Sync Online Video and TV Buying to Create a More Cohesive Media Plan
For media buyers seeking a cohesive media plan, the worlds of TV and Video will officially collide this year. Stats are pouring in to show record numbers of cable cord-cutters, smart TV increases and multi-screen behavior.
All of these signs show that undeniable consumer behaviors are messing with the traditional rules of media planning and buying. Buyers can’t assume that engagement, content quality or even prices should be higher on TV. And to get scale, they are turning to new advanced TV, VOD and OTT (subscription video on demand) offerings that combine fractured audiences. Most importantly, they must view all media buys through the lens of an individual.
The Hybrid Persona
For the last decade, TV planners had to deal with targeting households, while digital planners got enough data to start targeting individuals and smarter ways of targeting digital content. This barrier is thankfully eroding, as smart TVs and other logged-in TV behavior gives brands enough data to start to bridge the gap. However, this doesn’t mean that most marketers are already targeting individuals on TV.
For many brands, starting down a “hybrid” path is a chicken-or-the-egg situation. Without clear information, it’s hard to know what data points to target. But until they test, they won’t know what works. Dish recently explained (opens as a PDF) that:
“It comes down to a mix of precision viewer and third-party data, which is used to zero-in on the households that meet the advertisers' target attributes.”
In other words, to find the right audience, brands need to test and measure. Rather than dipping a toe into a single new outlet, it’s better for brands to think across channels now — targeting viewers of a TV show on social media or using purchase data to create a segment for a TV buy. This will speed up the learning process and knit teams closer together, sooner.
New Tactics to Span Screens
The best way for brands to make the leap into individually targeted video and TV marketing is for digital planners to share their knowledge of audience targeting and to bone up on new tactics available in the market. Many agencies have had access to The Trade Desk’s connected TV offering, which enables media buying across channels in its own DMP. More recently, Twitter announced marketers can target promoted tweets to consumers engaging with specific TV shows or networks. Google syncs YouTube with Nielsen DMAs and offers real-time TV-triggered targeting on their video inventory. Now is the time to educate the TV team.
Bringing all of these insights together requires expertise from both sides, of course. YouTube offers persona-building across YouTube and other Google properties, and allows brands to buy media against show-related user-generated content. For example, buyers can tie media buys from TV shows to related reviews, alternate endings and other fan content. In many cases, new UGC will surge just after a big show airs; either a new series or a timely sports event. This is the perfect opportunity to not only sync media buys, but also test the crossover of TV and digital audiences. For example, which audiences watch reviews of runway fashion after an awards show?
What’s more, third parties like Polk and Adara deliver detailed vertical-specific insights. DMPs collect cookie information, while companies like TVAdSync offer granular TV viewing data from smart TVs. Marketers can retarget audiences from one screen on another, or even just email them. Each of these different — valuable — offerings provides a facet of a consumer persona. With DMPs, CDPs and CRM systems already up and running, marketers need to use 2019 to create a more robust user profile strategy to make sense of the influx of new insights and prioritize tactics. This requires inputs from everyone.
With good user profiles in place, brands can start to understand the multi-screen behaviors of their audiences and more confidently target across screens to the same audience. Google’s real-time triggers allow brands to activate display and video campaigns based on pre-defined triggers, such as their commercial airing during the Super Bowl. Brands can also use Nielsen geolocation syncing to retarget audiences who have viewed ads on regular TV.
Do the Work Now
Marketers, particularly digital marketers, are used to trying new things. That doesn’t mean growth is painless. Often, a new tactic — like programmatic or SMS messaging — gets a test budget, and then marketers look at bottom-line performance metrics to decide how much more to invest. Cross-device video is a different animal, because rather than introducing a new tactic to the market, it’s upending the market altogether. The merging of TV and video spans data, targeting, creative and planning.
As more companies bring parts of media buying in-house, now is the time to rethink how TV fits into that picture. As recently as 2015, programmatic was still a backwater part of digital media; and now, it accounts for the majority of media buys online. Advanced TV will soon follow. Creating an audience-first approach to media buying across channels can actually include TV now, and that should be embraced.