TV research is not new – it’s been an essential cog in the wheels of TV advertising for decades. Data has quietly helped media companies promote their inventory to marketers hungry for specific audiences. But TV research is undergoing a transformation, moving from a back-office tool to one that's getting center stage attention.
The sourcing, acquisition and usage of data – and modeling it on behalf of the media owner – is a skillset much in demand for companies delivering technology for programmatic in television.
In this year’s upfront, major networks used TV research and advanced data sets to differentiate their offerings and help marketers reach their intended audience. Several initiatives were announced such as Viacom’s Vantage service, Turner’s Targeting Now & Audience Now service, NBC’s Audience Targeting Platform (ATP) and ABC’s Unified Insights to name a few. These are great examples of media owners leveraging the latest in data and technology and combining it with TV research to deliver a better product to their advertisers.
TV research is increasing in complexity, but has never been so important, and when it’s combined with advancements in data science, magic happens. Media owners have an amplified understanding of their inventory and the audience behind it. In this way, sales organizations can work across disparate datasets to optimize advanced audience targets while still delivering upon guarantees against traditional demography targets. Cable networks like Viacom, NBC, CBS and ABC are parlaying their innovative research with investments in big data and analytics to deliver these enhanced sales solutions.
Operationalizing Data & Programmatic
TV research may not be new but operationalizing the data behind the research has always been a challenge. Advancements in programmatic advertising technology are activating the research data in media transactions and intelligent decisions are being made more quickly throughout a campaign lifecycle. The need for data is greater than ever and with the help of programmatic technology, data driven decisioning is happening in an automated fashion at the transaction level.
Television research professionals remain experts in audience measurement and overall show performance, as well as how an ad campaign can be leveraged against various shows, networks and day parts. Programmatic advertising solutions are driving the need to integrate this research with third party data sets and big data streams of activity, such as digital ad exposure and offline purchase attribution. The research and data science teams are proving that through programmatic, it is entirely possible to layer data against programming schedules, find where audiences exist within that inventory and expose those segments to buyers all through a platform that automates the process, operationalizes the data and offers sophisticated data visualization tools.
Change Brings New Opportunity
TV viewing patterns are changing dramatically and it has triggered explosive interest by the media owners in programmatic selling capabilities, but it has changed the lives of TV researchers forever. Big data experts are augmenting research teams and catchy new titles are emerging at TV networks, such as “Global Data Officer, “Chief Data Strategist,” “EVP of Data Strategy and Consumer Intelligence” and “VP of Programmatic Data Driven Sales.”
Many media owners have already realized that the combination of programmatic technology with the change agents in TV research is a potent combination that will help them thrive in this new data-driven world. The end result of improving the placement of ads is also a win for the advertiser and the viewer. Yes, the media owners can optimize yield and drive more revenue, but advertisers can build brand awareness to a targeted audience with better measurement and TV viewers receive ads that are more relevant. Research has been a key piece of advertising since the first TV commercial in 1941, and with the advent of data science and programmatic technologies, it will be a key piece of advertising for years to come.
Doug is the cofounder and executive VP of business development at clypd and leads the organization's growth by building long-term strategic partnerships. Previously, Doug was director of business development at PayPal Mobile where he was responsible for accelerating the off-line mobile payment initiative by expanding the penetration of PayPal's mobile products across devices, platforms and POS solutions.