The Future Of Legacy TV Advertising: Audience Targeted, Data-Driven Campaigns

It’s time the legacy TV players and digital stakeholders got together to create shared value for the advertising ecosystem.

Today, it’s possible to utilize TV data to leverage audience targeting and data-driven campaigns, just ike you can for digital.

It used to be that legacy television advertising was mostly done via traditional media planning, purchased for specific programming and based on a small number of audience demographics. That made it difficult to understand how it connected back to other campaigns, not to mention the impact on ROI.

Yet, TV content offers an emotional connection to its audience far superior to other advertising platforms. It’s remained a big part of the marketing budget for many media buyers, who spend upwards of $178 billion annually, or 35% of all advertising revenue.



We’re embarking on an exciting era of advanced TV advertising -- new data-driven TV ad solutions across OTT, linear and more -- that can connect the dots beyond demographics and initial viewing. We now know who is watching an ad, how many times it’s viewed, and where a person’s eyeballs are going next, regardless of device. It’s going beyond the traditional ratings.

The gap in targeting and measurement capabilities between digital and TV media buying is shrinking. There are an estimated 182.6 million connected TV users in the U.S. (or 55% of the population) this year, up 8.1% from 2017, according to eMarketer. Additionally, ad spending for connected TV this year nearly doubled to $8.2 billion compared to 2017, per Tru Optik, which noted 97% of those buyers are relying on third-party data.

There’s never been a better time to reallocate a portion of your spend to a data-driven, targeted campaign using TV data.

Leveraging TV data with data providers

We’ve all experienced targeted omnichannel advertising from digital campaigns. Searching for a dog groomer on your mobile phone, which later leads to local pet grooming ads popping up. Going forward, such ads will almost certainly be the case, thanks to first- and third-party data providers.

The first part of this equation is for hardware manufacturers in the business of smart TVs and set-top boxes to harness first-party data -- like households and unique viewing measurements. When anonymously matched with data from various providers, it becomes possible to run targeted campaigns that focus more on a 1-to-1 approach, based on what’s known about a particular household and their total media consumption.

Once you’re able to discover someone that falls within your target audience, it’s no longer necessary to continue advertising solely based on the type of content being consumed. You’ll be able to achieve your goals using a wide variety of engagement touchpoints.

That means advertising is not wasted on the wrong audiences.

So if you’re a huge fan of outdoor activities like camping, you can still be served ads from brands for tents, sleeping bags and weather-versatile apparel — even though you occasionally watch a program that plays commercials about beauty products. It makes TV ad buying more effective, improves the experience for the target audience and potentially deepens the emotional, immersive experience while viewing.

And it doesn’t hurt the bottom line to minimize waste.

Informing better ad campaigns

Improving TV watching by serving more relevant ads isn’t the only thing data providers can offer. They can also connect that data back to existing digital ad campaigns, essentially making TV a much more important -- if not essential -- part of a multichannel strategy.

Data providers are advancing TV advertising by allowing advertisers to retarget linear TV ads to households with connected TVs -- a particularly potent tactic for all, especially local advertisers.

Reporting and measuring the effectiveness of TV ads is also possible with the help of data providers. That means getting data about how many households a particular ad reached, how often it was viewed, where else it was viewed (smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, desktop, etc.) and what percentage of the target audience viewed the ad.

Brands and media buyers can then refine and improve campaigns based on this information to yield greater ROI.

TV advertising is getting more potent

As the bulk of the digital advertising world comes to grips with exposing advertising fraud and violations of consumer privacy, legacy TV advertising is only becoming more flexible, more potent. TV advertising nearly always bests other channels in terms of reach, in part because the quality of viewership and rate of ad completion is higher. Thus, leveraging TV data for targeted campaigns is a game changer.

We’re only at the beginning of this new advanced TV advertising era, which is finally offering the kind of targeting and measurement that brands and marketers have often cited as necessary. The future is bright.

1 comment about "The Future Of Legacy TV Advertising: Audience Targeted, Data-Driven Campaigns".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 9, 2018 at 8:53 a.m.

    One thing I agree with in this opinion piece is stated in the second to last line, "We are only at the beginning of this new advanced TV advertising era----".

    The plain truth is that not all TV advertisers are fixated exclusively on better targeting nor does higher CPM "advanced TV"----even if its flaws are remedied---- make sense for many commodity and mass usage products. Also, the sellers in TV are fully in charge and few of them will allow their wares to be cherry picked by targeting obsessed time buyers without significantly raising prices on their "goodies" or forcing the buyers to accept the good, the bad and the ugly in lower CPM, bundled packages. Last, but not least---when will advertisers allow their brands to make their own media decisions as opposed to being forced to participate in "corporate" buys whose focus is mainly on CPMs?

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