Addressable TV is making rapid strides, but still needs to resolve basic issues relating to cost, measurement and limited programmatic buying availability.
Meanwhile, there’s no reason not to keep an eye on the next frontiers.
An extremely promising one is television media companies and their ad-tech partners collaborating with one of the fastest-growing areas of advertising investment: retail media, says Nicolle Pangis, CEO of the Ampersand ad-tech company.
We asked Pangis to share her thoughts on what such partnerships could mean, along with some other observations about addressable.
Why do you see collaborations with retail media as a major opportunity for television operators and advertisers looking to optimize the advantages of addressable targeting?
Pangis: A marriage, or at least courtship, between retail/ecommerce media and advanced television will indeed be the next big frontier in our industry. Retail has great data assets and strong consumer relationships. So do major players in television, along with the consumer engagement and scale that TV offers. With the right agreements and tech collaboration between retailers and advanced TV suppliers — and with consumer experience and privacy at the center — there can be a unique and powerful connection between these two sectors. It’s definitely a space to watch and lean into.
Can you be more specific about what each side would bring to the table?
Pangis: Retailers keenly understand their customers’ brand loyalty and what types of products consumers buy, based on their profiles or personas. Addressable TV can provide information on the type of programming specifically defined consumer groups tend to watch. With that match, retailers can reach their target audiences in a more efficient way than using just programming types or geography. Of course, for some brands, broad marketing will remain a substantial element of the television marketing mix. As it should, to a degree.
How could a combined
retailer/television data set improve consumers’ advertising/marketing experiences? Would combining retailer transactions data with addressable allow more specific, one-on-one offers to TV
Pangis: It certainly could. But as we know, the privacy landscape is changing by the day, with consumers becoming increasingly aware of data misuse, and regulators scrutinizing privacy practices. Retailers’ transactional data can be highly sensitive to privacy concerns, and we are all striving to find the right balance of delivering the more relevant ads desired by consumers without making them feel that their privacy is being violated in any way.
The good news is that there’s a huge opportunity to use clean-room technologies along with the growing number of privacy-compliant identity providers, such as Acxiom, Blockgraph, InfoSum, LiveRamp, M1 and others.
The combination of these environments can provide valuable insights to brands and agencies while helping to respect consumer privacy. Major Identity providers have brought to market or are working on technologies that enable matching that will drive better, privacy-cognizant, consumer experiences: more relevant advertising with better-controlled frequency.
The number of collaborations of this kind now happening across brands, agencies, suppliers and technology providers is very exciting.
This doesn’t mean that we will have no frequency issues in 2023. We will. But as an industry, we will make evolutionary changes and move the ball down the field. Progress is a good thing, even if it isn’t perfection.
This construct will also allow brands to start implementing more advanced, activation-based video advertising. One obvious possibility is QR codes that connect consumers straight to a shopping cart. Product placements within content that are parsed based on consumers’ preferences and interests is another ‘low-hanging fruit’ possibility.
What are the obstacles to forming retailer/TV partnerships at present?
Pangis: Many retailers are still evolving their own media strategies and technology stacks. Until those mature further, we can’t completely accelerate. But it's clearly just a matter of time. In a year or two, we're going to be very well along the path.
Turning to the broader scenario, what is the most fundamental area of focus needed to advance addressable in the year ahead?
Pangis: Collaboration is table stakes to succeed in the media industry today. Walled gardens are not good for the broader industry. Media owners and agencies need to cooperate to develop a set of industry standards, but also to share unique data and insights.
Again, new technologies that enable data collaboration without risk of leakage, and identifiers that protect consumer privacy, create a new opportunity to drive value to consumers, brands and suppliers simultaneously.
But here's another important point: In the new addressable world, every player must bring something of value. Increasingly, those that lack unique assets will struggle.