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The New Paradigm for TV Advertising: Outcomes, Not Reach

September 26th, 2019   ||    by Gary Milner

I recently attended the Cynopsis That Big TV Conference and two common things were discussed: data-driven TV advertising and TV advertising driving outcomes.

But wait a minute, hasn’t the TV ad business always measured outcomes?

Well, yes, but things are changing. The traditional broadcast TV buy was on a reach/frequency model accompanied by a measurement in brand awareness, preference and likelihood to purchase. Spend enough money and for sure you will see a definable lift in sales.

Then along came the digital cookie monster who not only ate a whole lot of the ad business revenue growth, because of measurability and speed, it also caused the emergence of streaming TV (OTT), initiated by Netflix, followed by Amazon and Hulu and Sling and now joined by a plethora of other services in the next 18 months like Disney+, Apple+ and Peacock. Because of this, more people will likely leave the traditional broadcast service and watch TV in a new way. This point was recently evident at the Emmys where streaming TV dramas and comedies led the pack while live sports, live and reality were kept on broadcast (for now).

Let’s be clear there is no discussion on the effectiveness of a TV ad with its full-screen beauty, sound and ability to reach a lot of people. It’s effective.

But, if you spend your money (more and more of it) to reach a shrinking audience and hit them more often, that’s a definition of insanity.

So, brand marketers have asked the questions:

  • How do I measure my TV buy differently, how do I measure outcomes?
  • How do I get the same speed of measurement, accessibility, accuracy and transparency (well maybe), that I get on digital?
  • How do I balance measuring my traditional TV buy with the new emergent digital OTT channels as that scales?

The TV industry is late to the game

It’s now racing to catch up by introducing real-time, hyper-local and fully transparent TV measurement. Among other things, this will require doing away with the archaic GRP industry standard and replacing backlogged, manual data gathering methods with a technology-driven approach.

There is now a myriad of emergent solutions that are changing TV measurement all appearing at a TV conference near you. Most are now using brands first-party data to better measure outcomes.

Here are some examples that were discussed at the Cynopsis show:

  •  TV Squared – can provide the ability to measure and optimize response across linear TV, VOD and OTT.  Did you reach the right audience, and did they visit your site, store, app, buy or respond via text? A local auto dealer in Florida wanted to know if its local  TV buy was effective and how it could be adapted. An 18% increase in web site visits was driven within 30 minutes of spots airing by allowing data to drive more day parting of the buy.
  • SpotX and Cadent recently linked up to provide a unified measurement view of TV across addressable linear TV and OTT. The focus is on enabling inventory owners to surface their addressable linear and time-shifted inventory from multiple platforms, making it available to the demand-side to transact programmatically. By bringing digital planning and execution capability to target campaigns across all forms of premium TV, including set-top boxes, buying and executing addressable campaigns across multiple platforms is far more efficient. About three-quarters of U.S. TV households are now enabled for addressable ads, but only one-eighth of that inventory has been made available to buyers.
  • Roku and Innovid announced measurement across linear TV and the Roku platform, creating an analytics system that measures demographic reach and frequency on an ad campaign run across the Roku platform and linear TV.

“More than half of Roku’s audience are cord-cutters,” said Alison Levin, VP, ad sales and strategy at Roku. “As marketers follow viewers from linear TV to OTT, they need tools to evaluate audience overlap and incremental reach across screens and suppliers.”

Are you a retail store running TV advertising, of course, you’re measuring reach and frequency (well maybe!) and uplift in sales. Want to know if it’s driving the funnel but you may not be converting or link it to a mobile campaign? There is technology out there to make this possible.

The reality is that the tornado of change that has been happening in the digital media business is now in the TV business. TV is still great for marketing but digital is changing the delivery and watching of the medium. Now the measurement is changing.

Even local TV advertising is joining the digital journey. Videa recently announced API’s to help the automation of the business and create the speed and measurement abilities available in emergent TV.

I coined the phrase “TV Apocalypse” two years ago to describe the changing business. Apocalyptic only applies to the media ostriches.

Enjoy the journey.

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