Advanced TV Ad Targeting: Separating the Wheat From the Chaff

Using rich first- and third-party data to target audiences on TV as in digital
You probably read the trades and know that you can now use rich first- and third-party data to target audiences on TV just like you can in digital.

This is just one of many improvements available via Advanced TV. It sounds straightforward, but dig into the topic and you’ll quickly find yourself asking questions. For example, what’s the difference between addressable TV and programmatic TV? Does digital-esque targeting work on “traditional” TV, or just addressable? What does “data-optimized TV” mean?

Aside from the early adopters, many marketers can’t define exactly what Advanced TV is.

The first thing to know is that Advanced TV isn’t just one thing. It’s a broad term that encompasses an array of products and services. Let’s examine three of those services: programmatic TV, addressable TV, and data-optimized TV. Each has its purpose. One might be better for your brand’s goals than the others. Together, we’ll explore how the services work and identify some questions to ask when considering which service might be right for you.

Programmatic TV
What is it? Programmatic TV attempts to deliver the efficiency of inventory organization and selection that ad technology creates in the digital world, and bring it to TV ad buying. Many marketers associate programmatic with automation—think real-time bidding on available inventory—but since ad buying on TV still requires a predominantly manual workflow, programmatic solutions are mostly used for planning. For this reason, programmatic TV has a ways to go before it will be confused with programmatic digital ad buying and selling. Once you’ve chosen a provider, you can upload customer data, create a target audience, and rank the available inventory based on which units are the best fit for your brand’s marketing strategy.

Key questions to ask a prospective programmatic TV provider:
· What’s required to integrate a programmatic solution into my media workflow? Do I need to format the data in a certain way? And how do I get the data into and out of your platform?

· Where does the automation end and the manual work begin? Once I have my plan, how does it get executed?

· What inventory sources are accessed through your platform? Are they local, national cable, broadcast, rotators, or at the program level?

· How can I use my CRM data for targeting?

Addressable TV
What is it? Addressable TV enables brands to deliver ads directly to specific households. The format enables delivery of different ads to different households within the same show. It’s ideal for reducing waste, but compared to the 110 million households reached by linear TV, its universe is relatively limited in scale. That’s because it’s comprised of about 40 million households via addressable-enabled set top boxes (STBs), and another 10 million households through video-on-demand and TV everywhere apps. To execute a campaign, marketers first create their desired target audience. That audience is then matched to the households in the addressable universe, and the ads are delivered only to those specific households. But beware—delivering enough GRPs to a smaller, addressable audience segment often results in high, often wasteful frequency for heavy viewers.

Key questions to ask a prospective provider:
· How much of my target market is contained inside the addressable universe?

· Within that group, how can I maximize my target reach while avoiding wasted frequency for the heaviest TV viewing households?

· What can you do to help me scale across different MVPDs?

· How will you help me measure the business impact of exposure to my campaign?

Data-Optimized TV
What is it? Unlike its addressable and programmatic counterparts, data-optimized TV allows marketers to use their first party or third party data sets to create strategic audience targets, breaking their reliance on blunt age and gender targets. Then, they can build media plans that maximize efficient target reach, GRPs, or CPMs and activate those campaigns across all of linear TV – well over 100 million households in all. The real value of data-optimized TV is that it can empower marketers to understand the true value of the media they purchase. By matching what people watch with what they buy, marketers can see which audience segments are most responsive, which networks and dayparts are most effective for reaching them, and which parts of a campaign aren’t working well enough. In turn, marketers can then refine their targets, build more efficient media plans, and continually optimize each subsequent campaign for improved performance.

Key questions to ask a prospective provider:
· Can I use my CRM data for targeting? And what 3rd party data sets do you activate?

· How do you select inventory? Is it index-based or do you use other data to determine the most efficient plan?

· How can I see which audience segments are responding to my advertising?

· What kind of attribution models can be applied to my campaign?

Television advertising is undergoing a renaissance. Advanced TV’s three flavors – data-optimized, programmatic and addressable – give brands, agencies and broadcasters new and more powerful tools to plan, buy, sell, and measure campaigns. Selecting the right tool for the job depends on many factors, and there’s no one solution that’s right for all situations. Before you begin, take time to assess your needs, learn about your options, and most importantly, ask questions. Do all this correctly, and you’ll emerge not only with new skills, but quite likely better campaign results, too.

Written by Michael Kubin, EVP Media

How an Acronym You’ve Probably Never Heard of Will Change TV Advertising Forever

ACR will kick the addressable revolution into overdrive

In ACR data, brands have the tools they need to execute true measurement and attribution. Getty Images


( – For years, brands have salivated over the prospect of fusing the best aspects of digital marketing with the tried-and-true canvas of linear television.

Unfortunately, a lack of addressable inventory and a paucity of measurement tools have prevented advertisers from executing campaigns at scale. Today, the addressable TV market, while growing, makes up a small fraction of the approximate $70 billion that brands spend annually on TV advertising.

On the bright side, all of this is beginning to change. In 2017, eMarketer estimates that addressable TV spending grew by more than 65 percent, topping $1 billion for the first time. Meanwhile, there are now more than 74 million households with the requisite technology to be targeted on a one-to-one level.

“Whereas an addressable ad buy tells brands who they’re paying to reach, ACR (automated content recognition) data tells them whether those folks actually viewed their ad.”

But what’s really going to kick the addressable revolution into overdrive is the rise of ACR (automated content recognition) data. If you’re unfamiliar, ACR is a technology used to automatically detect and index content that is playing on television in real-time. As a result, brands are able to use this information to determine when a given consumer sees their ad. As ACR data becomes more widespread, the sky’s the limit for addressable TV.

Addressable’s steady growth is beginning to add up

At the beginning of March, Forrester Research analyst Jim Nail published a survey indicating that addressable TV had reached what he described as an “inflection point.” The report found that 15 percent of the surveyed Association of National Advertisers members are regularly using addressable in their TV plans, with an additional 35 percent reporting that they have experimented, but need to learn more.

Indeed, as AT&T AdWorks president Rick Welday noted in an opinion piece late last year, addressable is already in use by a number of major travel brands. He went on to describe the ways that airlines and amusements parks drove awareness, intent and recall by honing in on audience segments such as “25-54 year-old married women with children in the household.” With that kind of “incredibly sophisticated data-driven targeting” in a “premium, brand-safe environment,” it’s no wonder that GroupM’s Jakob Nielsen recently described addressable TV as “the most sexy advertising product in the world.”

ACR is about to take addressable to the next level

Of course, addressable TV is about to get even “sexier.” In ACR data, brands have the tools they need to execute true measurement and attribution.

Whereas an addressable ad buy tells brands who they’re paying to reach, ACR data tells them whether those folks actually viewed their ad. Previously, the multiple system operators (MSOs) or multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) which ran the addressable campaign were the only source of activation data. ACR data provides the first independent verifiable source.

Moreover, by connecting ACR exposure data to offline shopping data sets, advertisers can close the loop on whether their targeted addressable campaign actually delivered results. For instance, a insurance brand might use ACR data to compare the policy binds from people who saw its linear TV ad against a those from an addressable TV campaign. They can then understand cost per new policy sold across both campaigns and identify segments that react to one over the others for future investments.

ACR data also provides cost efficiency for addressable ads, and MSOs and MVPDs can leverage the ad exposure data at device level to fine-tune the targeting of addressable ads by eliminating segments that are already getting a higher frequency on linear and adding segments that are low or zero frequency on linear for specific brands, thus eliminating waste.

It’s time to start preparing for an addressable future

All signs point to addressable TV growing its market share with each passing year. In fact, eMarketer predicts that U.S. addressable spend will increase by nearly 80 percent in 2018 alone. And with ACR data providing the closed-loop attribution our industry has long sought, brands can finally spend with full confidence that they’re really getting their money’s worth.

For advertisers, the time is now to begin investing in this exciting, emerging medium. When all of your competitors are putting their money into high-performing, precisely targeted television campaigns, you can’t afford to be left behind.

Written by: Ashish Chordia, founder & CEO of Alphonso.

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