When it comes to staying on television as long as possible, the biggest barrier is most likely to be budget. Although cost-efficient at generating mass reach, television is still prohibitively expensive to run for an extended period of time. The question therefore becomes how you keep the brand as visible as possible between mass media bursts, with maximum impact.
If we consider that the reason to stay on air as much as possible is to maintain and build stronger memory structures among consumers, then a priority becomes clear: focus your efforts on the consumers with a lower affinity for your brand. Your heavy buyers do not need to see the brand as often as light or non-buyers in order to keep you top of mind. Applying this approach successfully would have the impact of raising the average strength of memory structures within your category buyers. But how do we find lower affinity buyers versus higher affinity buyers?
Television has targeting abilities within both free-to-air and pay television, particularly using programmatic purchasing, to reach specific audiences needed to implement prioritisation. Focusing the bulk of your paid media budget in this manner will allow an advertiser to reach those where it will have the highest impact.
First, we should define what “programmatic TV” means. eMarketer defines “programmatic TV” as “an automated, technology-driven method of buying and delivering linear television ads.” This paper takes a broader definition by considering the potential of video on demand (VOD) and addressable TV. To consumers these distinctions are irrelevant – we live in a world where viewers move seamlessly between devices and platforms. The primary goal for any advertiser is to mimic this behaviour in their ad buying, moving toward a centralised approach that is agnostic about how or where an ad gets watched.
There are a couple of potential ways advertisers can reach deeper audiences on television beyond basic age and gender:
1. Using data to buy specific contexts, shows, networks and regions that index higher toward a specific audience.
2. The promise of addressable television advertising is that it enables advertisers to use data from the cable company (including postcode, age and gender), linked to data from third parties to target different ads to individual households. In the US and UK, addressability has been made possible by the introduction of digital cable boxes, which enable cable companies to target ads at a household level across linear, cable and catch up TV. It is anticipated that both approaches will eventually be used in conjunction in the coming years to reach deeper audiences.
The growth of video in Australia is well documented. According to PwC, video advertising for the June quarter 2015 was just shy of $113 million, representing an 84% increase on the June quarter 2014. Data-driven marketing and programmatic buying has the ability to deliver better targeting results.
Not only does programmatic television extend this benefit to television advertising, it enables holistic planning across every screen. Television bought through programmatic purchasing allows brand advertisers more flexibility to shift advertising expenditure and optimise reach and frequency, regardless of where a viewer is watching.
The key reasons for programmatic television buys include:
Audience Efficiency: Data-driven software provides sophisticated, granular targeting of audiences beyond basic age and gender, or network ratings. The improved ability to reach more granular audiences results in lower overall on-target cost.
Cross-Screen: The emergence of platforms that can plan and measure brand campaigns across screens, devices and mediums provides a seamless experience for advertisers to execute holistic strategies.
While programmatic TV is unlikely to impact the upfront planning process greatly, it does play a key role in targeting audiences across screens and in providing more deeply integrated planning options.