Unlocking the Real Potential of Sight, Sound, and Motion: Marketer’s Guide to Advanced TV

Jay Prasad, Chief Strategy Officer of VideoAmp offers up his insights to marketers on how best to navigate the world of advanced TV, creating the customer journey across TV, OTT, digital devices and then back to TV before a consumer’s purchase

Some would argue that the opportunity to market to a sizable group of like-minded consumers no longer exists. People have changed, they aren’t routinely gathering in the proverbial town square or living room to be informed, entertained or persuaded.  The fragmented media landscape coupled with myriad devices has made ensuring a large and relevant audience has had an opportunity to view an advertiser’s message, let alone make any impact on that audience, an increasingly challenging task.  Nowhere is this more apparent than an advertiser’s go to source for effective reach – the TV and video marketplaces.

While consumers are steadily increasing the percentage of their time watching both live content and on demand options, gathering enough reach and frequency to make a difference is akin to pulling together a jigsaw puzzle of devices, vendors, channels, content and data.  

With the marketing and tech worlds consistently innovating better, faster and additional solutions to throw on the “tech pile” and cobbling together, a dizzying array of specific SaaS point solutions combined with the traditional, and very manual procedures of the upfront and secondary markets creates large blind spots in the key task of a marketing department – to own, manage and optimize the customer journey.

Should TV be bought just like digital?

Enter Advanced TV, the full digitization of the TV/Video transmission and processing infrastructure. Which has already given consumers the power over how, when and what content they watch, while simultaneously giving content owners the ability to distribute a single piece of content in multiple directions across devices with little overhead.  

Advanced TV is not a new concept, however, the adoption of the principles of a single marketplace to buy and sell viewing audiences despite device, content owner, time, place, etc.; that also happen to include more than repackaged remnant digital inventory, is a new and exciting thing.

Big Budgets, Big Measurement and Big Data

Per eMarketer, “digital” media (mobile, display, social, email, search…) today represents a bigger chunk of the overall marketing pie, approximately 38.4% to TV at 35.8%. That gap is anticipated to grow wider over the next three years with digital growing to a 10-point margin. The key difference between the technology decision factors a marketer uses today versus tomorrow lies at the intersection of three interconnected ripple effects of Advanced TV.

  1. Data-Driven Media Doubles: When the total percentage of the budget that is bought through a data driven marketplace doubles to become near 75% of the total market spent, the amount of scrutiny into the gaps of the “tech pile” will skyrocket.
  2. The Quantity of Relevant Data Triples: After scrutiny increases and that much activity is being monitored, increasingly huge amounts of relevant behavior data will be infused into the process from all parts of the customer journey.
  3. ROI Accuracy Increases:  Today most TV and video is labeled effective or not effective based on simple delivery metrics. As in, did the intended audience have a high probability of seeing the ad? If the answer is yes, then job well done. After the previous two effects are on the rise, the existing measures of delivery monitoring will not be considered enough to justify the decisions made on the budget and a truer ROI based on audience impact will be examined more routinely.

The current state and infrastructure of most demand-side and buy-side platforms aren’t set up to easily or effectively parse this many sources or amount of data at the speed needed, to help advertisers make quick or automated decisions on their overall video budgets.

Secure, Agnostic and “Explore-able”

Though data silos their hopeful destruction have been talked about for years, nonetheless they seem to be as indestructible as cockroaches . As Advanced TV buying becomes more mainstream more and more data types will become increasingly relevant for targeting, segmentation and other insight recognition tasks. To be as accurate as possible in determining the outcomes for such a large percentage of the overall budget, marketers should ensure that their planning and buying solution for Advanced TV is ready for these challenges. Short of an embedded artificial intelligent analyzer to guide in execution, common abilities should include safely sharing sensitive customer information, quickly adding new data sets and having the flexibility to “mix and mash”. Thus, giving any marketer the ability to casually view possible predicted outcomes of various data sources and types overall effect on their planning decisions. Systems that seem to take forever to onboard new data or need 24 hours to run simple queries are good signs that the tool you are using, isn’t advanced enough to handle Advanced TV.   

Access all the whole video marketplace  

The beautiful thing about Advanced TV, is that if video content exists to place advertising around, then it’s accessible by a single transaction – i.e. spot, national, OTT, remnant, upfronts, scatter, linear, digital… all of it becomes consolidated, a single total video market. For now, content owners haven’t completely wrapped their heads around that concept, but as each day passes the market moves closer. According to eMarketer, in 2016 the media purchased via the data-driven TV market was about $3 billion or roughly about 4% of the total spent on TV in the U.S. However, in just 3 years that number is expected to skyrocket 1,250% to represent about 50% of the market in 2020, and that is a conservative estimate. However, all the numbers change drastically when you look at how much of the market is heavily influenced by programmatic data analysis. While accessing the total video market to directly purchase inventory is not yet available, any decent Advanced TV platform should be able to aid in optimally matching ad space (bought via upfronts and other laggard areas) with various products, message content and most profitable viewing audiences.

Precision targeting, frequency monitoring, learned optimization patterns and fraud-free viewability are some of the key components that makes it easy to piece together an optimal media path moving fluidly with the customer journey across TV, OTT, digital devices and then back to TV before purchase.

All the while giving content owners the knowledge of what marketers and consumers are truly interested in.  Delivering real value – matching highly sought-after viewer personas with the content that they are interested in.

All signs are there that in 2017 marketing organizations will be a bit more cautious in which technology they get in bed with. More due diligence and more scrutiny will be present more often. Given the overall impact at stake, a technology solution for marketers to take full advantage of the Advanced TV revolution shouldn’t be selected with any less discretion .

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