TV Ad Targeting Gets More Sophisticated

At the recent OMMA Audience Targeting conference, I moderated a panel on using data and analytics to more effectively reach audiences on TV.

The session was packed with knowledgeable people doing leading work in the field: Brian Hughes, senior vice president and audience analysis practice lead, MAGNA GLOBAL; Mainak Mazumdar, chief science officer of Simulmedia; Howard Shimmel, chief research officer of Turner Broadcasting; Catherine Warburton, chief investment officer of Assembly; and Mike Welch, president, AT&T AdWorks.

It was clear from our discussion that advertisers, programmers and MVPDs have gotten more sophisticated about targeting ads for TV viewers -- and opportunities exist to even more effectively reach consumers and stimulate purchases. Just as advanced audience profiling is driving changes in buying for Web and mobile, the TV business is already getting closer to those capabilities. The opportunity is further increased by the rise of on-demand and multi-platform viewing of TV content.



Today, companies are enriching audience reach by overlaying demographic segments with data such as purchase history intent.  For example, Shimmel noted that using Nielsen Catalina Solutions could be one potential approach for adding insights along with demographic attributes. He described the benefits of TNT’s Targeting Now tool, which helps to increase advertisers’ impact on their buying target within demographics-based media plans.

Mazumdar told a story of helping an advertiser find customers by incorporating day parts, networks, and data sources such as Nielsen Buyer Insights-Precision Marketing, which combines consumer online activity with online and offline purchase activity from anonymized, privacy-protected credit card data. 

The panelists also discussed the need to change the way we measure the effectiveness of these efforts. As Warburton noted, ad agencies are still graded on the traditional metrics of CPM delivery. The metrics for agencies and programmers will need to evolve, with measures to determine what contributes to ultimate outcomes.

Similarly, Shimmel pointed out that it has become harder to understand the size of the growing market segments. The pricing and packaging of ads will need to evolve with these new capabilities, new audience segments and dynamics.

As automation and innovation continue to grow, and reporting agencies are able to provide data more quickly, we’ll continue to see advancements that make TV advertising even more effective. Zone and program addressability are already available and advertisers can now better leverage it at scale. Household addressability capabilities are also growing. Leveraging the data will increase yield optimization for networks. Greater automation will also help enable these opportunities to scale.

These trends will enable TV advertising to be even more effective in reaching consumers.

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