Personalization Hits TV’s Target Audience

In today’s fragmented video content space, it’s increasingly clear that marketers, content providers and creators are having trouble identifying and honing in on their target audiences — to no fault of their own. Consumers are now jumping across platforms, screens and content at a frenetic pace.

Because of that, tracking viewing behavior and calculating attribution is more complex than ever, and newer and smarter ways of utilizing data are emerging as an intelligent response for defining consumer tastes and behavior. At the same time, we’re seeing a growing consumer demand for increased personalization when engaging with content and brands.

In fact, according to a recent Epsilon survey, 80% of consumers are more likely to conduct business with a company or brand that provides a personalized consumer experience.

How can marketers and pay TV content providers work together to deliver the promise of greater personalization for the ever harder-to-find consumer? The answer is, unsurprisingly, through better data integration — not only across content platforms and devices, but also across different industries. We need to integrate pay TV data with external, third-party data.

The advertising industry is just now starting to rediscover the potential that TV data holds as the foundational piece for cross-channel attribution. Linear and pay TV data is the glue that binds together data from OTT and connected devices, social media and online shopping to slowly help the industry move toward a fully viable model of cross-channel attribution. However, we are still missing the omnichannel part of the puzzle. What does a consumer do or purchase when not online or consuming content, and how does that impact our assessment of that individual? How does it impact our assessment of the content, even? And the advertising that might have caused a consumer reaction?

These might seem like impossible queries to solve, but, in a world where the line between the physical and the digital is quickly fading, we can’t have true personalization without providing an answer to them.

To fully realize the potential of personalization we also need to move from household-level to true individual identification. Clearly our culture is one in which we place a high value on our individuality, both in our outward self-expression as well as in the way we respond to personalized messages from leading brands. In TiVo’s Q4 2017 Online Video and Pay TV Trends Report, the ability to create personal profiles was more popular than any other element of a Netflix subscription, even scoring higher than price. Technologies like biometrics and far field microphones are being rapidly adopted and in conjunction with machine learning ease the barriers to developing truly individualized profiles.

Thanks to technological advances and greater collaboration between industries, it is now possible to, for instance, safely and anonymously pair geolocation data with viewership and online shopping behavior. This allows us to know where a fan of XYZ show dines on Saturday night. We’re also able to correlate that information, for example, with what shows other patrons at the same establishment tend to watch and ultimately what kind of messages they will be most receptive towards on any given device at any given time. That alone can take recommendation carousels and content discovery engines to the next level, but the possibilities are simply endless. And, as long as we ensure the data is anonymized, we ensure consumers’ privacy rights are respected.

Personalization’s Great Potential

The tremendous potential for granularity in this approach can and will benefit consumers, marketers and content providers alike. Consumers will be offered video content recommendations and ads that align much better with who they are and what they care about, allowing them to enjoy a more personal experience on an ongoing basis. In turn, marketers will be able to better identify and target their potential customers while optimizing campaign investment. As for content providers, the increased granularity and understanding of the potential audience for their inventory will only lead to more marketable inventory and increased ad revenue.

However, this is only the beginning of a new era of data portability and integration. We are seeing more brands willing to look beyond the walled gardens that traditionally protected their proprietary data in exchange for game-winning insights. We can only hope that this trend continues to grow so that we, as an industry, can keep working toward the goal of the ultimate customer experience: a highly personalized model of attribution that is able to satisfy the needs and concerns of all parties involved.

Tyler Winton is vice president of business development, Consumer Market HQ, for TiVo.