By Jeff Collins, Chief Revenue Officer at Viant, a Meredith-owned advertising technology company
To hear many in the advertising and media industries tell it, this is the Golden Age of video. Consumers can watch their favorite content, anytime, anywhere. Creators can produce and distribute short or long-form content on just about any topic and stream it across any platform. And advertisers can target consumers across devices throughout this blossoming video-rich landscape.
There’s only one problem with this picture; it’s distorted. Although digital channels have provided endless opportunities to distribute and watch video content, many advertisers are still learning to integrate the biggest screen of all—television—in their cross-screen media plans.
Even these days, when the latest rise or fall in price of Bitcoin is much more likely to grab headlines than NBC’s Thursday night line-up, TV still rules … if in a different way. eMarketer’s report “US Time Spent with Media: eMarketer’s Updated Estimates for 2017” looks at changing patterns in media consumption among U.S adults, revealing that despite the rise of digital mediums, TV is projected to account for 3 hours, 58 minutes of daily time in 2017 and will remain the most time-consuming traditional medium. With a growing number of digital channels people are consuming more media in general across mobile, desktop and other connected devices as well as TV, radio and print. In 2017, the average US adult was projected to spend an additional 2 minutes per day with media over figures from 2016, and 24 minutes more than was spent in 2012. People are watching – just not in the same places.
The TV and video media landscape is consolidating, and with that, the demand for advanced targeting and measurement capabilities across both TV and digital continues to increase. The barriers that have kept TV buying from becoming more data-driven are slowly being taken down as marketers make programmatic buys on OTT properties such as HULU and are even starting to use data to buy advertising on linear TV.
For example, Comcast’s NBC Universal went into their 2017 upfront marketplace pledging that $1 billion of its upfront inventory would be sold using its Audience Targeting Platform (ATP), which combines set-top box data with third party sources. When the Upfronts were done, NBC reportedly pulled in $8.5 billion, meaning that about 12 percent of inventory was based off ATP data instead of Nielsen demos.
Additionally, Viacom, Turner and 21st Century Fox have also made headway when they launched Open AP, a platform that standardizes data across their media properties to create more specific targets. Open AP doesn’t include buying capabilities, but it’s still a step toward enabling buyers to buy the more tightly defined audiences they’ve become accustomed to in digital.
Despite these initiatives, the major players are still relying on heavily modeled audiences and proxies, resulting in advertisers not getting a clear picture of their reach or the actual impact of their ads. The next step is developing a holistic view of the consumer across all of the platforms and devices where they are consuming media. To do this though, marketers need to overcome the challenges with duplication and overlap between different video sources like TV, online platforms, and over-the-top (OTT).
Moreover, advertisers need one consistent metric for targeting and measurement. With deterministic data, you can paint an even more complete picture by tying those viewing habits to desktop/mobile activities, and in-store purchases to effectively measure cross-screen and consequently, the ROI of your advertising efforts.
On the targeting side, this means delivering highly targeted campaigns driven by TV viewership data, consumer’s purchase behavior, and cross device media consumption.
While we’ve seen networks make a big shift from more demographic-based targeting to audience-based targeting, the next evolution will be moving from indexing of TV programming to true addressable people-level targeting.
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And on the measurement side, it’s getting a comprehensive view of your marketing efforts across all of your advertising channels. More than ever, CMOs today have to drive marketing initiatives that push the top-line revenue growth for their organization, and the only way to do this is by measuring the efficacy of their marketing against results, not proxies.
As a marketer, your success comes down to people-based targeting and measurement, and evolving your TV to digital strategy will let you get with the—ahem—program.