Back to Blog

All the right marketing technology for advanced TV media buying

  • - LiveRamp
  • 5 min read

[Editor’s note: This blog was reposted with permission from MarTech Today. For the original article, click here.]

Every marketer, regardless of discipline, has a holy grail in mind. For analysts, it may be having a holistic view of the customer journey. For creatives, it may be having the team and tools to conceptualize and generate impactful experiences. And for media buyers, it may be the ability to take a single media plan and easily purchase ad space across devices, channels and platforms.

This particular vision for media buyers has been discussed for decades, and it is finally starting to change at the big agencies. This seismic shift is trickling down to small to midsize agencies, and it’s happening now because TV is finally becoming measurable. Agencies and advertisers can now buy data-driven local and national TV that includes conversion or attribution measurement. Other data-driven video formats like Connected TV (CTV) and Over-The-Top (OTT) are also starting to gain traction among buyers, and they will show greater promise once they become scalable and measurement is more consistent. TV media buyers are starting to use their same first-party audiences or use consistent third segments across these formats—sometimes bundled by programmers themselves.

With such significant changes afoot, it’s imperative for TV media buyers to connect with their digital counterparts and see how they can share platforms and processes. There could be existing capabilities in their companies’ martech stacks that may move them closer to reaching their holy grail.

Here are three marketing technologies that digital marketers are using that could easily be applied to TV.

Identity resolution

Identity resolution has been around for several years. It grew out of marketers’ need to reach real people across channels in a world increasingly fragmented by digital IDs and cookies. This technology resolves identities in an encrypted, privacy-conscious way across all channels, platforms and silos, allowing marketers to conduct people-based marketing and measurement everywhere.

TV advertising buyers can use identity resolution to understand new and existing audiences, segment them properly, send them a targeted commercial or video ad, and then measure the impact of those placements. It unlocks the promise of advanced TV, helping the mass advertising vehicle that is TV become more data-driven and thus regain its proper and true value in the advertising ecosystem. To those who have been in the business for awhile, identity resolution is a game-changer that’s altering the nature of TV ad buying and benefiting all in the ecosystem.

Data lakes

Data lakes, like identity resolution, grew out of the reality of the amount of data exploding and the need to organize and manage it. It is a fairly new technology that, as its name suggests, is a vast repository where marketers can bring all of their customer data together for management and analysis. Data lakes allow in-house analysts and data scientists to access information at any time and get a holistic view of their customers’ journeys.

Identity resolution and data lakes go hand in hand as the former connects data through a consistent people-based individual ID. It is the thread that ties structured and unstructured data together. This enables marketers to combine not only disparate first-party data together, but second- and third-party information as well, creating a complete view of target audiences that marketers across TV and digital require.

It’s important to note that online and TV audience segments can be the same but are subject to different business rules. This consideration, in addition to ensuring that all data is transparent and ethically sourced, is vital to take into account when building a data lake.

Measurement tools

ROI is something marketers have been asked to prove since the dawn of advertising. In Don Draper’s day, it would have been measured purely in sales. Today, with so many more consumer touch points, it can be difficult to determine marketing’s exact impact on sales, brand awareness and other success metrics.

Many marketers are rising to the challenge by employing a variety of measurement tactics and platforms, from employing closed-loop measurement tactics like the Facebook Conversions API—which simply shows how many people saw an ad on Facebook and bought something from the advertiser—to multi-touch attribution and other more mature ways of measuring marketing at the individual level. Some of the platforms providing this granular understanding of marketing efficacy can provide data and analysis of TV, as well as digital channels. This makes it significantly easier to see and understand the customer journey, create cohesive omnichannel campaigns, and further empower media teams to collaborate.

Of course, it takes a lot more than identity resolution, data lakes and measurement tools to bring advanced TV campaigns to life. Below are questions TV teams should ask of their current martech platforms or vendors they’re vetting:

Audience data, segmentation and targeting

  • Do you have access to “rich” audience data (demographics, industry-specific consumer data) to help match my media buys to precise audiences and households?
  • Can you help me estimate reach with real-time counts?
  • How can I include my first-party data to enhance the audience definition?

Common audience segments across devices and channels

  • How does your solution accurately identify consumers across devices (PC, smartphone, tablet, OTT) and channels (TV, digital, offline) so that I can reach “apples-to-apples” audience segments across platforms (e.g., Addressable, VOD, Linear, Digital)?

Campaign activation

  • How does your solution help me to execute my advertising campaigns across multiple TV viewing options: Addressable, OTT, and across local and national linear inventory?
  • How does your solution help me to activate my “owned” media channels (e.g., network seeks to promote their TV content via promotional or tune-in ads)?

Campaign measurement

  • Does your solution provide post-campaign analysis so that I can understand campaign reach and frequency across TV and digital platforms for a target audience?
  • Does your solution help me to quantify conversion lift and ROI via integration with CRM systems, advertisers and partners?
  • How much would I typically pay for measurement and analytics services?
  • How long does it take to execute data segmentation, set up integrations and so on before I can actually use the tools and services for targeting and activation? And once I am ready to go, what are the associated SLAs for each service?
  • Can you help me bring my media planning, activation and measurement closer to real time or near-real time holistically?

Consumer privacy

  • Does your solution protect my customer data in a “safe haven” that tokenized directly identifiable personal data so that I comply with ethical data use, legal or privacy requirements?
  • How does your solution integrate directly identifiable personal data (e.g., Addressable TV) and encrypted data (e.g., digital display) in a privacy-compliant manner?

As advertisers and agencies expand their current martech stacks’ capabilities or speak with new potential vendors, it’s important to bear in mind the importance of playing nicely in the sandbox. This means seeking providers who actively break down data silos.

The TV and digital worlds are converging, giving greater force to the movement of interoperability across the ecosystem. Jumping on this trend now can only pay dividends to early adopters as other advertising channels, from billboards to Internet of Things devices, go the way of TV.