Guest Blogger: Brendan Clancy, Account Executive at AudienceXpress
Television buyers find themselves in similar situations that we find ourselves in when in the market to buy a new car. For instance, we know the exact features we need: best in safety, rear-view camera, and voice activated radio and audio controls, but we don’t know which brand to go with because they all claim that they have what’s right for us. If car buyers only took the car salesman’s word for it without doing their own independent research of which car actually best meets their list of requirements, then we might have a lot of new car owners out there that don’t feel that they got the biggest bang for their buck once they drove the car off the lot.
In today’s TV advertising ecosystem, clients demand advanced, data-driven buys and buyers look for the best ways to execute them. However, most television advertising is still sold by sellers who approach buyers armed with presentations about why their network can better deliver the exact consumer that the buyer needs to target. It’s up to the buyer to make sense of how the same television Account Executive that just left their office claiming that their network is the ABSOLUTE BEST place to advertise for women’s shoes also came in last week claiming that their network was positioned as THE HOME for the agency’s new men’s shaving cream client. Certainly there are networks that can claim to have such wide audiences, but as TV viewership has grown fragmented over the last two decades, audiences have grown increasingly niche.
Big tent networks and programs have grown increasingly scarce, which has led buyers to view seller’s data presentations with immense skepticism. Sellers, by nature, will always look to highlight their own product’s strengths. Conversely, a perceptive buyer views the seller’s claims with caution.
Wouldn’t a buyer’s time be better spent evaluating data that gives a clear picture of the TV landscape? Agencies and clients are already aware that better audience targeting data exists, but which products can be trusted to give an accurate read of the landscape? Very few programmatic TV platforms have solved that problem.
By accessing and aggregating inventory from local MVPDs (the providers that give cable networks their national footprint) and sourcing our data through trusted third parties enables agencies to plan, build and execute data-driven buys without worrying about data bias. With enough manpower (and excel spreadsheets with thousands of lines) this model could be duplicated many times over, but by leveraging advanced TV targeting technology, true programmatic TV is able to automate the process and seamlessly provide real-time access to MVPD inventory that, when coupled with complete data transparency, gives a never before seen, unbiased look at the national cable landscape.
Next time we find ourselves looking for a new car, or a new network to place our ad, we need to make sure we get a clear view of our options before breaking out the check book.