Video Essentials

Embrace Experimentation During Addressable TV’s Early Days

For brands that aren’t sure yet how addressable TV advertising fits in with their current plans, or what companies they should be working with, that’s okay. This is still the experimentation phase. Think baby steps and embrace experimentation, because lessons learned now will pay off big in the near future.

Embrace Experimentation

Amy Leifer of Xandr, Brett Hurwitz of Oath, and Kevin Arrix of Dish Network at TV of Tomorrow 2018.

“It’s important for us all to embrace addressable advertising and learn how to apply it,” said Brett Hurwitz, business lead for advanced TV at Oath, speaking at today’s TV of Tomorrow conference in New York City. As consumer viewing habits evolve, more viewing will move to addressable platforms. While some brands will stay on the sidelines and stick with linear, everyone else would be foolish to ignore what’s coming.

Addressable ad networks are getting sophisticated in how they work with data, and most can use whatever data the advertiser brings them. Advertisers are able to use the same data sets across platforms, as tools have been written to work with any data source. Advertisers can also work with third-party vendors that create reports comparing results across platforms.

Marketers need to tread carefully around issues of privacy, however, as targeted ads can easily give consumers a case of the creeps. Be proactively diligent about the use of data, and learn when targeting is and isn’t allowed. “It’s a really a critical area I believe we’re all acutely aware of,” Hurwitz said.

“The addressable marketplace will continue to grow because it works,” stated Amy Leifer, vice president of sales planning and operations at Xandr, speaking on the same addressable advertising panel. Testing over the last seven years with thousands of brands has verified that it leads to better outcomes. “It works regardless of what vertical you talk about.”

Addressable is about buying a target viewer, not a viewing context. “I’m not going to judge you for what you’re watching,” Leifer joked. While the area might seem complicated, she emphasized that companies like hers have data experts in house to connect brands with their target audience.

“It’s just beginning. You need to embrace it, said Kevin Arrix, senior vice president of Dish Media for Dish Network. Go in with clear KPIs and understand what you’re trying to solve for and who you’re trying to reach, he added. Embrace experimentation.

“The point of it is to sell more stuff, period,” said Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), during a discussion of audience measurement. Buying addressable ads means looking at the data and buying a target audience. The ratings of the program don’t factor in. Established brands are finding their audience is being carved out from underneath them by young and agile brands that understand how to use data to pursue their targeted audience. There isn’t anyone at an established brand that hasn’t been schooled by a new player, he noted. “How do you mobilize customers?” That’s the question brands need to ask.

In the year ahead, Cunningham sees full funnel attribution taking hold, providing the verification that brands want t every stage of the buying cycle. This will provide a stronger link between ad investment and outcome.


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