Programmatic TV: In Their Own Words

Investigative journalist Charlene Weisler and I thought it would be an interesting proposition for this week’s Audience Buying Insider to allow some of the prominent programmatic TV players to speak for themselves rather than through our vivisection of their value propositions. To accomplish this feat, we invited four companies to participate: data-ists Rentrak and Oracle Data Management Platform, and platforms TubeMogul and Videa. This week we’ll focus on the data-ists; next week, the platforms.

For continuity, we’ve asked that the participants succinctly answer a series of queries:

  1. Company description
  2. Utilization of data for promoting the value of TV inventory
  3. Early experiences and subsequent evolution of value proposition
  4. Biggest hurdles and applicable lessons
  5. Recommendations for adoption

A Data-ist’s Perspective

Rentrak: Evan Goldfarb, Senior Vice President, Agency, Advertiser & Media Analytics



Oracle Data Management Platform: Alexander Hooshmand, Vice President, Product

Please provide a brief description of your company.

Evan Goldfarb: Rentrak measures TV and Movies Everywhere. In the television marketplace, Rentrak provides ratings, measurement and analytical services to linear television and on-demand customers. Rentrak’s television measurement information comes from set-top-box data from approximately 15 million US HHs providing the most stable and granular information used to target, plan, buy and measure television campaigns.

Alexander Hooshmand: The Oracle Marketing Cloud DMP was created through the acquisition of BlueKai in April 2014 and recent purchase of Datalogix – both residing on top of other data partnerships and integrations. The DMP’s primary mission is to help our clients with a data-driven, customer-centric marketing strategy across channels.

When did your company start to investigate utilizing data – beyond age and gender – for promoting the value of TV inventory, and for what reason?

Evan Goldfarb: Creating “Advanced Demographics” was one of our first strategic initiatives as we first released our national television ratings data in 2010. We believed then, and we believe now, that being able to target television viewers by the products and services they buy, rather than by age/sex demographics, is a far more advanced way to guide investment dollars. Today, Rentrak has “Advanced Demographic” solutions in the automotive, CPG, retail, political and financial services verticals.

Alexander Hooshmand: Our clients, both marketers and agencies, use our DMP to create and centrally manage audience data and to activate that data for targeting in display, mobile, search and social channels, as well as using it to optimize what’s happening on their sites and apps. Today’s savvy consumers expect brands to talk to them intelligently as they are going through their individual customer journeys – including when they are consuming TV content on various devices such as phones, smartphones, and over-the-top devices (OTT). As a result the great digital divide between TV media planners and digital media planners is becoming a thing of the past. We are investing heavily to ensure that our clients stay at the forefront of this transition.

What were some of your first data explorations in the programmatic TV space? What did you learn from that experience that perhaps changed the way you approached advertising agencies - TV and digital buyers and planners - and helped evolve your approach to data infused audience reporting?

Evan Goldfarb: In the early programmatic days, many of the networks that had inventory to sell programmatically were only measured by Rentrak. As more and more networks began to show interest and sell programmatically, it was the stability of Rentrak’s data that made our information the best source to use. With data coming from 15 million HHs, we have the information to look at impressions in a very granular way. Rentrak is a data source to add “behavioral” targets to our viewing information, so buyers and sellers can target and buy the exact consumers they’re looking for.

Alexander Hooshmand: We were first able to bring TV viewing data into the digital sphere for analytics and targeting; and right on the heels of that, we launched Oracle Marketing Cloud DMP integrations to pass data from the DMP into TV-related platforms for targeting and measurement:

1. Data From TV Informing Digital Marketing

The most important challenge has been connecting a specific user or household to TV viewership data – both in terms of obtaining the data and also doing so at scale.

2. Digital Data Driving TV Targeting

Directly targeting users or households in the TV landscape has become of increasing interest to enterprise brand marketers who invest heavily in traditional TV buying today. Our clients want to experiment with technology that enables all of our and their partners to achieve their desired goals.

3. TV Advertising Performance Measurement

Marketers want a cross-channel performance measurement tool for their advertising. Our goal is to go beyond traditional measures of ad performance such as TV ratings, and tie TV ad views to real consumer events, such as web site engagement, online and offline commerce.

What have been your biggest hurdles as you endeavor to utilize data to unlock more of the value of program viewership?

Evan Goldfarb: All of the stakeholders have their own ways in which they want to buy and sell. It takes a massive and passive dataset like Rentrak’s to be able to ensure that each buyer and each seller has the specific information they want and need in order to execute their business the way they wish to.

Alexander Hooshmand: Scale and execution speed. Oracle is collaborating with the larger TV companies in the TV ecosystem to create deep integrations that benefit all participants, as well as nurturing relationships with smaller start-ups evolving technology that offers greater targetability and measurement. Consumers get a more personalized and relevant experience, marketers get better results for their ad dollars, and TV companies make more money.

Any recommendations for programmatic TV platforms and owners of TV content to help facilitate the utilization of the programmatic concept by traditional agency TV buyers and planners?

Evan Goldfarb: Having a common currency in programmatic like Rentrak can be an important foundation for the market. We work with each client to provide proprietary solutions that they may want within their specific buying or selling process.

Alexander Hooshmand: Push to use all of the data at your fingertips. Continue investing in empowering marketers to take a data-driven, customer-centric, targeted approach to their advertising. And wherever possible, include ad performance measurement to show the value of that targeting.

2 comments about "Programmatic TV: In Their Own Words".
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  1. Jaffer Ali from PulseTV, July 24, 2015 at 1:14 p.m.

    The value proposition leans overwhelmingly toward the media owner...not the marketer. Marketers are being hoodwinked into paying more and more for less and less...with "targeting" the main culprit. It is that way with online media (which is as close to worthless as you will find) and this obsession is being sold to unwitting marketers who believe what they read. Available Media is approximately doubling every 18 months (A corollary to Moore's Law) while demand increases ...what, 12% in that time period?

    So media owners and service providers are trying to sweep away the crashing CPM tide with a programattic broom. This will not be sustainable as marketers learn that they are being bamboozled.

  2. Andreas Schroeter from wywy, July 29, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.

    I agree with Alexander.

    The real break-through in programmatic is not the automation part (although there is obviously value such as speed etc but it boils down to a cost advantage, taking out the friction in the process).

    The real break-through in programmatic is the data part. Every time I think of that billions and billions are spent in TV advertising based on 10.000 TV panel households it just blows my mind. With all the data available today and people sitting in front of their TV with their mobile, you can both target in way more granular ways and directly measure the impact. It's more about a change in mindset than anything else - the technology is there.

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