TVSquared’s vice president of enterprise accounts, Hanna Gryncwajg, is a media expert with experience that spans linear and advanced TV, OTT, digital, and programmatic sales. For her, the pandemic “has put an even stronger spotlight on the importance of speed and agility for advertisers. Those that react quickly — in smart, strategic ways — survive and thrive.”
Here are her thoughts about where we are and where we are going.
Interview has been edited and condensed.
Charlene Weisler:How has your job changed since the pandemic started?
Hanna Gryncwajg: At TVSquared, my job is primarily working with MVPDs and media owners, providing them with attribution and measurement tools for their advertisers. While the sell side was certainly in the midst of change, moving toward more transparency, accountability and outcomes, the pandemic has accelerated it.
They are even more hyper-focused on providing their advertisers with proof of performance and the data-backed insights needed to reach audiences whose viewing habits and patterns are changing constantly.
Brands want to be able to dynamically manage and optimize linear and OTT campaigns (like they do with digital), and MVPDs and media owners are adapting to that demand quickly.
Weisler: What are you able to tell advertisers and clients regarding their flights during the pandemic?
Gryncwajg: TVSquared is a single, unified platform that measures outcomes, impressions, reach, frequency and reach extension across linear and digital TV anywhere in the world.
During the pandemic or not, we’re able to tell our clients [about] optimal campaign delivery, reach and frequency. They get granular performance analytics by creative, day, daypart, channel, program and genres – with insights down to the DMA an ZIP code levels. They understand the immediate, longer-term and household-level impact of TV, and can uncover unique reach across OTT, as well as incremental reach vs. linear.
Weisler: In those industries where product sells itself — like hand sanitizer — why should advertisers continue to advertise? What is the right mix during these times?
Gryncwajg:It’s about adapting your creatives to be situationally aware and then testing and learning. There are products that are much more in-demand now than ever before.
But there’s still competition, and consumers have many options. At the start of lockdown, we saw many clients go off-air for a week to adapt their creatives to address the pandemic in some form or another. They then were right back on a few days later.
The right mix is 100% dependent on the brand. What works for one, isn’t necessarily going to work for another. Once a brand is on-air, it’s so critical to test and learn – see how new buys, timeslots, OTT/linear mixes, etc. are impacting the bottom line. And then use everything you learned to inform your next flight.
Viewing patterns and audiences are always going to be shifting, so constant measurement and then acting fast to make those learnings actionable are very important.
Weisler: Categories that are hurting, like hospitality — should they continue to advertise?
Gryncwajg: One of our biggest pieces of advice for advertisers is not to go dark. The damage we’ve seen from brands going off air, and essentially relinquishing their share of voice to competitors, is hard to come back from.
It’s about finding the right messaging and staying on-air. Consumers are not necessarily buying cars or booking vacations at the moment, but you still see auto and travel brands on-air to maintain brand awareness.
Their creatives aren’t about direct selling at the moment, but they are still staying in front of consumers so when the time comes to purchase a new car and book a holiday, they are top of mind.
Weisler: As states open up, are you seeing a shift in the business? Are KPIs changing?
Gryncwajg: The KPIs we measure for our thousands of advertisers are unique to each advertiser, so it’s hard to generalize. I will say that some of the brands that were on-air to maintain awareness have been slowly shifting back to more performance-based KPIs as things get back to normal (or as normal as things can be now).
We’re also seeing verticals like travel, real estate and auto start to increase their presence across linear and OTT. While they never went dark, they are starting to show patterns of returning to pre-COVID schedules.
Weisler: What types of platforms are working best overall at this time for advertisers, and why?
Gryncwajg: TVSquared has been growing steadily since its start, but the last few months have been extremely busy. Advertisers need to know that every dollar in their ad budgets are working, so cross-platform attribution that generates real-time insights has climbed to the top of many priority lists.
Weisler: Give us an overview on a global level on the state of advertising — maybe comparing countries?
Gryncwajg: We have hundreds of clients that run campaigns in 20 countries or more. Understanding each country’s culture and media nuances are key to communicating in a way that is respectful, engaging and will drive response.