Looking back less than a decade ago, TV advertising meant buying a spot within a certain program and hoping your target audience was tuning in. Today, that has shifted completely to where advertisers can reach specific audiences wherever they’re watching.
That’s all thanks to data and the audience solutions afforded by the convergence of digital and TV. TV is well on its way to becoming a data-rich ecosystem, which is unlocking new measurement attribution and targeting opportunities.
How to make the best use of data to find your audience
Developing a TV strategy really boils down to two questions: who do you want to reach and what do you want to accomplish? To answer that, brands are tapping into the vast amount of available data to define and find their audiences.
Speaking on a panel I joined during TVSquared’s “TV Transformed” event, Aimee Irwin, VP of Strategy and Partnerships at Experian, said, “First-party data is critical to understanding customers and one thing that we see is that as you look across different verticals, there’s varying levels of that first-party data.” For example, retailers often have a lot of touchpoints with consumers, and thus a lot of first-party data, whereas an auto manufacturer has fewer consumer touchpoints and much less first-party data.
To create a 360-view of your customer, you need to connect your first-party data with other sources, such as third-party data sets. This leads to improved targeting, measurement, and optimization.
Ocean Fine, Vice President of Sales and Demand at Foursquare, agrees that using other types of data to fill the gaps outside of first-party data is key. “That’s something we find location data can do so well,” she said. “How you move through the world, especially now that people are re-entering the world and going back to old habits or creating new habits based off of what they’ve learned during the pandemic, there’s so much you can learn with other types of data.”
We’re also seeing that as more advertisers bring first-party data into the fold, they’re recognizing the efficiencies and scale they can gain by having a supply-side data strategy. The vast majority of premium video inventory is transacted in private executions, making it challenging for buyers to gain visibility into where their audiences are matching.
Bringing your data to the supply side gives you a clearer picture of what inventory is matching, which provides more insights into forecasting and planning. Media owners benefit as well as this removes the requirements of sending identifiers out in the bidstream, giving them the control they need to preserve privacy and ensure that data stays safe in their environment.
Why overcoming fragmentation is key to driving efficiency
One of the challenges to solve in the data-driven, advanced TV ecosystem is fragmentation. “Consumers are fragmenting across platforms, they’re consuming video in so many different ways that it’s been a challenge for marketers to target and measure across all those different platforms,” said Aimee.
Brands are focusing on how to reach their audiences across platforms and evolving their strategies to new environments, including CTV and addressable linear TV. Adding data to the mix of course adds complexity.
It’s key to work with partners and data providers that truly understand the nuances of different data sets and how to connect data to all the different video environments and devices to form a cohesive strategy.
What’s next in TV’s shift to a data-rich ecosystem
We’re already seeing more and more data become available. Now, with the loss of identifiers and the death of third-party cookies, we need to find ways for brands and media owners to better collaborate with data, but in a way where neither party is becoming more data-rich from that transaction.
Data clean rooms are one potential solution for this, and we’re also going to see more direct collaboration between advertisers and media owners around how they incorporate first-party data into transactions.
The influx of data changes measurement, too, enabling a more omnichannel approach. TV isn’t just about broad reach anymore, as advertisers can look at more granular outcomes. “You can use the same measuring stick that you’re looking at across all of your digital campaigns or social campaigns or out-of-home campaigns on TV as well,” said Ocean.
Data changes the pace of decision-making and allows brands to optimize campaigns as they run. This new dynamic of testing and learning trickles down and changes how advertisers operate, Ocean added. Creative may be changed mid-flight to optimize a campaign, which means advertisers are going to reconsider how they film a spot. Some are even focusing more on animation, which is easier to swap out on the fly.
TV is a data-rich ecosystem that affords advertisers the ability to activate audiences with digital-like pace and targeting capabilities. There are a lot of opportunities ahead. As Bob Ivins, Chief Strategy Officer at TVSquared and host of the panel, put it, “There’s never been a better time to be in TV than now.”
Watch the full discussion here: TV’s Shift to Becoming a Data-Rich Ecosystem