TV still accounts for the majority of the time people spend with a screen — and the largest spend of any media is still on TV. But things have definitely changed with the introduction of multiscreen options -- and marketers have to figure out how to apply data to their television investment.
Simply put, how can advertisers micro-target TV viewers the same way they can online?
Now, Starcom MediaVest Group -- which has spent the past 10 years testing household-addressable television -- has released findings on how best to accomplish the goal of “Driving Data to Television.” The results focus on three important issues around data-driven solutions: data, privacy and measurement.
"We are seeing accountability for the first time when it comes to TV," says SMG senior vice president/director Steve Murtos. "There's big value in finding efficiency and effectiveness in measuring results different from the traditional approach."
Indeed, there are 40 million households with addressable or targeted TVs, and four major operators can deliver household-addressable advertising.
Still, in order to ensure that addressable TV continues to scale, advertisers must evaluate the quality of the data used at the "front end" in developing target audiences and in the "back end" with the measurement.
Unlike linear TV, where advertisers define targets solely based on age and gender, for addressable TV there are a myriad of options from third-party consumer sources, such as Acxiom or Experian, or first-party advertiser-collected data, such as membership databases.
SMG advises advertisers to assess data sources and question their processes. "This means making sure sources collected by third-party agencies are representative and consistent across all addressable operations," says Helen Katz, senior vice president, director of research, SMG.
Other factors that must be addressed include whether the information is known or modeled, how frequently it is refreshed and its scale. Also, it is essential to acknowledge privacy concerns of viewers and to ensure these viewers feel protected against any privacy concerns. Ultimately, viewers need to understand the benefits, provide reassurances, and acknowledge risks associated with micro-targeted TV advertising.
Lastly, per the SMG research, it is important to identify common standards and metrics for measuring the results of addressable campaigns, recognizing that not all online metrics apply to television. In addition to the standard campaign delivery reports, SMG recommends that its advertisers build in experimental designs to demonstrate whether a campaign drives consumer response, brand attitude shift and/or product sales.
Ultimately, the industry needs to identify core essentials to start the conversation to change the current model. "It's powerful for us to be able to link ad exposure directly to sales data and demonstrate the impact TV is driving," says Murtos. "There are already ways to measure online views, and we need to have the same sort of values for TV viewers."