Linear TV Tunes In To Social Media Data To Plan Campaigns

Turner-and-4CSocial data is emerging as a way for traditional TV players to start moving beyond age and gender targeting.

For a recent movie release, Turner ran a month-long ad campaign during shows where an audience segment built from social media behavior was predicted to appear in high numbers.

That audience segment, built by cross-screen data science company 4C, contained people whose social media presence on Twitter indicated they would be interested in the movie.

In Turner’s estimation, this is the first time anyone has used social media behavior to target linear TV.

Social engagement among the specially created segment was 2.89 times higher during the month-long campaign prior to the movie release than among the viewers of other cable programming

“There is so much upside if advertisers can be more precise,” said Dan Aversano, SVP of ad innovation and programmatic solutions at Turner.

Social media data can provide that precision to movie studios, which (except for sequels) usually lack historical data about their products.

Given the large amount of chatter about movie trailers and celebrities, it’s a powerful data source. “Social is the world’s most largest, actionable focus group,” Aversano said.

4C scanned social media profiles to find the viewers most likely to be interested in the upcoming movie. It looked for behavior that indicated an affinity for the genre, actors or similar movies, going on to match those users to respondent-level viewing data from Nielsen, which allowed them to extrapolate the viewing history of the group.

Turner took the segment and used its Targeting Now solution to create an optimized schedule it estimated would provide the most reach against that audience segment.

Targeting Now is designed to ingest virtually any data source, including a marketer’s first party data, and uses predictive technology to figure out who is likely to view a show or sports event.

4C then measured the impact of the TV ad by monitoring the difference between social media engagement two minutes before and two minutes after the ad spot by tapping into the tech it brought on board through its acquisition of Teletrax last year.

Teletrax monitors 2,100 TV channels in 76 countries and uses that data for measurement or to sync or sequence ads across channels.

“We measure the effect of TV viewing on social media behavior using the same segments,” said Dr. Alok Choudhary, founder and chief scientist at 4C. “We have the ad reference data.”

Using social media data to create linear TV segments is just the beginning. On Turner’s end, Aversano expects that social media will become a testing ground for TV spots because it provides quicker feedback and easy-to-access data insights. After optimization on social media, the best-performing ads for each segment will be shown on linear TV.

For 4C, it’s about connecting social media to other media channels. Brands should be able to use the same social media-created segments across digital media and TV.

Targeting sci-fi lovers 18-30, not just 18-30 year-olds, will become the norm.

“As the technology progresses, and as you have more addressable TV and programmatic TV, there is no reason why you can’t do highly targeted one-to-one advertisements where you minimize waste and maximize value,” Choudhary said.

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