Bridging The Gap Between TV Viewership And Conversions

TuneInMarketers struggle to link digital conversion data with television tune-in campaigns, because there’s no single system that connects disparate data points – like linking marketers’ CRM systems to Nielsen ratings.

“The promise of digital is accountability and we need a solid, closed-loop system to make the connection,” according to Charlie Fiordalis, chief digital officer for agency Media Storm. “We know that television drives tune-in, but the closest that we can get across tactics in digital is intent to tune-in. Intent is good, but it isn’t conversion.”

More digital and mobile ad platforms are beginning to lay the foundation to unify the two. Tapad, for instance, is rolling out a tool called TV Pulse, designed to tie linear TV viewership to online or in-store visits.

And Viant (parent of video ad platform Vindico, ad network Specific Media and social network MySpace) wants to connect purchase-based data and viewership data.

Although Specific Media had a TV audience-targeting tool in the market since 2012, which amassed 420 campaigns representing $50 million in spend, company CRO Jeff Collins said it had limitations.

“If you’re appending offline information like viewer behavior to a cookie, we found they weren’t relevant to two-thirds of IP-connected devices,” he said. 

The company claims its deterministic platform Direct Match, launched last spring with data hailing from MySpace and smart TV platform Xumo, erases some of these issues because it focuses on identity-based targeting.

While MySpace’s user registry is aging, Collins pointed to third-party data partnerships, which he claimed help verify and refresh the platform’s registered data sets.

It initially partnered with Experian Marketing Services, Nielsen Catalina, which provided hooks to 70 million loyalty card members, and J.D. Power, which houses data from 40% of US franchise auto dealerships, but expanded purchase-based data to include viewership through a new integration to Rentrak’s 35 million set-top boxes.

“We see between 40-60% match rates when we match up CRM files, and the Direct Match suite is focused on targeting light, medium and heavy television users,” Collins said.

A former VP of ad sales for CNN, Collins said heavy TV viewers typically spend about 62% more time online than light or medium viewers.

The problem is, heavy digital users and TV viewers are often the same people, so technology that identifies additional incremental demand is key.

Set-top box and mobile data should help out here, he added, since both can provide scaled conversion analysis across digital tactics to determine the impact on tune-in.

“We see the adoption of IP TV and usage rates increasing, which opens a lot of opportunities for better attribution down the road,” he said. “[IP TV] will help merge some of these different metrics like TV panels and cookies.”

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