This week, we welcome back Steven Wolfe Pereira, VP, Brand Strategy and Marketing Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud to discuss TV’s trajectory in the industry and its impact on marketers.
In Wolfe-Pereira’s first installment, we established that the death of traditional TV is actually great for consumers (be sure to catch part one, "The Death of TV?" on our blog). This week, Wolfe-Pereira answers the question, “Is this modern age of media still great if you’re an advertiser?”
The short answer is “not yet.”
Innovations and technology advances have largely been on the consumer-side. If you’re an advertiser, you might still be using tools from the first golden age of TV back in the 1960’s. The real tipping point will be when you see technology permeate the TV business at scale, when the “traditional” TV networks fully embrace the data-driven, “addressable” world. And that’s when it gets real interesting for advertisers.
If consumers can have their content on demand, why can’t advertisers have their audiences on demand?
The digital media industry has been eyeing TV ad dollars for years, but it’s only recently that they have started making serious inroads into taking share. At stake is nothing short of the $71.1 billion in the US TV ad market (that’s as of 2015, it’s estimated to grow to $81 billion by 2019 according to PwC).
With leading platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter and emerging ones like Instagram, Vine, Periscope and Snapchat, digital media companies are increasingly touting their video capabilities. More importantly, they are pitching their competitive advantages over traditional media – their data-driven “addressable” capabilities ranging from audience targeting to sales measurement.
Don’t count the traditional TV Networks out just yet, though.
From NBC Universal to Turner to Viacom, TV Networks are revamping their business to get ready for the data-driven era of television. The first step was to break down the silos in Ad Sales. Many are now bringing broadcast, cable and digital sales teams together. These teams are no longer organized by network, but by the audiences that marketers intend to target. NBC Universal and Turner have done this, to name two.
This change acknowledges the dramatic shift in how consumers are viewing as well as how advertisers are marketing to them. In digital we’ve witnessed a broad shift from media planning to audience planning and it’s only a matter of time before this thinking dominates TV as well.
Audience planning is the practice of defining your target audience first, then finding them wherever they consume content.
This audience-planning approach places the consumer at the center of your planning process. These new network sales organizations will be better able to meet the needs of advertisers taking an audience-based approach.
The next step in the networks’ data-driven transformation was offering true audience-first products. Networks began replacing traditional demo guarantees for a portion of their inventory with audience-based guarantees similar to what we see in digital advertising.
At its May 2015 Upfront, Turner Broadcasting’s President of Ad Sales, Donna Speciale, introduced Turner’s “Audience Now” product. Audience Now allows advertisers to target viewers regardless of daypart.
“In this new world, dayparts are dead,” said Speciale. “These are pure audience-based guarantees for television, just like you get in digital.”
While it’s still early days, this is an important first step toward more robust audience targeting in TV.
We all know there are tremendous amounts of 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data that could inform TV spend, but connecting the dots between individuals, insights and impressions can be incredibly challenging – especially in TV.
The team here at Oracle Data Cloud is well aware of these challenges, and has been working on addressability for years – mostly in the digital media arena. Through the Oracle ID Graph™, we’ve been able to help marketers connect identities across disparate marketing channels and devices to one customer.
While we’ve connected most digital channels including mobile, social, display, search and online video, we’re hard at work on a major initiative to bring TV into the Oracle ID Graph™ and help connect IDs across all addressable media.
For example, by mapping the relationships between people and set-top-boxes, solutions like the Oracle ID Graph™ can make the rich targeting data available in digital also actionable in TV. Solutions like Turner’s Audience Now product are laying the groundwork for a more sophisticated audience-first approach to TV advertising.
The third step in the networks’ evolution has been introducing increased accountability through advanced measurement. Companies like Viacom have been hiring data scientists to collect various streams of information — set-top box viewership, mobile-location information, consumer-purchase patterns and more — and then interpret them to help clients measure and optimize advertising buys.
After decades of approximating the sales impact of TV buys, advancement in TV measurement tops the list of advertiser priorities.
The good news is they may soon get exactly what they desire. Oracle Data Cloud’s digital measurement solutions connect online ad exposures to offline purchases to determine the sales lift of a campaign.
We have been working with select brands to bring this powerful capability to TV. The solution will give advertisers a definitive view of TV’s return on ad spend for the first time ever. This type of measurement would be exciting for any marketer, but for verticals like CPG and Auto that rely heavily on TV and offline sales it’s potentially game changing.
Long Live TV!
While mobile may now be “the first screen,” TV is still incredibly relevant and important to brands. As long as advertisers are looking to reach and engage audiences, TV will be the preferred sight, sound & motion experience.
The real question is can the business of TV embrace, adapt and implement the new technologies that today’s advertisers are demanding. The breadth of audience targeting and measurement tools that exist today in digital media continue to get better and better. Traditional TV now has an incredible opportunity. It already has the content and the audience. By applying data-driven technologies to its offerings, TV will ensure that it will live well into the foreseeable future.
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Photo: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock