Target the Audiences Who Count With Data-Driven TV


For the past six decades, advertisers used television as an effective means to reach large groups of consumers. Agencies became accustomed to buying TV against demographic segments — like women or adults 25-54.

Today, TV remains an extremely effective mass-reach vehicle — despite some pundits proclaiming the medium’s death. Consumers are still watching TV, and brands can now leverage data-driven TV options to reach very specific audience segments.

“Consumers spend, on average, more than 37 hours a week watching TV.”

Audience Buying, Addressable TV Reach Homeowners
Emerging buying options like Audience Buying and Addressable TV use ad technology, first- and third-party consumer data, cable-subscriber information and traditional viewing data to reach more of the desired target audience. For an example of this, let’s use a fictional financial institution: “DollarTrust.”

DollarTrust launches a campaign to drive home equity loan applications. But the brand does not want to talk to all homeowners, just those with $100,000 or more in equity. It also does not want to speak to consumers renting their homes. The brand could take one or more of three approaches to reach its target audience.

  1. Classic TV Buying is purchasing and guaranteeing against an age/sex demographic, such as adults 25-54. This method targets the masses; it has been around for many years and works well for mass marketers. In this example, Classic TV Buying requires DollarTrust to cast a wide net to speak to the home equity target audience. It will be reaching renters and homeowners (with all levels of equity in their houses) alike.
  2. Audience Buying is purchasing and guaranteeing against a custom target audience. In this example, the custom target is homeowners who have $100,000 or more in equity. Audience Buying combines first- and third-party data from database marketing/technology companies, like Acxiom, with TV viewing to identify and create a look-alike audience. Then, inventory is aggregated based on the concentration of the custom audience. This approach reaches more of DollarTrust’s target consumers than Classic TV Buying. Audience Buying is relatively new and works very well for marketers who need custom targeting.
  3. Addressable TV is similar to Audience Buying, except the data is used to identify households that are an exact match with the target audience criteria. As a result, advertisers can air their message exclusively in those specific homes. For example, if one neighbor rents his home, a second has equity of $50,000 and a third equity of $150,000, the third neighbor will receive the home equity loan ad, but the first and second neighbors will not.

Reaching the Right People
In many media plans, all three of these options work together to deliver on campaign objectives. By leveraging Classic TV Buying, Audience Buying and Addressable TV, brands minimize waste and create efficiencies that drive business results. Instead of counting the people they reach, brands using these approaches can reach the people who count.

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Kylee Alter
Kylee Alter