Think Smart: How Advertisers Can Combat Information Overload With More Data

In a world where managing big data effectively is overwhelming, advertisers need to utilize newer technologies to make sense of the growing mountain of information.

But sometimes the innovative tools seem to increase the information overload rather than alleviate the burden. New resources should add breadth and depth to the analytics process without being too cumbersome to interpret.

Enter the smart TV.

Smart TVs provide better, more intuitive data that is changing the way advertisers measure a campaign’s success and how they choose to reach target audiences. With the improved capabilities of smart TVs, compared to their set-top box (STB) counterparts and their ability to leverage automatic content recognition (ACR) technology to identify content, smart TVs are revolutionizing media buying strategies for advertisers.

It allows them to get more out of their televised campaign spend by leveraging data. And, as addressable platforms become more robust in their offerings, the coupling of smart TVs and addressable solutions will allow advertisers to be more strategic in their approach and gain a stronger ROI.



Replacing STB with Smart TV 

Media research had rudimentary beginnings. In the early days, physical diaries were kept in order to predict viewing in a local market and evaluate advertising performance. A few thousand meters were utilized to represent the program preferences of the entire U.S. population.

As data collection advanced and sample sizes increased, the need for more effective collection at a larger scale was met with STB viewing data. STB offers larger sample sizes at the local level. Connected to most television sets in a household, STB data can provide insights into the full household’s viewing behavior.

However, while STB data offers more in-depth information to advertisers than what was previously available, there are limits to its capabilities that can decrease the collected data’s value.

For instance, STBs are unable to tell when a television set is on or off; they only know when the box itself has been disconnected. This presents a challenge in determining when the household is actually watching TV and therefore muddies the data associated with genuine viewership.

Additionally, STB viewing data omits over-the-air (OTA) viewers, so an entire segment is overlooked.

Smart TVs have a glass-level understanding of what is being displayed to viewers. Whether content is an OTA signal, DVR or streamed content, a smart TV is able to identify what’s being viewed and when.

Smart TVs can see what shows and commercials viewers are watching on a second-by-second basis and can even see viewers’ IP addresses, allowing advertisers to know the geographical location of their audience.

Addressable platforms allow advertisers to replace ads in real-time with content more relevant to household demographics and interests 

Together with smart TV’s ability to capture even more detailed audience data, advertisers now have the ability to reach audiences in new ways.

Replacing Insights with Actions

With smart TVs, advertisers will be able to get feedback on their ad’s performance in real-time. And since IP addresses are collected, that information can be used to determine attribution so advertisers can better understand the consumer journey. This will help agencies justify their media buys by providing clients with tangible evidence that their campaigns have helped increase sales.

Supplying insights into what viewers are watching through which services and when, helps advertisers make more informed decisions about their content. So, instead of wondering where to reach the target audience, advertisers can use the data they’ve collected to play the right ad in the right household at the right time.



2 comments about "Think Smart: How Advertisers Can Combat Information Overload With More Data".
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  1. Tony Eason from TVEyes, July 6, 2018 at 10:11 a.m.

    Very interesting overview of Smart TV's advantages.  Can Smart TV monitor ads (competitive, too) on both a national and local level?  Thank you.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 6, 2018 at 1:12 p.m.

    Alex, you are perfectly correct about the vast improvements that have been developed in TV audience research over the decades. It should be noted, however, that when Nielsen's national meter panel was based on only 1000 homes---more like 850, actually, on a given evening due to broken sets and meter malfunctions----the average primetime show garnered an 18% tuned in rate and hit shows often attained ratings two or even three times higher.

    Fast forward to today and a typical TV show tune-in lavel is about .3%with highs at the 8-10% level and the audience surveys have had to adapt , using larger and larger panels. My problem with the STB or device usage approach is simply this. Since younger and affluent households contain many more residents than older homes, as well as more visitors and they usually have more devices for viewing, these are the homes that use their sets most often. Misinterpreting such data, one could easily assume that a TV show which garners a higher than normal rating among younger/affluent homes is reaching younger and affluent adult consumers when, in fact, such family members are light, not frequent viewers---in other words, someone else is often watching. In contrast, set usage data for older homes with a single or two 65+ residents far more closely reflects the personal viewing of its residents. Since most brands would prefer to target younger/affluent adults---given a choice---STB ratings can be a most misleading indicator of viewer targeting.

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