As the worlds of live TV and digital advertising continue to converge, advertisers, agencies, and media buyers are being besieged by unfamiliar acronyms. Traditional media buyers, who have looked at the world through the lens of GRPs on linear TV for decades, now must deal with new types of inventory with fluid definitions such as VOD, OTT, CTV, and FEP. Not to mention the new types of currencies that they’re now being exposed to: CPV, VCPM, CPCV, and CPAs. Moreover, consumers are looking for consistent messaging across channels — whether that be on their desktop, mobile device, or connected TV. Illustrative of these shifting dynamics, two major TV media companies shook up their management teams in the last few months — both Fox and Comcast promoted individuals with advanced advertising or digital backgrounds to head their general ad sales teams. As the line continues to blur between traditional and digital TV, media buyers and sellers are recognizing that audience data, both at the personal level and across devices, will determine the path of television for the next decade. And although some terminology may sound a bit like alphabet soup at first, it doesn’t need to be that hard for those seeking an audience-based approach to TV media buying. Here’s a few key takeaways for marketers and advertisers seeking to work with TV and data in 2017 and beyond.
Advanced TV buying is here today, and it doesn’t need to be a daunting new channel for buyers to learn. The advantages of Advanced TV buying are simple, and they reflect many of the same benefits offered by existing digital advertising. In fact, many of the providers that are leading the pack in digital also offer TV solutions. This is even evident within our own walls, with Adobe Advertising Cloud making video inventory available across digital channels, as well as OTT and linear platforms.
Key Takeaway #1: Use digital learnings to more effectively leverage data in TV buy.
Our clients have used data to make more efficient media purchases in digital for years. Using a strong core of first-party data, brands can more easily personalize messages for consumers, limit the number of times they see a message, and suppress messages if they’ve already converted. This first-party data, combined with third-party data becomes a very powerful tool.
The amount of data available for TV grows exponentially. Relatively recently, connected devices, MVPDs, channel guide companies, set top box owners, aggregators (like FourthWall), and TV manufacturers have started to capture viewership data in a privacy friendly and scalable way. Advertisers can use this data, in conjunction with their existing data assets, to create plans, find deeper insights, and better understand the path to purchase with all of their buy considered. While similar to addressable advertising in concept, Advanced TV instead uses data to make traditional live linear TV buying more targeted, and does not require working with a MVPD, or dynamic ad insertion. Advanced TV, like digital advertising, emphasizes audience over the environment and content associated with the ad inventory.
Key Takeaway #2: The confluence of video formats makes data more important than ever.
OTT, or “Over-The-Top,” is a term used to define any TV or video content that is delivered via the internet, rather than though a tradition cable or satellite subscription. Through this definition, Connected TV (CTV), Full Episode Players (FEP), and Video on Demand (VOD) are sometimes considered sub-categories of OTT.
It is through both OTT and Advanced TV that data becomes relevant for national TV advertisers. Having TV delivered over IP enabled devices means that advertisers and marketers can more easily connect the dots between online and TV viewership behaviors. As the screens that viewers typically use to watch TV have shifted to mobile devices, laptops and TV connected devices, the door has been opened for marketers and advertisers to use linked digital data to help them plan, buy, and measure their TV buys. First-party data from web analytics, second-party data from co-op partnerships, and third-party syndicated data can now be linked to live, linear viewership by matching through the IP, thereby keeping the data PII compliant and analogous to current digital targeting methods.
Key Takeaway #3: Anonymous, cross-channel messaging is just as important in TV as it is in digital.
One of the first lessons learned in digital was to design solutions with privacy in mind. Organizations like the DAA and NAI govern online practices of what data can be captured, and how it can be used. Prior to the creation of these guidelines, it was the wild west of digital privacy. Like these early days of digital, TV data collection is just now being formalized, and the guardrails are being placed. One of the best practices that we encourage our partners to follow is to have an opt-in consent for consumers. Any different way of interacting with a technology partner can be confusing or scary for consumers. With opt-in consent, we give them the power to decide where and how their data is shared.
Opt-in consent is only one of the levers that we’re using for a better consumer experience. Through Adobe’s DMP, Audience Manager, we can anonymously link consumers across their multiple connected devices. This allows brands to provide consumers with the right message, at the right time, and at the right frequency — a practice that we take for granted in digital, but that is just establishing itself in Advanced TV.
Through this transparent exchange of anonymous data elements, both parties benefit from an improved experience. Consumers receive personalized content, discounted product offers, and streamlined user experiences. Similarly, brands receive vital revenue streams supporting multiple online business models. Together, the two approaches to data collection — in TV and digital – pave a path for Adobe to be a leader in providing advertisers and marketers with clear understandings of the privacy of first-, second-, and third-party data — no matter the source.
Key Takeaway #4: Data provides new opportunities for TV media attribution cross-platform targeting.
Through the linkage of digital data to TV viewership data, the current use cases enabled by data-driven TV have exploded. Let’s run through a hypothetical example:
You’re an automotive advertiser with a website, mobile app, and online store. Using Advanced TV and Adobe Audience Manager together, you could prove website lift, measure app installs after exposure to ads, and integrate TV into your path of purchase measurement methodology. By partnering with Adobe and a third-party offline measurement provider, you could even do true offline sales attribution and measurement in a way that is similar to how you run digital studies. Speaking of digital, let’s say you are also a big digital video spender. Advanced TV would allow you to retarget a user that saw an ad on TV in a full episode player environment online, or vice versa. Finally, controlling frequency across devices and TV is no longer a pipe dream — you can do it in platform.
Through these four key takeaways, we hope that you’re encouraged by the similarities between your existing digital media campaigns, and the possibilities now available on TV. Every day we are moving closer and closer to a fully cross-channel, data-driven experience for customers and brands. And consequently, creating a more relevant advertising experience for consumers. From where we sit, that’s a good thing for everyone involved.