tracking your target audience, you get a holistic view of how influential people are hearing about your organization and the issues in your industry. When you know what’s influencing your audience, you’re better prepared to plan personalized TV advertising campaigns - and react quickly when things don’t go as planned.


Tunnl Tip: Everyone has an opinion, but some weigh more heavily on your reputation and revenue than others. Tunnl custom audiences can be viewed within your media measurement dashboards to track what your most critical niche segments are viewing day-to-day.


Incorporating Media Measurement into Your Proactive and Reactive Marketing Strategies

Are you the type of marketer who is proactive and prepared, or the kind that’s agile, adaptive, and addresses issues as they arise? Trick question; you need to be both. Media measurement delivers the insights you need to make data-driven plans and prepare for the unexpected. 


How Can You Use Tunnl's Media Measurement Tools for Crisis Management?

Failing to plan is planning to fail. The public reaction to disasters and controversies is typically immediate. Once the news breaks, opinions form and spread. You need to know what people are saying, seeing, and spreading fast. 

A Tunnl earned media dashboard tracks the volume of media mentions for several topics over timeA customized earned media measurement dashboard from Tunnl can be up and running for you within a few days, providing data-driven fuel for your crisis management advertising. You’ll be able to track:

  • What your target audiences are hearing about the crisis
  • The volume of earned media impressions surrounding the crisis 
  • Which channels and programs are talking about the crisis most 
  • How news media is covering the issue

This will give you a blueprint for where you may need to disperse more ad budget to win back your audience or tell your side of the story. 

Tunnl Tip: Don’t want until it’s raining to buy an umbrella. It’s faster to add topics to an existing earned media dashboard than it is to start one from scratch, so we recommend organizations in crisis-prone industries or working on controversial projects take a proactive marketing approach. Create your media measurement suite now, and it’ll be ready for you the second a crisis kicks in.


How Can You Use Media Measurement for Reputation Management? 

Crisis or not, brand reputation management is an ongoing endeavor. Becoming complacent about your reputation is never an option, especially when corporations and figureheads are at risk of getting canceled or boycotted over any business decision deemed egregious by the public. 

Your favorability ebbs and flows. When combined, paid and earned TV media measurement tools deliver a constant bird’s-eye view of public perception, even as it changes day to day.

By proactively creating your dashboards with a reliable insights provider like Tunnl, you can constantly stay a step ahead of public perception. Guide the narrative instead of constantly reacting to it or waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

An investment in linear TV media measurement is future-proofing your organization.


The Future of Media Measurement in Crisis-Prone and Highly-Regulated Industries

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Crisis-prone industries will continue to carry the same reputational risks they always have, and higher consumer expectations around corporate responsibility will exacerbate the potential for controversy. Highly-regulated industries will continue to grapple with legislation as public interest in their industry increases. 

Media measurement will only become more critical to brand reputation management as media evolves. 

Image taken by Victor J. Blue for Bloomberg depicting an Uber wage protestA combination of changing consumer expectations and the shaky rise of social-issue advertising has increased the demand for authoritative, trustworthy media measurement data. However, unprecedented media fragmentation has complicated how advertisers track paid performance and earned media reach. Advertisers’ desire to understand the impact of their ad spend based on more than direct attribution and cost-per-click adds billions of dollars of pressure to reporting technology across digital, streaming, and linear TV advertising. 

When an omnichannel advertising approach is the only way to guarantee market saturation, media measurement tools need to keep up with divided user attention and measure engagement accurately. And when consumers are increasingly concerned with the values of the companies they are buying from, having control of your narrative is more important than ever.

"If you can't stay ahead of the messaging climate or measure the impact of your narrative, you're missing critical information, and you're also going to lose," says McInturff. "On some very basic level, it really can be just that simple. Even this year, we've seen a number of big corporations and industries fail to do these things and hurt themselves with mistakes that were fairly avoidable."


Start Tracking and Improving Your Reputation with Media Measurement Tools

People are going to talk. Crises are going to happen. Reputations are invaluable currency. You can’t control it all, but you can proactively track your media footprint to create a stronger, data-driven plan for improving and protecting your brand reputation.

How you are being talked about, and whose opinions hold the most weight, are can’t-miss elements of your reputation management strategy. A custom audience built uniquely to your niche and campaign needs, plus media measurement dashboards that track what they are seeing and hearing across linear TV arm you with powerful data for defending and improving your reputation.

Your linear TV media measurement dashboard can be set up within a few days when you start working with Tunnl. To learn more about our media measurement solutions, and the other features included in Tunnl Premium, talk to our sales team about the best reputation management solutions for you. 

Buzz about your organization is already building. Can you keep up?


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