Commentary

TV Tunes In To People-Based Marketing, The Next Data-Driven Frontier

About five years ago, the ad-tech industry started to realize that online advertising was missing out on utilizing information about how people behave in the brick-and-mortar world. Despite the vast increase in ecommerce, eMarketer says 88.5% of all transactions still occur in physical stores.

Thus, customer relationship management (CRM) “retargeting” was born, predicated on our ability to resolve identity across marketing platforms and devices. This was an exciting development resulting in greater relevance, less waste and better targeting. Specifically, people-based targeting.

Then, digital marketers, ad-tech partners and data owners began asking: How many people were buying in stores after being exposed to their digital ads? Perhaps they weren’t getting the credit they deserve.

Connecting the data points to show ad exposures next to in-store transactions, in a privacy conscious and consumer-safe way, lifted this veil. This process became known as people-based measurement.

Moving targeting beyond display

While not perfect, people-based marketing in display channels is becoming mainstream. But display is only one aspect of a consumer’s digital experience.

As the ecosystem has become more complex, identity resolution has expanded beyond display channels, allowing brands to reach their target audiences with any platform they choose across 500 integrations in the mar-/ad-tech world, across the web, mobile, video and more. Hundreds of brands and data owners activate their data across the ecosystem every day.

Meanwhile, TV has always been in the periphery. Traditional, linear TV commanded $68B of ad spend last year, per eMarketer.

For the first time, digital ad spend beat it at $73B. And digital video -- especially on mobile -- is contributing tremendous growth to the digital ad ecosystem. Why is this, and what does it mean? Is TV really not as effective as digital? Are cord-cutters making TV obsolete?

According to the data, the answer to these questions is “no.” Revenue is projected to stay flat through 2019, even as more offerings come to market to entice cord-cutters.

Are marketers shifting their dollars to digital due to the data-driven nature and the accountability that is possible today? What if TV could be just as targetable and measurable?

TV tunes in to people-based marketing

TV executives know these questions and their answers are important. A convergence of linear TV and digital is coming. The buzz in TV is audience-based planning, which is essentially an extension of people-based marketing for the TV world. The necessary ingredients of audience-based buying and selling are identity (at scale) and data. Add on a seamless, automated activation layer and you have the ultimate package.

Fortunately for TV, these capabilities exist, and will soon transform the standards and expectations of the industry. Identity graphs have proven to be a game-changer for advertising.

The tools that have revolutionized digital marketing can be applied, with known best practices, across the rest of the ecosystem, including every pay-TV provider (MVPDs).

Comcast, AT&T, Dish and Fios, as well as Hulu and Roku, have the capability to target and measure audiences of individuals, otherwise known as addressable TV. The next frontier is in our sights, and today’s customer-obsessed marketer will be able to charter the course to an even richer omnichannel future.

2 comments about "TV Tunes In To People-Based Marketing, The Next Data-Driven Frontier".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 6, 2017 at 8:51 a.m.

    An interesting and balanced review, Allison. One of the factors that has a strong bearing on the future of "linear TV" targeting is the need to breakdown the system of corporate vs. brand by brand buying. At present the vast majority of national TV ad sales are made to corporate time buyers---hence the use of broad and generally imperfect demos as the basis for GRP "currencies" and audience tonnage guarantees. At present there is no movement to abandon the corporate buying system. One reason is the constant pressure by advertiser bean counters to get the lowest CPMs.Another is the logistical problem of switching from a system where the sellers and buyers handle 200-300 clients via corporate buying to negotiating individually for 7000 or more brands. Such a move could be chaotic and drive up buying and selling costs dramatically.

    A more interesting and, also, not frequently mentioned problem is the structure of the "linear TV" audience. Unlike digital, where one can accumulate a seemingly endless number of desirable target "impressions", TV viewing is heavily skewed towards older and low income adults, who, are of less importance to most advertisers than their lighter viewing younger/upscale counterparts. As a result, even if TV ad sales went completely on a brand by brand basis, with all sellers making all of their GRPs available to all buyers on a cherry picking basis, there wouldn't be enough desirable GRPs to allow for an industry wide improvement in targeting or for huge ad revenue gains for the sellers by virtue of offering "better" targeting. Some advertisers might benefit along with some sellers, but many would not.

  2. Allison Dollar from ITV Alliance, December 6, 2017 at 9:31 p.m.

    I'm glad we're acknowledging these issues but it still makes me weary-- we've been talking about this for decades on decades now. I co-founded eTV World with Alan Brody in the early '90s and the ITV Alliance in 2002. Yikes. Hope you go to TV of Tomorrow in NYC tomorrow. These challenges lie at the heart of advanced television and there's no better place to discuss than Tracy's conference.

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