Ever since programmatic advertising came into vogue within the digital realm, marketers and agencies have been hustling to derive maximum value using the combination of digital real-time targeting and outcome-based measurement together with premium video inventory.
This application for ‘television’ has historically been more of a pipe dream, and we’ve been talking about it for years—but the future is NOW and we are finally getting our hands dirty as TV is finally catching up to digital (certainly not there yet, but progress).
Adding Automation and Targeting to Traditional TV
We like to call this progress ‘Advanced TV’, which is defined in three categories:
● Programmatic television is the automation of linear TV media buying. This combines the use of data for an index-based selection of dayparts, networks and programs. Some call any data-based buying programmatic, which confuses the matter. That said, the TV industry is very cautious with this approach having witnessed how programmatic was used to drive price down and commoditize digital inventory.
● Connected television is when brands buy ads during over-the-top (OTT) and connected platforms such as Roku and Apple TV. Although this is one-to-one based advertising, robust targeting and measurement is not quite there yet due to the lack of cookies and the non-standardization of device IDs. The goal is to convert to IP and this should be a much richer solution within the next year.
● Addressable television refers to household-level, linear TV advertising, which allows brands to target the right home with the right message. While there are limitations due to set-top-box technology, this category does allow for creative versioning in TV delivery for the first time, allowing advertisers to send personalized ads to specific audience segments.
With the data nuances available in advanced TV, we also need to move the conversation beyond simply data and targeting. With creative driving at least 50% (in some cases 70%) of the campaign’s sales impact, creative personalization needs to become a major part of the conversation.
Addressable TV Is the Best of Both Worlds
While all advanced TV approaches offer marketers a suite of benefits, addressable TV is the most effective execution because it combines the precise targeting of digital with the highest quality viewing experience.
By applying digital tools to the buying process, addressable advertisers can be much more efficient with their television spend. Rather than wasting millions of dollars on ads that will be shown to every person watching a given program, a beauty brand could spend significantly less to reach only a specific group of women in the market for that product. On top of that, that brand could segment the group of women into different categories, such as heavy mascara buyers versus heavy nail polish buyers and send ads highlighting the different products to the respective segments. Returning versus new customers can be targeted as well.
Addressable TV allows marketers to reach consumers in a far better environment than they’d find online. Whereas a digital video viewer might be in a rush to get back to whatever they were doing a moment ago, television viewers are more committed to sticking around and watching premium TV content. This creates a more engaging viewing environment, which has always been a draw of traditional TV advertising. Remember, TV is also immune to the recent digital issues around unsafe advertiser environments—you absolutely know what you’re getting here.
However, one of the best components of addressable is the ability to measure impact such as website conversion, foot traffic and actual sales lift. Using third-party measurement partners, marketers can know for certain that the people who saw their ads actually went on to buy their products. In short, marketers now know if their advertising is working. Take that Wanamaker!
Better Together: Digital Video and Addressable TV
The best way for marketers to begin using addressable TV is by including it in a cross-screen campaign with digital video. By pairing an addressable TV buy with digital video, advertisers can get television’s halo effect while simultaneously building scale with less expensive online inventory. Together, these two formats produce a cost-effective, multi-channel campaign that delivers excellent return on ad spend. What’s even more powerful is the application of real-time digital results to television. While TV outcome measurement is not real-time, we can take the immediate learnings from digital and nimbly apply to TV—which creatives are working best, refining data targets, etc.
Beyond giving brands more bang for their buck, the combination of digital video and addressable TV enables advertisers to implement a more precise, more sophisticated marketing strategy. Instead of choosing between the lean-back environment of television and the lean-in environment of digital, brands can mix and match based on what they are trying to achieve with each customer. And because addressable television allows advertisers to target people at the household level, marketers can prevent themselves from oversaturating a single consumer across TV and digital. Once the integrated campaign is finished, marketers can measure performance across both channels, allowing them to better understand the cumulative impact of their holistic video marketing strategy.
And, addressable and advanced TV are just getting started. As the technology continues to develop, we’ll be able to learn more about optimal frequency and sequence of cross-screen campaigns. Imagine when TV measurement becomes ‘real-time’ like digital—the practice of cross-screen optimization will become a reality (maybe we can even get Facebook and Google to play with us here).
For now, brands and agencies should seize the value that’s already available and begin experimenting with integrated, cross-screen campaigns. It won’t be long before advanced TV is just as important to a successful media plan as its analog predecessor.
About the author:
Brian Katz is VP of advanced TV insights and strategy at Eyeview. Katz brings more than 20 years of experience in cable, digital and broadcast to his role at Eyeview, where he leads and executes custom advanced TV solutions for Eyeview's retail, CPG, auto and travel clients. He also leverages his experience to make addressable TV approachable for marketers who are new to the medium, and ensures the best financial outcomes for their paid media investments. Before joining Eyeview, Katz served as a senior VP of audience & purchaser insights at TiVo. Katz also held multiple roles at NBCU cable and distribution units. He began his career at Paramount Domestic Television supporting sales strategy and syndicated programming for UPN.
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