NBCU Bolsters Attribution Data with Data Plus Math

NBCUniversal said it will be working with Data Plus Math, an analytics firm that measures the impact of advertising campaign.

TV networks have been looking for ways to make their commercials more effective and to demonstrate the impact they have for clients and NBC has been among the most aggressive in trying to change the way advertising is bought, sold and evaluated.

NBCU, part of Comcast, has already begun showing some clients how business results can be attributed to their advertising.

Last week, the company said it has sold advertising to a movie studio, guaranteeing that it would generate a certain level of ticket sales, rather than the traditional promise that the ads would reach an agreed to number of viewers.

Working with Data Plus Math, NBCU will be able to offer clients in-flight measurement of linear, VOD addressable and OTT advertising inventory, with attribution of business outcomes in all parts of the marketing funnel.

Data Plus Math will also provide reporting against audiences for campaign’s using NBC’s ATP and Audience Studio or OpenAP’s targeting definitions. It will also measure cross-platform NBCU campaigns using Comcast’-owned FreeWheel’s unified advertising decisioning.

“This is an important step in NBCUniversal’s journey towards outcomes-based measurement that delivers on marketers’ objectives,” said Kavita Vazirani, executive VP, measurement innovation, NBCUniversal Insights & Measurement. “Unifying impressions with CFlight was our first step in elevating industry measurement. Now, our partnership with Data Plus Math will elevate cross screen measurement and outcome attribution for our clients, addressing a critical need for advertisers in the marketplace.”

Vazirani said that Data Plus Math was an attractive partner because its analysis provided information about the incremental value of TV advertising and because of the way that the company conveniently delivers data on a dashboard, allowing NBCU to have conversations with clients about insights gleaned from their campaigns.

But she said that NBCU will continue to work with other attribution companies and invest in its own capabilities.

“Attribution is currently at a campaign level,” she said. “It’s not necessarily predictive or repeatable.”

What NBCU envisions is a system that would measure across several campaign and across the marketing portfolio to see the impact those campaigns have on the clients’ business. That would enable NBCU to build a predictive capability for predicting future performance.

“That will start to change the conversation around how we guarantee in the future,” Vazirani said.

Data Plus Math is part of a cottage industry of analytics firms that have sprung up using big data sets to attempt to measure the impact of television advertising campaigns. Demand for that kind of information has become essential to TV networks as they compete for marketing dollar against digital media companies that promise they can determine the results generated by their ads.

“We have been measuring campaigns for NBCU over the past year and we are thrilled to advance this relationship through licensing of our comprehensive measurement platform,” said John Hoctor, CEO of Data Plus Math. “Measuring TV today means much more than linear TV. It requires measurement of Smart TVs, set top boxes, VOD, streaming, OTT and full episode players. We are excited to be working with an innovator in moving cross platform forward and in partnering together to ensure that video viewing gets the full credit and value it deserves.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.