'High-Indexing' -- It's The New Programmatic

That’s the way Jamie Power described the role of programmatic media-buying in television during her opening keynote at MediaPost’s TV Insider Summit.

Power, managing partner at WPP/GroupM’s pure-play advanced TV media-buying shop, said she doesn’t like using the word “programmatic” to describe the programmatic part of what her agency does, mainly because it’s a “bad word” in the industry these days and means different things to different people. Mainly, she said, it’s just a confusing word.

By contrast, “high-indexing” explains what the process is trying to achieve: acquiring TV inventory that indexes higher among the consumers agencies and brands are trying to reach.

And that’s all about using data better to identify which TV content and outlets reach the right viewers better than the next guy or gal.



Power didn’t tip Modi’s hand in that regard, but she alluded to the idea that the agency is accumulating and applying oodles of proprietary data to achieve that. She even acknowledged Modi’s proprietary relationship with comScore -- vis a vis WPP’s original investment in Rentrak -- and implied they are working on some pretty sophisticated and effective ways of highly indexing TV ad buys.

But when it comes to the market, she said most, if not all, of the deals are still currently based on Nielsen ratings, guarantees and posts, etc. And for good reason. Among other things, Power said she believes it makes no sense to share those insights -- ie. the value her clients derive from analyzing the reach various TV inventories have in reaching their best customers -- with the suppliers.

For that reason alone, she implied, Nielsen’s ratings currencies will remain the coin of the advanced TV-buying realm, regardless of how highly indexed the value of the inventory is.
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