Data is supposed to make video ad-buying simple, right? You determine the exact audience you want to reach, they buy it on whatever screen you can for the lowest price possible. Simple, right?
While that’s the dream for exchanges, that’s far from the reality for national brands. Speaking today on an NAB 2016 panel called “TV and Video Advertising in Transition,” CBS Interactive chief revenue officer Dave Morris said that when major brands are used to buying prime time ads, they don’t want to hear about using different dayparts to reach target viewers.
In the real world, Morris said, if you go to a marketer and say we’re going to raise your CPM because of advanced data and move your ads to a different daypart, they’re going to say no, thank you. Using data means moving advertisers’ spots to dayparts they don’t normally buy, and most are not open to that. Prime time advertisers need to reach tens of millions of people per night.
Paraphrasing Jack Myers (chairman of marketing intelligence firm MyersBizNet) speaking at last year’s upfront presentations, Morris said that only one percent of today’s TV ad spending relies on data; the rest was sold on standard demographics. That’s something Morris doesn’t see changing much this year. While the networks want data-based targeting so they can get paid for every audience segment they pull in (CBSI offers addressable advertising for digital channels), and clients want to better target their ad dollars, the industry isn’t there yet.
“Measurement on new devices and new channels trails by 12 to18 months,” Morris said, with Nielsen trying to catch up with new platforms. “We’re screaming and yelling for them to measure it.” ComScore and Rentrak coming together was a good thing, he believes, as is increased competition in measurement. “We need more competition and more ways to measure and drive currency.”
The goal for CBSI is the development of a total ratings point, which measures all platforms and includes time-shifting. But that kind of standardization isn’t coming soon. “The data challenge we’re seeing is that everybody’s doing it differently,” Morris said. Advertisers can’t optimize campaigns with the current fragmented system: They can’t take money out of one platform and put it in another because that one is performing better. “What the industry needs is an agnostic platform.” Then, CBSI would be able to appended its own data to that system and drive targeted ad sales.
True addressability on television is coming in five years, Morris believes. “There’s going to be steps along the way where we can do diff things,” he noted. The day is coming when ratings are content agnostic and the goal is reaching targeted demos wherever they are. When that happens, advertisers should want to run there at any price, he said.
“We’re living in different age now where viewership happens across multiple screens, and we have to figure out how to adapt to that,” said Eve Goldman, head of programmatic video and global brand solutions, for Google’s DoubleClick. The challenge now is to take data and build on it to prove results. Data isn’t valuable in and of itself, she said, but only when it can prove an outcome.
Since the NAB conference is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, Morris noted that all CBS programs are advance tested in the network’s facility in the MGM Grand. Las Vegas gives a sampling population no other city can match. “The reason we do it here is this is America,” Morris said.