Is The Addressor More Important Than The Addressee?

This is an important topic to discuss in the new age of programmatic buying, especially as it starts to creep out into traditional media. The historical method of advertising is interrupting content to present your message to the entire audience of a media vehicle (magazine, TV show, radio show). Okay, you could sometimes buy partial audiences based on geography or, in the case of print, extra content added for special audiences, but we were trained as media professionals to negotiate with media sellers to place our ads to a content seller’s entire audience based on that audience’s value as compared to the next seller’s audience.

Last week we met with a cable system operator who is starting to offer real addressability of their television audience based on HH data and set-top-box identity. I was thrilled because for many clients the HH is the buying unit and I’d rather message an accumulation of particular HH’s based on proclivity than a program’s audience—the former has to be more predictive to success than the latter.

That’s when our discussion got interesting. Does it matter what TV program an ad runs in or is the aggregate of addressable prospects more valuable? Some argue no because they were trained to evaluate and buy programs. But these days we’re dealing with new realities that don’t require us to buy total audiences. We have the data and the technology that enable us to deliver ads to individuals and therefore, in most cases, the venue is irrelevant. Much like most programmatic buys for online media, addressable TV frees us from investing large sums directly with content providers and now the distributor of that content, the cable operator, not the network or the syndicator is who we should be placing media buys with.

So what becomes critical with addressable TV? How about bad content. Huh? “That makes no sense”, you say. But if I want people to take action from an ad on TV I want my ad to be in content people are willing to abandon. That’s right and that’s what DR marketers have known for a long time.

Here’s where it gets even more interesting. Cable operators are selling ads to local businesses and DR marketers. Adding addressability to their quiver means national marketers with unique needs become a viable source to sell ads to. By creating an additional customer base the demand for their inventory increases, thus raising the bar for pricing on their inventory, creating another tier of ad pricing. Smart move cable operator. Extract more value from your current base and add an entirely new customer base. I’m buying.

What about you?

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5 thoughts on “Is The Addressor More Important Than The Addressee?

  1. Ron Bender says:

    So, if content abandon-ability will drive this addressable marketing, it follows that content providers must improve their programming to retain their viewers through the targeted ads (distractions), and content marketers must join in the push for better, more engaging content. I like it!

  2. Granular data on a level we have come to expect from online will have similar targeting impact on broadcast as interactivity and “addressability” (ouch, is there even such a word?) gains traction.

  3. David Hoo says:

    For mass marketed products and services, targeting and addressability aren’t that important because because buyers cannot really be targeted, with gross the exception of men/women-only products, households with children, pet owners. There is simply too much randomness in brand purchasing among buyers of frequently purchased products and services. So in these cases, the audience is not that important. However, the venue is important. A highly rated first-run, Network Prime time comedy series like the Big Bang Theory is a better environment than Cable re-runs of old daytime shows. Viewer engagement with the program is far higher, thereby increasing the probability of exposure at the commercial breaks. We have often measured about a 50% incremental lift for CPG products with Network Prime over low-CPM Cable programming. Perhaps DR marketed products want content that viewers are willing to abandon because DR marketers want the consumer to call NOW to buy.

    • David, yes and no. If I can segment HH’s based on past usage, non-usage, heavy usage, etc. by matching STB data with loyalty card data I can change the messaging a HH sees. You know I like to segment prospects based on how they buy in a category (taste, health, convenience, etc), so wouldn’t it be better to deliver specific messaging based on that person’s motivation? As for the programming type, if I am building in a response mechanism–which we typically do–I need programs that have lower engagement. The type of action we want is a visit to a website and sometimes a phone call.

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