The next TV currency? It’s already here
Our industry is looking for a new currency to measure TV ads. The kicker? This best measure and motto is already there.
It’s easy to think that advertising measurement is a perfect science, a ruler we measure with precision and accuracy every time. The truth is that advertising measurement is constantly evolving to keep up with changing consumer habits. This change has never been more evident than today. According to Nielsen, the first quarter of 2022 was the first time weekly streaming TV reached linear TV reach among 18-49 year olds.
As a result, the advertising industry is investing more in measurement than ever before. Investors ranging from celebrity angels like Edward Norton and Ryan Reynolds to private equity funds like Bain Capital back advertising measurement firms.
This does not mean that the evolution of measurement did not exist before. Digital platforms and publishers, born out of the Internet boom of the early 2000s, have built new performance metrics to help marketers change their marketing budgets.
These publisher-built measurement platforms and solutions on digital connections, enabling second-by-second understanding of user choices, web clicks, and ad views, all tied to audience demographics provided by consumers. Advertisers could transact on these evolved currencies, from demos to performance KPIs to viewability guarantees.
Unlike digital television, linear television, an analog viewing experience, could not understand consumer behavior without a panel. Ratings measure the demographics of shows through a representative sample. This show data is a proxy for identifying and buying ads reaching larger groups of target demos.
Since this data is neither consumer-provided nor real-time, relying on shows as a proxy when buying audience demographics often results in wasted impressions. For example, a linear TV show that biases 70% women is inherently 30% trash compared to a campaign targeted at women.
As TV networks evolve into streaming services, it becomes increasingly important to be able to more accurately target and measure consumer data to better plan and measure audiences and consumer buying behavior. .
Any platform without a direct consumer relationship will be limited in the data it collects and the extent it can offer. These intermediaries face a difficult future. They rely on data consortia, third-party cookies, IP addresses and mobile IDs that are on the verge of extinction.
Brands that favor measurement without a consumer will struggle to understand what is going on with their consumer. Publishers that not only maximize their relationships with consumers, but also invest in data sources such as Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) and Identity Resolution will create the future of cross-platform currency.
So what can you do as an advertiser to better leverage these existing measurement and currency solutions?
- Identify the KPIs that are most important to you as a brand, whether it’s audience, brand building, or performance. And if you’re lucky enough to have your own CRM data, develop those assets to directly support those who transact and measure those KPIs.
- Once you’ve defined your KPIs, partner with vendors who also have their own consumer-provided data that can help plan, optimize, and measure those specific targets more accurately.
- Finally, once these campaigns are running and measured, develop performance benchmarks with this partner that will help dictate the best currency for you.
It’s an exciting future for TV advertising – addressable, flexible, comprehensive and measurable. And it’s already there, now.