By Bhanu Bhardwaj
I was watching Hulu the other night and a Spanish-language advertisement came on. For the record, I am not a Spanish speaker (I speak English and Hindi). I was a little confused at first and inadvertently started to change the channel, forgetting that I was watching TV on-demand rather than live television. I caught myself and then realized what was happening. There was, unfortunately, no real ad targeting happening with the delivery of this particular television ad.
No matter what you may be hearing, TV viewing is not dead. Though the format may have evolved with the rise of on-demand viewing, U.S. households are still avid TV watchers. TV spots are still important in building brand awareness and driving short and long term impact. However, like many other aspects of today’s quickly evolving world, the right data should be the foundation of your TV strategy and execution. It’s the only way to ensure that your media dollars are being well spent with the right messages delivered at the right time to the right audiences.
To do this, marketers must embrace more targeted television advertising and prioritize the use of precision solutions for television. Television targeting and personalization options are on the rise, and marketers who aren’t using them as part of their ad budget are missing an important opportunity.
The Promise of Addressable Television
Addressable TV is more and more becoming a viable targeting option. It has grown substantially in the last few years and it will continue this trajectory, with more than 75 million addressable households expected by 2018. With addressable TV, marketers can maximize advertising effectiveness by targeting only highly specific and relevant household audiences that fall within specific categories, from category buyers to deal seekers to lapsed brand buyers, and more. Addressable also helps brands reach competitive buying groups.
There are various types of addressability solutions that allow advertisers to reach qualified audiences:
- Household addressability provides an opportunity to go beyond demographics to target messages only to households in a brand’s true target. Addressable ads are dynamically inserted whenever and wherever the household is watching TV, but only if they meet the targeting criteria.
- Zone-level addressability allows brands to leverage first and third party sales data to broaden the target by isolating zip codes and cable zones that over-index for a brand. Beyond the 210 designated market areas (DMAs), there are 3,788 zones that IRI data can target individually.
- Device-level addressability extends the reach of addressable TV via mobile or tablet device, facilitating true cross-channel attribution, from the 300 million devices mapped to 100 million households.
For advertisers, the benefit of addressable is its closed loop marketing for television, allowing them to reap the same benefits as digital.
To ensure success, though, brands must:
- Make adoption of a closed-loop set-up a necessary part of the media planning process
- Clearly define their target and brand performance objectives that tie to the overall brand strategy
- Leverage robust data sources for reaching their defined target
Addressable should be explored as a complement to national TV advertising plans, and brands can leverage it as a part of their overall video plan to reach a specific target audience precisely. Even smaller and mid-sized brands that don’t have large TV ad budgets can take advantage of these types of targeted TV ad solutions, especially if these brands are highly niche. Of course, to succeed, these brands have to be very clear about their targets and goals. ROAS for addressable TV is driven by tight targeting which helps drive up the effectiveness of each exposure to offset the cost. With the rise of cross-media planning, addressable becomes even more relevant as brands plan their reach and frequency across multiple platforms.
Story from the Field
I recently worked with an over-the-counter healthcare brand that was looking to drive brand penetration and increase sales through its national television budget. With only three major players in the space, the brand wanted to reach its own brand purchasers as well as convince purchasers of competitive brands to switch. Being a seasonal brand, it needed to reach people early enough or it would lose them for that entire season.
Using addressable television as a complement to its national buy, the brand was able to reach the competitive buying groups, customize its messages and offers, and measure the impact of the media on the target audiences.
In addition to the addressable campaign significantly increasing the sales rate for the brand, the penetration rate, the buy rate and the dollars per transaction all rose. This included significant lifts from households that were competitive purchasers.
Precise Targeting and Measurement Matter
Whether you use addressable TV or not, you want a clear targeting strategy and you want to measure your media with speed, granularity and precision.
Leveraging existing targeting and measurement solutions provides companies and advertisers with more granular and effective reach of audiences more likely to shop their brand. By finding the right consumer, marketers can then pinpoint specific households for verified addressability and targeting. From there, they can track, measure and optimize results by linking ad exposure to offline sales, thus determining the incremental sales lift and the true success of the campaign.
The future is now. And it involves precision closed loop marketing with granular targeting and measurement to get the best results from your ad dollars.
To learn how to ensure your TV advertising is more effective at driving sales, contact me at Bhanu.Bhardwaj@IRIworldwide.com.