In the last few years, there has been a lot of discussion around "programmatic" or "advanced" TV advertising. Lots of companies are coming to market with the promise to make TV advertising more efficient. But for those not steeped in the tech world, it can be a confusing landscape to navigate. You may be asking, “What exactly is programmatic TV and does it make sense for me as a travel company?”
Well, let’s try and clear up some confusion.
What is advanced TV?
First, let’s define what we’re talking about. For this article, we’re going to focus on "audience-buying" or "data-enabled" TV buying, as opposed to addressable TV buying, which is a topic for another day.
It’s important to note that the word "programmatic" can be confusing. The value proposition of programmatic has always been increased efficiency through the use of data, technology and automation. And while that value prop does apply to many of today’s modern TV solutions, my colleagues and I prefer to not use the phrase given its history with real-time bidding. The programmatic advertising industry was first built around display advertising, which relied heavily on auction models where the highest bidder wins, regardless of any other factor. TV doesn’t work this way, and likely never will.
Yes, we’re now able to layer data on top of TV ad buys, which makes them more targeted and efficient. And yes, we’re also using technology platforms and machine learning to do the heavy lifting on making these decisions, which makes things more automated. But, TV still has highly constrained inventory—ie, there’s not that much of it—and it’s most often bought upfront in deals negotiated long before a campaign is ready to go live. And because of that, the "last-and-highest bidder-wins" model we knew from display advertising simple doesn’t work.
So, instead of programmatic, let’s refer to these new capabilities as "advanced TV."
So how do you use it to affect my bottom line?
Now that we have a baseline on what advanced TV is, let’s look at a few examples of how it can be used.
However you slice it, deeper understanding of audiences through the use of data is a big win. Travel marketers have been embracing these possibilities in digital for years, and now we’re bringing that efficiency to TV. Change is good.