A TV Buyer’s Wish List For Video

bill-dayData-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Bill Day, CEO at Tremor Video.

Until recently, TV has been a relatively easy means to a reach and frequency end, but that’s not enough anymore. I doubt any big brand marketer or TV buyer disagrees.

What’s been missing is an easy, scalable and accountable way for TV advertising to cascade across screens and follow consumers and content everywhere. That’s why the hot topic of programmatic has rapidly escalated to the hotter interest in premium programmatic.

I believe premium programmatic is much more than the automated buying and selling of high-quality inventory, especially when using video in comparable ways to TV to achieve brand goals.

Until now, digital specific planners and buyers have powered the billion-dollar online video advertising market. EMarketer predicts the video market will reach $9 billion in 2016, but now, with buying ease, premium placement and brand-performance transparency, I believe TV buyers will increasingly contribute to and possibly help the market grow even larger. The tectonic shifts in TV and video consumption are a gift to marketers who can now tap both to achieve brand goals. Finding the optimal combination on the fly is key.

TV buyers say they must have three essential elements from video before it can be on equal ground with traditional TV.

1. Premium placement and transparency

It’s “see and be seen” for TV advertising. Throughout TV’s history, advertising has hinged on brand adjacency and 100% placement transparency. Careers (and brands) were made and broken based on the networks, shows and even the pods in which TV buyers placed brand ads. This high-stakes gamble is significantly more complicated when translated to digital video.

Being comfortable isn’t a winning strategy. Yes, TV buyers need to know where ads run. But they also need to expand the concept of adjacency from hand-picked content to placement dictated by performance.

2. Brand-performance optimization and measurement

The digital revolution is the gift that keeps on giving. TV marketers can easily buy what they know and need: demographic GRPs, reach and frequency. This long-standing proxy for brand performance enables them to connect TV and video as a start. Then, digital provides more insight than ever into how those GRPs, reach and frequency move consumers from awareness into the mid-funnel battleground for share of mind and dollars.

I believe that the dominant currency in 2014 for TV dollars moving online is the GRP. This foundation will support TV dollars’ migration to online video and reveal the necessary reach and frequency for TV and video to be effective together. But I also see rapid adoption of secondary metrics like brand performance and engagement to build new paradigms beyond the GRP. For example, performance-based pricing models allow advertisers to only pay when their campaigns achieve measureable brand results. Early adopter marketers are spending tens of millions of dollars on performance-based models like YouTube’s TrueView, and benefiting from greater insight into their ROI.

3. Programmatic work flow

Digital video could learn a lot from TV. What’s appealing beyond the obvious is how easy it is to buy. Programmatic work flow for video needs to build in this core capability and empower agencies with operational efficiencies that help them grow profitability. Easy, transparent, effective and efficient are traits that need to become synonymous with online video buying, even if the underlying technology is complex and sophisticated.

TV dollars will truly start to flow when premium programmatic addresses these three core elements. While premium programmatic with a GRP foundation is the means, brand performance is the now the better end.

Follow Tremor Video (@TremorVideo) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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