Until very recently, TV advertising was the brand marketer’s domain. They used the mass-market medium to introduce a brand to the widest possible audience, and then measured the impact by the campaign’s gross-rating point (GRP). Splashy brand-awareness campaigns debuted on national TV and weren’t meant to achieve tactical goals, such as driving foot traffic to a particular store or encouraging wireless customers to upgrade their services.

TV is one of the most expensive branding and engagement tools, and marketers use brand-recall surveys, which take an entire business quarter to complete, to measure effectiveness.

Now we live in a world of ad optimization and digital data, which means branding is no longer the bright shiny object for marketers. Advertisers want real results that can tie directly to sales while using the same emotional triggers that get them the brand recognition. Because of the marketing measurement shift, television grew up in the past 10 years to become accountable for performance.

TV Enters the World of Performance Marketing

The world of TV began to change for marketers beginning in 2005 when TRA (now owned by TiVo) opened its doors for business. TRV aggregated set-top box data from numerous multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), allowing marketers to pinpoint audience segments that over-indexed for their target audience. It was the first shot fired over the GRP bow. Today, TiVo offers a simple interface that marketers can use to select their target audience. Set-top box data is updated continuously and scale is easier to achieve.

Facebook TRPs

In fall 2015, Facebook made a splash when it introduced its target-rating point (TRP) for purchasing inventory. It was the social media giant’s way of helping marketers compare apples (traditional TV) to oranges (digital video campaigns run on social media).

Facebook wanted to provide a way for TV buyers to coordinate their TV efforts with video ads for more effective measurement. As Christopher Heine explained in AdWeek, “A target-rating point, by definition, is a specific consumer audience within a gross-rating point (GRP), which has been a key metric for TV ad measurement since the 1950s.”

Advanced TV Measurement

Although measuring reach of traditional TV is still based on broad-based GRPs and Nielsen panels, the good news for marketers is that more and more viewers consume TV via advanced channels. All of these advanced options allow for far more nuanced measurement.

• Addressable TV. With addressable TV, marketers can measure household-level exposure. Brands can determine real outcomes by using control groups (comparing conversion of households exposed to an ad to a group of households that were not).
• Programmatic TV. Programmatic TV allows for DMA-level exposure by demographic. In other words, you can measure the number of households that meet your exact targeting criteria who saw your ads. Similar to addressable TV, business outcomes are measured via test and control.
• Connected TV. Offers opportunities for richer measurement, as they rely on consumers interacting with an app. Measurement ranges from impressions to demo-level data.

Linking Ad Exposure to Business Outcome

Once you know how many people saw your TV ad, you can begin the process of calculating return on ad spend (ROAS). This begins by measuring the business outcomes—typically the products or services sold. Rather than rely on vague metrics to cobble together ROAS, third-party measurement leaders can verify offline sales results to track the exact impact of a video campaign.

ROAS from TV ad spend can be scaled by combining all of the TV advertising solutions—addressable, programmatic, and connected—with data and measurement solutions. Connecting these disparate pieces allows marketers to go beyond reach and frequency and start seeing real return on their TV investment. And I think we can all agree that it’s about time we started seeing it.

Dive deeper into advanced TV in our guide.




A few years back, Forrester made waves by predicting that US advertisers will spend more on digital advertising than they do on TV in 2016. Digital certainly has a lot of advantages, such as superior targeting and tracking capabilities. However, it’s premature to declare TV a thing of the past. Although audience numbers have dropped, people still watch. On top of that, TV is a lot more digital and a lot more outcome-based through what is now called Advanced TV. Marketers can now buy TV programmatically, pinpoint ads to specific audiences, present ads customized to the viewers who see them, and even tie in-store sales to ads shown.

Advanced TV comprises three primary categories: addressable, connected, and programmatic. These terms are relatively new as the technology itself is relatively new. To bridge the knowledge gap, here is an overview of each and which version fits best with brands’ objectives.

Addressable TV

Addressable TV refers to ad inventory available through cable (set-top box) providers, such as Time Warner and Comcast, who present a brand’s messages through their linear programming or video on demand (VOD) inventory. Advertisers can target individual households using first- and third-party data. Online and offline outcomes, such as site activity, brand life, and sales, are the primary reporting metrics.

Scale is a bit of a challenge with addressable TV. Many of the set-top box providers are regional or focus on a particular demographic, making it difficult to launch campaigns to national audiences. Purchasing audience from multiple cable providers may increase the sample size, but it does not guarantee that it will be any more representative than a Nielsen panel.

That said, eMarketer predicts that addressable TV advertising will grow almost 120 percent this year, with marketers spending $890 million.

Addressable TV allows a marketer to target households within a DMA based on specific criteria. Marketers can target households with children or ones that have at least one member who has an affinity for, say, fly-fishing. It’s still mass marketing in that all households that match the criteria will see the same ad in the same programming and dayparting. However, advanced TV drives overall efficiency by suppressing households that aren’t a good fit for the advertiser.

Connected TV

Connected TV is television delivered via over-the-top (OTT) devices (Roku, Apple TV, etc.) or Smart TV sets (TVs connected to the Internet). Connected TV offers advertisers targeting and measurement capabilities similar to digital channels. It has a reach of more than 50 million US households with geotargeting at the ZIP code level. Device-level targeting is also available for OTT.

Connected TV is ideal for products in which the entire household may participate in the purchasing decision—family vacations, car purchases, home improvement, family calling plan—and are often used in conjunction with campaigns on other devices. Let’s say a dad looks at a video ad for an SUV on his smartphone. With cross-device identification, that auto brand can deliver a TV ad for the same SUV, influencing the entire family all at once. Conversely, if a mom views a display ad for a cruise, that can trigger the display of a TV ad from that cruise line.

Programmatic TV

Programmatic TV refers to advertising that’s purchased through an automated platform and delivered via set-top boxes (e.g. addressable TV described above). Marketers bid on inventory through sell-side providers that work directly with participating networks. Traditional TV metrics (daypart, network, GRP) inform the targeting and reporting, but marketers use a variety of data points to select the programs, dayparts, and networks to bid on. Programmatic TV reaches approximately 100-plus million households and more than 80 DMAs.

Brands like programmatic TV when they know that a particular program or daypart over-indexes for their target audience. For instance, a cooking show may attract more moms with young children, making it the perfect opportunity for a diaper manufacturer.

Where Does This Fit in Your Marketing Plan?

So, should you make the jump to these new platforms with your brand’s marketing strategy? It depends on what you’re offering.

Generally, advanced TV is more appropriate for products and services you want to advertise using more granular targeting and measurable results. Although traditional TV is a top-of-funnel channel, advanced TV’s greatest advantage lies in its lower-funnel consumer activation. It more closely mirrors digital ads.

Within that lower-funnel activation is the holy grail of advertising: return on ad spend. Advanced TV is appropriate for your product if you are looking for specific business outcomes beyond branding and awareness. Want consumers in a certain area to visit your store? Are you selling high-value items with a long purchase cycle? These are marketing objectives that advanced TV helps to achieve.

As marketers seek more ROI and measurable outcomes across campaigns, interest in and capabilities of advanced TV will grow exponentially in the coming years.

For more information, be sure to see our primer on advanced TV.




by Boaz Cohen | GM, TV & Advance Platforms, Eyeview

Ad spending on traditional TV is declining.

Magna Global’s recent finding that digital ad spending will surpass TV in the U.S. by next year was yet another indicator of the direction the industry is headed in–that is, toward formats that are more targeted, measurable, and geared toward delivering clearer ROI. These formats, referenced in this article as “performance TV,” have emerged as a direct response to this demand, but are still in relative infancy compared to the highly evolved advertising ecosystem that exists on desktops and mobile.

Because performance TV as a category is so new, I’ve noticed a fair amount of confusion in the marketplace: What is it? What is it capable of? How can marketers utilize it? And while we strive to answer all of those questions, another big one arises that we too often ignore every time a shiny new object emerges in advertising technology: Should you be using performance TV?

But first, what is it? Here’s a quick primer.

The Terms Of Performance TV
As I mentioned, performance TV is an umbrella term that incorporates the three primary ways that marketers can buy TV inventory in a more targeted and data-driven way than they would traditionally. These methods can be broken down as follows:

• Connected: The advent of smart TVs, as well as connected set top boxes (STBs) like game consoles, means that marketers can now deliver ads directly to those devices in essentially the same way they would on a desktop or smartphone. While these connected living room devices–like Roku or Apple TV–are functionally different from mobile devices, the real-time bidding process is analogous. Connected TV has a reach of approximately 50 million U.S. households with geotargeting available at the ZIP code level. Advance STBs with device ID, like Roku, allow for device-level targeting.

• Addressable: This refers to specific ad inventory that cable providers like Dish and Comcast work into their linear programming and video on demand (VOD). The advantage with addressable is that marketers can use cable providers’ data to target specific households with ads, but reach is still limited due to the small number of multi-system operators that offer addressable capabilities.

• Programmatic: Programmatic TV combines bidding (similar to the buying of connected TV) with the ad serving of linear TV programming. Marketers bid on inventory through sell-side providers that work directly with participating networks. The key here is using data to select the programs, day parts, and networks one should bid on. Programmatic TV reaches approximately 100-plus million households and more than 80 DMAs.

What’s Your Product?
Should you make the jump to these new platforms? It depends on what you’re offering. Performance TV as a category is appropriate for products and services that want to advertise on traditional TV and are looking for more granular targeting and measurable results. For truly mass market products, i.e. the Coca-Colas of the world, performance TV isn’t yet appropriate because the pure reach of traditional TV is preferable to targeted ads in brand advertising. In fact, while traditional TV is a very top-of-funnel channel, performance TV’s greatest advantage lies in the type of lower-funnel consumer activation more commonly associated with digital ads.

Performance TV is appropriate for your product if you are looking for specific business outcomes beyond branding and awareness. Want consumers in a certain area to visit your store? Are you selling high-value items like cars, where a relatively small percentage of consumers are in-market at any given time? These are marketing objectives that performance TV helps to achieve.

There’s also conversion tracking to take into account. With traditional TV, it’s quite difficult to determine if an ad influences an offline action, such as a visit to a retail location. More advanced offerings allow marketers to combine offline data–like in-store purchases–with TV viewership information to determine the actual returns on ad spend as you would digitally.

The most critical thing to keep in mind is that performance TV, even compared to digital video, is very much an emerging technology. It won’t be right for every marketer, but it can be an effective complement to digital campaigns looking for conversions. As marketers in general seek more accountability and ROI across all channels, keep an eye out for performance TV inventory to grow exponentially in the coming years.

Originally Published on CMO.com




by Boaz Cohen | VP Product & Partnerships

Originally Published in Mediapost

Last week, Facebook announced a product called TRP Buying, a way for TV buyers to coordinate TV efforts with video ads for more effective measurement. Why? Because branding, traditionally the purpose of TV commercials, simply doesn’t cut it in a world full of ad optimization and digital data.

Advertisers want and need results that can be tied directly to ROI and sales. As video budgets continue to shift from TV to online, it’s about time we hold TV accountable for actual, standalone performance. But how?

In 2005, Mark Lieberman and Bill Harvey started TRA, now TiVo Research, with the promise of deterministic data based on Set Top Box (STB) information for ROI measurement. Rentrak took it to the next level with data on almost 25% of TV households. Both ventures enabled better targeting and measurement on TV using data.

However, the disconnect between the data providers and the TV buying systems coupled with the complexity of the TV delivery system – which still requires manual work, excel sheets, and fax orders – limited the ability of utilizing data for TV advertising to big brands that have the money to spend heavily on TV.

Ten years later, ROI for TV campaigns is still clearly lagging its digital video counterpart. TV advertisers that want to go beyond GRPs and measure the true ROI of their campaigns are limited to test-and-control markets, or one-off projects limited by match rates with STB data providers. This, in turn, prevents real-time campaign optimization—light years behind digital campaigns, which can render thousands of versions of videos to drive results.

Thankfully, the TV industry has started to innovate in an effort to maintain its piece of the advertising pie. Two competing technologies have emerged that can help bring TV ad buying in line with digital video buying capabilities: addressable TV and programmatic TV. Michael Kubin, EVP of Invidi, expertly described the differences between the two. While each has its own limitations, they both get TV closer to digital video buying.

While allowing for the most granular – household level – targeting and measurement, addressable TV suffers from limited coverage of about 25% of US HHs and still requires a manual buying process. The efficiency of programmatic TV led agencies to adopt programmatic buying, and they will do so in TV.

Worried that programmatic will drive prices to the bottom, the seller side put limitations on programmatic TV that prevent it from reaching its full potential.

Both technologies will improve in the next couple of years: The scale of addressable TV will increase to cover most MSOs, and the buying process will become more programmatic. Simultaneously, programmatic TV will integrate more data and improve targeting resolution, and TV sellers will learn to take advantage – similar to what happened in the digital world.

ROI from TV ad spend can be scaled by combining all of the TV advertising solutions: addressable, programmatic, and connected, with data and measurement solutions. This combination can help advertisers get beyond reach and frequency and start seeing real return on their investment—it’s about time!