TVSquared's Kevin O'Reilly Explains Digital TV Targeting Possibilities

TV drives search traffic, but chief strategy officers often don't feel comfortable talking about things their respective companies cannot do.

Still, I like to look ahead at the possibilities and ask what if. Like, how could Nordstrom determine whether a Ford Explorer television advertisement created more lift in search for the retailer, or led more traffic to the Nordstrom website then the automaker’s?

Understanding why an individual goes to a brand’s website depending on when they were exposed to the television ad becomes complicated. “It’s the holy grail,” said Kevin O’Reilly, chief strategy officer at TVSquared, which focuses on understanding organic brand traffic through search engine optimization and paid search.   

Agreeing that solving this problem would require “very complex math,” O’Reilly said the industry will someday have the ability to “understand the increase in probability” that someone would come to a website based on another brand’s advertisement or marketing activity.



It comes down to determining the “probability” that someone would engage with the brand, which would require looking at historical behavior data to determine a plausible impact.

When a television ad runs, there’s a baseline model on the expected web traffic to site in the next 10 minutes following when an advertisement runs. The technology, which doesn’t analyze viewership data, looks at the impact on the website after the brand’s ad runs on television.

“We look at the ripples on a calm lake and trace it back mathematically,” O’Reilly, said. “It’s the splash that causes the ripple, but we cannot say which particle of water is higher or lower based on the rock hitting the water.”

TVSquared’s November acquisition  of the Germany-based wywy, which provides real-time spot detection technology, opened the doors to build campaigns that link broadcast and internet TV with search advertising. It also prompted the company to forge a partnership with LiveRamp and others.

The company offers a product called SearchSync that lets marketers bring television into their bidding strategy. When a campaigns runs on television, marketers can turn on Google AdWords campaigns for a predetermined amount of time.

Adkins used SearchSync to drive engagement to its website. It achieved a 19% increase in click-through rate, about a 34% in pages per visit, and 48% increase in time onsite.

The platform lets marketers use television signals to trigger new search campaigns using unbranded keywords, O’Reilly said.

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