Pay Attention To This New Audience Segment, If You Have Any

If you’re like me, then you believe that one of the unintended consequences of the hyper-acceleration of real-time media are some corresponding attention disorders, including ADHD. Now, according to at least one popular media research source, it is now a media planning attribute. Or at the very least, a new form of audience segmentation being used by TV programmers and advertisers to target social TV users. Speaking during Maxxcom’s first global media collaborative in New York last week, Trendrr Co-Founder and CEO Mark Ghuneim, said the company now breaks social TV users down into segments known ad “Hyperactives” and “Massive Passives.”

The Hyperactives, as you might imagine, are the ones who are always on, following the conversation about their favorite shows, personalities and programmers “minute-by-minute.”

“The water cooler effect is happening in real-time,” he asserted, noting that while the Massive Passives aren’t nearly so glued to their social media screens as their TV screens, they also follow TV pretty closely on the second screen.

The Maxxcom meeting was noteworthy for other real-time and programmatic targeting reasons, especially a presentation by Justin Evans, executive vice president-product strategy at Collective, “the audience engine” company that has come up with an ingenious way of using online media to effectively re-target TV viewers.

The “targets people online based on what they watch on TV,” Evans said.

The method integrates a mix of data from Rentrak, TRA and comScore that matches TV audience segments with corresponding audiences online.

He showed an example based on a hypothetical redeployment of Sears’ massive 2012 “back-to-school” TV advertising schedule, noting that a significant portion of the $1.3 billion TV impressions bought via the estimated $11 million TV buy were wasted on extraneous frequency to TV’s heaviest viewers, while a significant portion of Sears’ target audience was either under-exposed, or didn’t get to see its TV ads at all.

Evans calls these two segments to “under-served” and the “un-reached,” and hemade the case for peeling back a portion of Sears’ TV buys and redeploying them online to reach those audiences where TV could not.

The approach is interesting, and reminded me of the “under-delivery” pitch cable networks used to make to advertisers and agencies before cable viewing became more ubiquitous.

Evans’ presentation made a strong case for using online to make up for TV’s under-delivery. What he stopped short of making a case for, was cutting back on the excessive frequency being wasted on the heavy TV users. And I can understand why. No need stirring up a hornets nest until people are comfortable with the underlying logic of using online video to re-target TV viewers.

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