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.