In 2018, more than 50 percent of marketers are likely to include Advanced TV buys in their schedule. But for many traditional television advertisers, Advanced TV remains a daunting concept. That’s understandable. Advanced TV, as an umbrella term that encompasses everything from data-driven targeting to programmatic placement, is a fast-moving yet nuanced opportunity. (For more background on the market forces driving Advanced TV, as well as the requirements for advertising execution in this realm, check out part 1 and part 2 of this series.)
The good news: although daunting, Advanced TV is anchored in one of marketing’s most mature channels, and most of the tried-and-true best practices of television advertising still apply. In essence, Advanced TV is an innovation built on top of a traditional, linear broadcast model with all the benefits and capabilities of digital.
These days, new technologies and data are available to help planners and buyers improve their TV advertising strategies through audience-based buying and some of the same programmatic tactics leveraged by digital marketers. Advanced TV is comprised of strategies that leverage:
- Workflow automation
- Data and technology
- Advanced targeting and measurement
These tenets are exactly what has fueled the meteoric growth of digital advertising over the last 20 years, and today’s television advertisers are excited to appropriate them to modernize the TV value proposition. It’s time for TV advertisers to put data to use in a way that lets them target their true audiences, not just vague proxies for the real consumers they are trying to reach. That moment is finally here.
Social Data Leads the Way
The most impactful way to implement Advanced TV is to infuse data into the entire linear buying process from the onset, and one of the best sources of insights to inform Advanced TV buys comes in the form of social media engagement data.
These days, brands and agencies have the opportunity to manage their TV initiatives using the same tools available for digital marketers across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter. By leveraging such integrated options, marketers can easily optimize their TV plans for the best networks, programs and dayparts based on relevant social affinities. And the benefits don’t just exist for marketers. TV networks can capture more ad spend by making their inventory available in the ways that digital buyers have become accustomed to. According to research from 4C and Advertiser Perceptions, 84% of marketers say their brand would increase TV spend if same level of accountability, transparency and understanding about the consumer that is available with digital advertising.
Fortunately, this scenario is becoming a reality.
Social data often tells a different story than more traditional sources of intelligence, such as TV ratings. For example, consider some of the takeaways from NBC’s Upfronts this year. Executives at NBC spent a great deal of time touting its classic programming like “Project Runway,” “America’s Got Talent,” and “This is Us.” However, according to 4C data, NBC’s biggest hits aren’t necessarily the ones experiencing the most social media chatter. Between May 2017 and the 2018 Upfronts, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Today Show,” and telenovela “El Senor de los Cielos” garnered the most social media engagements.
Social engagement data can be leveraged to inform Advanced TV purchases in multiple ways, including the following.
To date, many traditional TV buyers haven’t had the need to delve much deeper than basic demographics like age and gender when it comes to their audiences, but Advanced TV opens up a whole new realm of audience-based targeting. Social engagement data can help marketers to uncover new dimensions to their audiences, such as interests they have and hobbies they enjoy. Social data can help identify which social causes a brand’s audience already cares about and actively engages with, and it can also help marketers understand the notable people, brands, retail stores, TV networks and TV programs an audience is engaging with. These vital insights can inform Advanced TV buys at a more granular level.
Today’s integrated platforms and social engagement data can also give marketers a bird’s-eye view of their competitors. Advertisers can understand not only how competitors are performing, but also how that performance relates to their own brands. By gaining an overview of how competitors’ audiences are consuming media across channels, advertisers can better tailor their Advanced TV campaigns for prospecting among these highly relevant individuals.
Finally, social media engagement data can help advertisers understand the stickiness of their TV creative by comparing metrics like social impact and TV completion rates across networks and programs. In short, social engagement can help identify which ads are sparking the biggest response. Furthermore, in the Advanced TV realm, unlike traditional linear TV, advertisers can view how performance varies for a specific creative by network and daypart.
Marketers who have started putting together the people, processes and products for TV audience targeting are going to benefit greatly in the near and long-term. While the Advanced TV space still has a lot of growing and evolving to do, the ability to harness social engagement data for improved audience discovery, competitive intelligence and creative insight in TV buying is a real, actionable opportunity that can be put into motion today.