Blog / March 7, 2017

On the Promise and Potential Pitfalls of Advanced TV

By Melanie Franke

Advanced TV is a hot topic circling the advertising industry right now. The category—especially addressable TV—holds the promise of digital advertising targeting but through a traditional TV delivery and in a communal, at-home setting.

Naturally, there are a lot of questions about the new medium, particularly how it actually works and how the technology will evolve. To answer some of these questions, we chatted with Brian Katz, Eyeview’s new Vice President of Advanced TV Insights and Strategy. With a long history in TV advertising analytics, including positions at NBCUniversal and TiVo, Katz has quite a few ideas around why addressable TV is gaining momentum, how brands should plan for it and what an ideal future for this nascent industry could be.

You’ve been around the TV industry for quite some time. From an advertising perspective, what has been the most significant change you’ve seen?

Brian Katz: “Accountability” has been the primary term used in the past few years. Agencies and clients are very frustrated with how things have traditionally run; frustration with measurement, frustration with ad-serving technologies, frustration with transparency and agency relationships, etc. This push to accountability is coming directly from the marketers and advertisers themselves, and their efforts are finally starting to move the industry forward.

The next evolution will be to outcome-based measurement for TV as this is ideally where the industry wants to go. We’ve been caught up in the Nielsen/ComScore game for so long now, but they still haven’t nailed down cross-platform measurement. That system doesn’t really speak to outcomes that much—it primarily measures eyeballs and GRPs.

TV advertising has been a tried-and-true marketing method for a very long time. What will it take to convince more brands and advertisers that addressable TV is the future?

BK: Managing addressable TV and outcomes-based measurement is not easy—it’s a complicated business, and there are only a few that are doing it well. There is no doubt in my mind that marketers would want to move in this direction because the value is certainly there, but we need more education in the industry to make them comfortable to actually tap into solutions. More education will lead to greater penetration.

It’s up to companies like Eyeview to help break through the confusion and status quo that comes with simple and robust solutions. It’s a partnership where we have been helping to educate clients and help them walk before they run.  

Since addressable TV is relatively new for many brands, how can advertisers shift their thinking around TV budgets to allow for new offerings?

“The key is to explore and learn right now. If you’re going to fail, then fail forward.”

BK: It’s important to experiment and play in the space because it’s where the future will be. I’m curious to see where budgets come from. Brands could take linear TV budgets and start allocating some for addressable, which may or may not work. Brands might want to consider moving budgets from media that is no longer as impactful or has maximized impact—such as print or email—to try addressable.

This is a great time to do some testing and learning while also applying best practices from digital around creative versioning and outcome-based metrics. Other areas like connected TV might be an interesting way to experiment with millennials and younger viewers who have cut the cord. These are great technologies, and the key is to explore and learn right now. If you’re going to fail, then fail forward.

Advanced TV tends to put a spotlight on the issue of how siloed video advertising has been in the past—with different budgets, teams and departments dedicated to “social video,” “digital video” or “TV advertising.” How is the industry responding to these challenges?

BK: As the silos are now breaking down on the agency side where it used to be TV, digital and social teams—which still do exist in many cases—agencies are becoming platform agnostic and shifting to “video” teams. I would hope that budgets are thought of that way as well.

It’s no longer “TV” or “digital” or “social,” it’s about video across all platforms and allocating budgets according to the platform that is most likely to drive the results you want. What marketers really want is to be able to optimize their video across screens, to be able to see what’s working and what’s not working in real time so they could shift inventory to the media or screen that is performing best for a single campaign.

There are a lot of big players in the TV space—networks, cable providers, advertisers—making it difficult to determine how the industry will evolve. What do you expect we’ll see in the coming years as advanced TV starts to mature?

BK: Everybody will want to get their proper share of the advertising pie. Agencies may favor a programmatic marketplace, but the publishers—the networks—don’t want their inventory purchased this way as it commoditizes the business and drives pricing down. It then becomes a race to the bottom, and networks want to preserve the premium value of their inventory. There was a recent MediaPost article that spoke to the massive influence that procurement has on the ad-decisioning process and that 79 percent of surveyed marketers and agency execs think these decisions should be made in a more strategic manner than just price. We must move to a more strategic mindset to make advertising more effective.

Regarding addressable TV, I’m not sure that the cable providers are ready or willing to move forward together as an industry just yet. They’re still trying to figure out their own internal structures and how to best optimize their businesses. We very much appreciate the partnership we have with them and are excited to be able to weave addressable together on a national scale.

Advanced TV is making waves for marketers. See how a cross-screen campaign delivered 3X ROAS for a leading brand.


More about the author

Melanie Franke Content Marketing Manager

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