It's Not Luck; It's Reliable Data

Renata Uhlarikova shares her experience of building the new TAM system in Mongolia from the ground up.

When I presented Mongolia's first-ever electronic TV audience rating figures for the top 10 channels at a Launch Ceremony in December 2012, the 300-strong audience was buzzing with excitement.

I haven't seen such enthusiasm for TV ratings for a long time - but I can fully understand their elation because, to many, this event marked the end of TV ad spend being driven by guesswork.

In a partnership with Mongolian research company Maxima Media, we launched the country's first Television Audience Measurement (TAM) service. Broadcasters now have a dependable tool to help improve programming, increase foreign investment and grow advertising spend.

Until now, the Mongolian TV industry has been lacking a continuous TV measurement system, leaving stakeholders to take a chance when it comes to making critical business decisions on their television advertising spend.

A 17% economic growth rate in 2011 and 12% in 2012, combined with foreign investment, growth in advertising spend within an increasingly complex media environment makes Mongolia one of the world's fastest-evolving markets. And as with any evolving market, its progress must be measured.

Although the country has over 180 TV channels and 30,000 advertising spots each month, there had been no TAM in place. Advertising space was sold directly between advertisers and broadcasters.

Kantar Media was approached by Maxima Media in December 2011 to work together to build a reliable, proven TAM service. Mongolia now use fair, credible data to make educated decisions regarding television content.

Commenting on the launch of TAM Mongolia, Khishigsuren Yadamsuren, Director of Maxima Consulting, said: "For the past few years the Mongolian media market has been rapidly developing; however, there is no hard evidence whether this development is based on healthy competition and basically not reliant on blind luck. Thus, we are very eager to eliminate any sign of risk by relying on TAM data and believe that, in cooperation with Kantar Media, we will be able to put a new beginning in (the) Mongolian media market."

As a third of the population lives in the capital Ulan Bator, and around 70% of advertising expenditure is concentrated in this city, the first TAM panel of 100 households went live within the capital in December 2012.

And so we helped take Mongolia from a 'zero' measurement to a PeopleMeter measurement country. The country's first TAM panel, equipped by Kantar Media PeopleMeters, is only the start. Plans to enlarge the panel to 400+ households are already underway.

Enkhtungalag Togtokh, Managing Director of Maxima Media explained, "We are currently working hard to extend the panel by an additional 400 meters. We are very excited that by the end of 2013 our users will be able to receive TAM data nationwide. These additional 400 meters open more opportunities both for the broadcasters and advertisers and promote healthy competition on the current Mongolian media market."

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