By Danielle Seth, VP Sales Strategy, Ampersand
Advertising Week: A couple of days to connect, reflect and predict the future of the advertising industry under the warmth of the fall New York sun, at its new home in Hudson Yards (or for me and many others, virtually). This year’s conversations reflected the momentum behind the convergence of TV and digital, and most speakers agreed “It’s All TV.” Certainly, challenges were acknowledged, but with significant advancements in data, technology and scaling inventory, the indelible takeaway was that today, there are real solutions to harmonize the fragmented space. As we head into 2022, let’s focus on a few specific areas that need to happen to move TV forward.
Today, the adage “don’t let good get in the way of perfection” rings truer than ever. The industry has produced solutions to move TV to an audience-first approach, with planning tools that can find audiences using superior, deterministic methodologies. TV has converged with digital-like campaign measurement and full funnel outcome-based insights are available across nearly all varieties of TV campaigns. Whether the TV tactic is local, national or addressable, TV has audience-based planning and accountability measurement covered. Admittedly, some solutions are more robust than others, but TV has met its moment to reach audiences beyond age/gender and prove campaign accountability. Now, as the industry has gained experience with more advanced TV measurement, no one doubts the power it provides, with its ability to connect with consumers through premium quality, brand safe content, achieve massive reach and drive behavioral outcome-based results.
A fundamental challenge for cross-screen TV buying is the transaction metric. The industry must complete its shift to impressions as currency. Not only does this move provide more accurate measurement, supported by census level data, but it will also serve as the backbone for an efficiently stewarded audience-based, cross-screen marketplace. Additionally, the industry has acknowledged that traditional currency measurement is failing and is aggressively approaching alternative solutions. These solutions will move the industry beyond ratings and impressions to a combination of currencies supported by audience measurement, verification services and outcomes. While there’s ongoing work needed to solve for next generation currency, scalable measurement solutions exist today from companies like Ampersand. Ampersand reaches 80 million households and provides planning and measurement insights via its AND platform on 42 million households. The AND platform leverages aggregated deterministic viewership insights and reports granular audience reach, frequency and outcome-based results for local, national, and addressable campaigns. Ampersand does not suggest that the industry move to transacting on these insights as currency, but rather leverage them for future TV optimizations that drive more efficient audience reach at effective frequency levels.
A cross-screen TV approach is the only strategy that ensures advertisers are fully reaching their target audience without excessive frequency. However, de-duplicating these metrics across the fragmented TV ecosystem presents another challenge. In a recent study produced by TVSquared, 86% of respondents agreed that achieving cross-screen TV measurement is a top priority. It’s one thing to de-duplicate metrics with one media provider’s ecosystem alone, but entirely another thing when requiring insights to summarize the entirety of a TV investment. The buy side and sell side, supported by emerging technology and measurement solutions, are all rising to the challenge, with many new platform and partnership solutions announced this year. Ampersand’s response to the cross-screen de-duplication challenge is to offer clients Total TV Measurement to help plan, buy and evaluate cross-screen campaigns – regardless if the campaigns were even sold by Ampersand. This measurement solution gives advertisers and agencies the ability to unify the measurement of audience-based media delivery across all of their TV investments – including network, spot, addressable and streaming. As a result, clients can holistically understand whether their target audience is underserved or overserved and optimize media allocation with the goal of uncovering new reach opportunities across the full breadth of their network, cable and addressable campaigns.
For cross-screen targeting and measurement to work at scale with consistency and speed, the most common buzzwords of late are “interoperability” and “data collaboration,”… and for good reason. While there is a wide variety of data being used for targeting and measurement, including ad exposure data for optimization, most operations are inefficient and costly. There’s not a single identifier to match data sets and identity resolution requires flexibility. Changes in browser technology, identifier degradation and privacy scrutiny have focused marketers on expanding their first party data strategies.
There is a rapid trend toward new investments in data collaboration, with “clean room” technology backed by flexible identity resolution and media activation as the model. For cross-screen TV to fulfill the “It’s All TV” mantra, advertisers, agencies, data companies and media companies must share and analyze data for identity, audience insights, targeting, activation and measurement in a secure, privacy-friendly manner. Ultimately, new technology and granular data are available to propel meaningful, more effective, consumer privacy protected advertising.
We find ourselves in the fortunate position to collaborate on currency, measurement and data to move TV forward, in a revolutionary way.