The wave of reimagining TV is underway. There’s more content than ever before, and the modern viewer consumes it on their own time, in their own way, and via a variety of devices. Yet, consolidation, and thereby relief, is certainly on the horizon.
Those in the media industry know that the notion of convergent TV, defined as bringing together streaming, linear, and digital video advertising, has been a hot button topic for years. What’s new, now, is fitting the measurement pieces together.
In this piece, we discuss the pillars of building successful converged TV campaigns, including the evolving data marketplace–because, thanks to the abundance of new metrics at our fingertips, measurability is greater today than ever before.
Let’s dive in.
Pillar 1: Adopt a creative-first mindset
Let’s begin at the heart of any ad campaign–the creative. In an ever-changing industry, it’s unsurprising that the shift to streaming has reframed how marketers think about the canvas, i.e. the television screen, including the full scope of possibilities.
Think about it this way–consumers aren’t privy to whether their viewing experience is broadcast or programmatic. On the measurement side of things, that means we really need to think like a brand. Meaning, prioritizing the consumer perspectives first, and then measuring how they’re actually experiencing both the media and the brands as part of that content.
Naturally, the creative opportunities are endless. After all, this is about bringing the best of digital into the sight, sound, and motion of a TV screen. And with that comes a wide range of formats, encompassing interactive units and dynamic creative, which uses data to customize and personalize messages.
So creative comes first. Absolutely no question.
Pillar 2: Fight against fragmentation
One of the benefits of bringing together different forms of television is that it's accelerated the shift to impressions as a unit for advertising measurement. Now, we’re able to get away from thinking about TV In terms of pods of commercials, and it's allowing the market to find commonality across all forms of TV media.
But of course, with the diversity of platforms and screens, those aiming to reach hyper-targeted audiences will need extra support. Some of the developments across the sell side involve taking steps to adopt a more consolidated way of packaging and selling their inventory. Yet, there’s still plenty of work ahead. Most notably, ironing out how to bring linear and streaming into a single way of planning, buying, and selling that inventory.
For these reasons, a unified view of your converged TV campaigns is the gold standard. But one that’s difficult to achieve. One emerging approach is to use ad delivery technology that allows us to more comprehensively account for unique impressions tied to audiences across platforms. It enables the connection of ad delivery data to linear viewership data.
Pillar 3: Merge the metrics that matter
Shifting to the third key principle of building converged TV campaigns—surfacing the right metrics to provide actionable insights. And what it really comes down to is finding metrics that are best tuned to providing answers and insights around what we're trying to learn. Brands don't think about measurement and their marketing analytics as wholly distinct measures, but instead, as part of a coordinated workflow.
As types of media are coming together, marketers will likely continue drilling into creative, and frequency sort of sits at the nexus of that. Brands expect consistency between the impressions used to count viewership of their messages or exposure by media channel partners. Those impressions should be used to determine the performance of an individual creative. And underlying this is a need for data consistency as well as a need for technology and systems that use those same units, yet can still power different use cases. Because as any practitioner in the space will tell you, losing data between measurements like reach, frequency, and outcomes is costly and time consuming. It stalls business results.
All in all, the market is telling us to extract insights faster, reduce the barriers to high quality creatives, gain visible measurement across platforms, and reduce friction by using consistent datasets to power all of those use cases.
Pillar 4: Keep moving the needle
The last and final key to building a successful convergent TV campaign is a notion of constant learning, continual optimization, and essentially allowing those outcomes to be inputs. The speed of decision making appears to be getting faster, and the need for precision at scale helps marketers feel confident in the data that they're using.
The reality is we have the data and the technology. So our real task is assessing the possibilities available through creative media plans and measurement all working together. As converged TV investments grow, advertisers will continue to demand a unified view of converged TV campaigns. They’ll go to market with a more holistic approach across all forms of television.
Eventually, it will just be television–not advanced, CTV, linear, or broadcast. Just television, in all of its sophisticated simplicity.