Addressing The Challenge Of Addressable TV

Many people are working on making digital advertising addressable. Global information firm Experian has tons of credit card data, and is working on applying direct-marketing principles to TV and online targeting. It’s using offline data to identify U.S. consumers most likely to respond to messages.

Marketers face some challenges with addressability. Experian, which has relationships with most of the addressable providers, is helping marketers navigate those challenges. “The challenge for advertisers is understanding which data they should use, and what’s out there that can help them with the audience they want to target,” said Brad Danaher, director of television solutions, Experian.

After identifying data sources, marketers are typically looking to craft audience segments. Danaher said that while marketers have been using Nielsen’s age and gender demographics for decades, using something like household income to craft a segment is new.

Marketers need to understand the audience first -- which involves testing, in many cases, he said. There are literally thousands of data points -- like ethnicity, interests, behaviors, education -- that can help inform and build a segment.

Experian looks at transactional data from sources like Cardlytics, Nielsen Catalina, and Mastercard. For example, it can take Mastercard data and match it to Dish Network subscribers, Danaher said. This helps define an audience and then an addressable TV campaigns can be deployed against that audience. “Marketers don’t know what’s possible,” he said.

“Addressable campaigns aren’t as hard to do as many marketers think they are. Once they see the type of measurement that’s available, and that it can inform all their other marketing efforts, it’s exciting for them,” Danaher said, emphasizing that precise measurement is one of the key benefits of addressable advertising campaigns. For example, marketers want to know: “Can I prove the person who saw my ad actually bought my product? We can do that now. You can see the impact on sales of your advertising message,” he said. And then, if someone visited a store, did it spark an action? If so, what was the action?  

Danaher said more addressable operators are needed to offer addressable TV. There are an estimated 50 million addressable households. “Buying based on secondary metrics would help. Right now, TV buyers are buying on Nielsen ratings,” Danaher said, adding that marketers could also deploy campaigns and judge them based on Nielsen data and whether the people who were targeted viewed and responded to advertising.

Experian’s data is typically used as a secondary metric, but “there will come a day when our data is in TV systems," Danaher said. "Networks are starting to embrace data. We talk to more TV networks and over-the-top [OTT] firms than we ever have,”

One of the biggest trends he sees is the use of geo-location data in measurement reports. For example, did someone visit an auto dealership or a store after he saw your ad? “We’re starting to do a lot more cross-media reports where we examine TV impressions and online impressions to determine whether consumers went to a specific physical location. It’s the  inter-relationship of media channels that’s interesting,” Danaher said.  

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