"On TV and Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.
Today’s column is written by Maggie Zhang, executive vice president of video research and insights at Dentsu Aegis Network.
National linear addressable television is one of the key trends in video. It holds the promise of delivering targeted ads to only desired households during linearly scheduled TV programming.
The national linear addressability race heated up as more players entered the field in 2019. Traditional MVPDs have continued to expand their linear addressable footprint through technology updates and industry consortia. Vizio’s Project OAR and Nielsen’s Advanced Advertising Platform aspire to leverage millions of smart TV sets and automatic content recognition data to enable dynamic ad replacements within national linear inventory.
At the same time, individual media owners such as A&E and ViacomCBS have partnered with distributors and technology providers to unlock their live linear inventory beyond the two minutes local avails.
So, what will 2020 hold amidst all the excitement, competition and experimentation?
For marketers, the impact of mass reach and personalization of the advertising message in a premium content environment is extremely compelling. When we reflect upon the past and look into the future, there are five important mandates that will shed light on the upcoming video addressability innovation in 2020.
Mandate No. 1: Always put seamless consumer experience front and center.
Regardless of the underlying dynamic ad insertion technology a seamless consumer viewing experience is the table stakes to a national linear addressable execution. That means there will be no delivery glitches nor compromised creative quality. Data-driven approaches will increase relevance from targeted delivery of brand messaging at the household level and better manage frequency based on more granular and real-time viewership data.
Mandate No. 2: Enable dynamic creative optionality with more production support.
The beauty of linear addressability is to serve different creatives to different households during linearly scheduled TV programming based on attributes or consumer journey stages. However, brands sometimes can face creative asset limitations and must run the same linear asset in their addressable campaign. Creative and production support from creative agencies and partners will be instrumental in helping brands realize the core benefits of linear addressability.
Mandate No. 3: Advance identity-based data integration and targeting.
In the new privacy environment of government regulations and consumer data protection, true identity-rooted data solutions will become ever more crucial to audience building and targeting. Identity-based solutions will enable additional personification to addressable video impressions that allow for higher fidelity and targeting precision. This is also a critical linkage to establish interconnectivity across video platforms, tactics and media channels.
Mandate No. 4: Guarantee holistic and advanced measurement.
As marketers embrace advanced TV, their expectations for measurement have gone beyond traditional media delivery and reach and frequency reporting. Linear addressable TV allows for closed-loop lift analyses of brand KPIs for more effective planning and allocation. As a result, holistic, cross-platform video measurement and outcome-based closed-loop studies will be assumed to be part of a linear addressable activation offering. Reporting cadence, data granularity and needs for third-party verification should also be well discussed and agreed upon. In the long term, strong performance proof points through connected measurement, backed by a true identity solution, is the most effective way to advocate for linear addressable TV.
Mandate No. 5: Accelerate campaign insights turnaround to inform future optimization.
Although closely related to No. 4, our final mandate deserves additional discussion due to its importance. In past addressable TV campaigns, marketers often felt their cross-platform campaign insights were underutilized due to a lengthy reporting process. By the time an analysis was completed, the next campaign had started without incorporating the learnings from the previous campaign. Marketers need timely and sophisticated analytics and insights to ensure optimal planning and allocation of future campaigns across video platforms.
Linear addressable TV has come a long way. The new year will inevitably usher in exciting technology solutions and creative possibilities. These mandates will serve as guidance as industry players from the buy and sell sides converge to work toward the common goal of making every video impression addressable.
The industry’s march toward video addressability at the national scale will accelerate throughout 2020. Linear addressable TV does not live in a silo, rather it’s part of a holistic cross-platform video strategy. We need industry collaboration and interoperability across all systems and players in pursuit of video addressability.
Only in this way will marketers achieve the ultimate goal of best targeting, delivering and measuring dynamic brand messaging in a premium, relevant and brand-safe environment across video platforms.