But it’s the major recent M&A announcements in the data industry spurring the Big Bang in media: the powerful joining of online/digital audience data with TV viewership data. This union of formerly very disparate data sets has significant implications not only for TV targeting -- but, even more important, for the structure of media planning and execution.
For years TV has targeted largely through programming context, providing broad instantaneous reach for top-of-funnel brand awareness. Meanwhile, digital has targeted through audience data, providing unicast targeting to drive immediate action. The two worlds have different metrics, different measures of success and different methods of media planning, buying and selling. All of these differences have made some remark that “TV is from Mars and digital is from Venus.”
As the TV industry learns to speak of delivery of audience impressions to active shoe shoppers, and the digital industry learns to speak of demographics and campaign ratings, the two worlds fuse for the better. With joined data and a developing common vocabulary, TV and digital begin to share common audience targets, common reach and frequency goals, and common measured outcomes.
More importantly, this joining of data transforms marketing campaigns from a TV, digital, mobile or social-centric paradigm to a consumer-centric paradigm. Rather than each medium attempting to reach the target audience through its own data silo, the common data approach enables all media to work in concert and surround the consumer with a well-coordinated campaign. Each medium can play to the strength it brings, whether generating engagement with the brand or driving an immediate action.
Even with the best-matched data, common audience targets and outcomes, marketing initiatives will not achieve their goal without coordinated execution. And programmatic platforms are starting to come together to support this much-needed coordination. Digital video execution platforms are beginning to talk to linear TV execution platforms, which talk to addressable TV platforms. Like the world of TV and digital, these respective platforms are learning to understand one another, all through the common language of the data.
While it’s still early stages, the Big Bang of data has happened. The new world is taking shape.