Peter Olsen on the Impact of A+E Networks' Outcome-Based Conversion Guarantees

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Cover image for  article: Peter Olsen on the Impact of A+E Networks' Outcome-Based Conversion Guarantees

A+E Networks' recent announcement about the significant incremental revenue increase it garnered with its outcome-based conversion guarantees to advertisers has sparked greater interest in the value of attribution-based sales for the 2018 Upfront.  "We truly believe in outcomes as a game changer for the industry," said Peter Olsen, Executive Vice President, Ad Sales, A+E Networks.  "Everything we have done for decades has been creating proxies for what really matters:  Did my marketing campaign drive business outcomes?  Thus, we are taking the long view on this and didn't expect massive changes in year one.  We are very pleased with the dialogue we are having with clients and agencies on this front."

"A+E Networks has taken a clear leadership position in embracing attribution reporting and truly highlighting the power of TV to drive results for marketers," said John Hoctor, CEO of Data Plus Math, whose company is working closely with A+E to track and measure the results.

Olsen (pictured below) recently spoke with MediaVillage about what this type of guarantee has done to service clients and spur their ad sales.

Charlene Weisler:  What was the reaction from the clients?

Peter Olsen:  They are just happy that we are listening and taking action on what really matter most to them and that's providing true ROI on theirmedia investments.

Weisler:  What are the next steps to expand this?

Olsen:  We've seen terrific momentum around our Audience-Based Solutions (Precision/Performance) since we announced outcome-based guarantees last spring.  We'll continue to partner with dynamic measurement companies like Data+Math and we are expanding the A+E Networks team, which is now headed by Ethan Heftman, Vice President of Audience-Based Solutions, so we can keep up with marketplace demands.  It's an exciting time for us and we couldn't be more thrilled to bring to market this offering that we believe will drive our partners' businesses forward.  There are a few additional announcements that will be coming out around the ANA on what comes next.

Weisler:  Which industries were included in this study?

Olsen:  We can't get too specific due to client confidentiality, but these deals represent marketers within the auto and QSR categories, among others.

Weisler:  Were the results guaranteed and if so, what was the basis of the guarantee?

Olsen:  The overall deals are a blend of traditional metrics (age/sex); strategic target guarantees, and a portion of each deal is guaranteed on a business outcome.  We need to create benchmarks and then guarantee a liftoff of that benchmark -- which all takes some time.

Weisler:  Were there differences by category or any surprises?

Olsen:  Absolutely there are differences!  And there should be.  The business metrics for an auto advertiser are vastly different than those of a QSR. The biggest surprise we saw was that, regardless of the category, there's an eagerness and openness among our partners to take a step in this direction.  In each instance it's been a collaborative effort from the start.  As our partners on-board more data sets, we believe ultimately this offering will be available for virtually all categories.

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