As Media And Mar Tech Merge, TV Ads Get Smarter

netterVideo ad platform Innovid will integrate with marketing clouds from IBM, Adobe and Oracle, the companies said Tuesday, allowing video and TV planners to use CRM data to inform video ads served by Innovid.

Conversely, those marketing cloud customers can apply intent data from their mobile, desktop and OTT video campaigns to their broader marketing mixes. One side benefit? Marketers can improve their message sequencing.

It’s a relatively new phenomenon for marketing clouds to connect with video ad tech (see: Adobe buying TubeMogul). Typically, marketing automation and video planning were separate, with media agencies focusing on the latter.

“What’s driving more convergence is brands are looking at all their spend and saying, ‘How can we use our data better in TV planning?’” said Zvika Netter, co-founder and CEO of Innovid. “The initial point of integration [for advertising and marketing] was the DMP, which drove all of the consolidation we saw, and now it’s the marketing automation system.”

Netter says this convergence will lead to better video creative. (Innovid released a programmatic creative tool last year.)

Because ad delivery systems don’t always connect seamlessly with CRM systems (read: marketing clouds), it creates disjointed or repetitive experiences, like a set-top box continuously looping the same video ad for a wide swath of consumers. 

And Innovid’s technology also serves interactive video, which is a more intricate format.

“With interactive video, you also ingest a lot of new data exhaust you’ve never had access to before,” Netter said.

For instance, a financial services advertiser might embed a credit calculator into an interactive video ad while an auto advertiser might know a consumer selected an SUV instead of a sedan in a car-comparison feature within an interactive video ad.

Both pieces of information could prove useful for marketers but didn’t always make it into advertisers’ databases in the past.

“That information used to vaporize,” he said. “In the past, it would go in a [post-campaign analysis] report, but now it can flow right back to the DMP or CRM system and change who the marketer sends a follow-up email to or the experience of their website.”

The connection between video ad platforms and marketing clouds also enables better content sequencing.

Brands like Kimberly-Clark don’t care where they reach a consumer; they prefer to know how often they’ve delivered that ad, and where the consumer is in the purchase funnel.

And that requires stronger integration of first-party data at the ad server level.

“There are amazing DCO (dynamic content optimization) platforms that allow you to connect first- and third-party data sets, but how do you automate the rules to capitalize on it from a delivery standpoint?” said Cameron Friedlander, who works on marketing technology strategy for Kimberly-Clark, which owns consumer packaged-goods brands like Huggies, Kotex and Cottonelle. “That’s the trickiest part no one’s talking about.”

But Friedlander noted connecting these systems is also an organizational challenge at the planning level.

“It completely flips the way the agency has to think about these ads,” he said. “It’s one thing to say you can hustle out 1,000 different personalized ads, but you need to be able to then deliver on that from an execution standpoint.”

If brands like Kimberly-Clark and outdoor lifestyle retailer REI, which also uses Innovid, can combine video viewership data with first-party data more easily, another benefit is increased personalization.

For example, if a consumer has identified themselves as a trail runner, “We can serve them a trail running video, along with articles that complement the video, classes in their area and expert advice,” said Amy Ball, senior program manager of advertising for REI. “Another benefit is that we can follow up with them later when we have new trail running product they may be interested in.”

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