There is a lot of activity brewing in the advanced advertising sector and the recent Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News' Advanced Advertising conference in NYC brought many of us up to date. The conclusion of the conference was, as we prepare for the upfront TV season, advanced advertising will not only be a bigger player, it may even shift dollars. And, according to most of the panels, when we say Advanced Advertising we are also saying TV Programmatic in the same breath.

Granted, most of us think of Advanced Advertising as local time now but it is fast moving into national applications. Fox recently announced the appointment of Joe Marchese to President, Advanced Advertising Products, a new position overseeing all non-linear TV advertising products and services inside Fox. “It is only March 2015 and we have already seen movement in this space,” Louis Hillelson, Group Publisher B&C/Multichannel News, revealed.

Unifying content offerings and getting credit for all of the audience delivered is the Holy Grail. This requires accurate cross platform metrics, the ability to steward all of the different units and an effective and automated platform to drive the sales process from proposal to completion.

Automation

Even in this technological age, there are still a number of inefficient manual processes in the television buying and selling process. There is a great hunger among many of the buyers and sellers to automate and streamline them. Magna Global Executive Vice President Todd Gorden explained, “Traditional television still has manual processes -- faxes, retyping of plans. We want to automate. Free up more time for conversations that help each business. [TV Programmatic] offers quality data to define target, a tech platform to facilitate business and inventory that can take advantage to where technology takes us.”

Measurement

It all comes down to measurement and the ability to match disparate datasets accurately to gain insight into true consumer behaviors. “Measurement is a key component,” said Comcast Executive Director Advanced Advertising, Dan Carella.

AT&T AdWorks Vice President, National Sales Chris Monteferrante explained how his company handles measurement. “We retrieve second by second data from every set top box and develop an algorithm that takes all STB data, culls it down and produces an optimized media plan,” he said. “The science is solid, the research is solid and the output is solid.”

Dan Sinagoga, Vice President Comcast Spotlight agreed. “It is all about the data -- household level data against your key segments,” he noted.

With the ability to match to segments, there are “real insights into the customer, and the best available source of media usage behavior to match it to,” said Cadreen U.S. Executive Vice President and Managing Director Erica Schmidt.

But the industry has a way to go. Freewheel General Manager James Rooke admitted that there is “undervalued inventory because of measurement challenges out there.”

Stewardship

Ultimately, it is the need for seamless de’siloing systems that makes the entire buy sell process fully trackable. Chris Monteferrante noted that, “Systems will bring it all together. What are the standards of that system? How can we tie it all together?”

Some agencies have successfully established a planning protocol. Mike Bologna, President MODI Media, sees advanced advertising commanding 20-30% of a budget at this time. “Hyper segments defined for advertisers can determine how TV content indexes against segments,” he said. “[We] can do a beautifully balanced TV plan for an advertiser, down to the individual household. We take advantage of all the data and technology and balance between core and future customers.”

The Future?

Though there is a lot of talk about Programmatic TV in the upcoming Upfront, this does not portend the end of traditional TV. In fact, the two processes can go hand in hand. “Comparing traditional TV to Programmatic TV is apples to oranges,” Todd Gorden explained. “Traditional TV is a more effective way to get up reach curve. But then it levels out. Then a dollar spent via programmatic can deliver more incremental reach.”

There are many national networks starting to explore the potential and build out their Programmatic TV strategy. Attendee Hanna Gryncwajg, Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales for RLTV, sees an opportunity. “I see programmatic [automated] selling as a benefit for all national networks,” she said. “Long tail cable networks have rich audience compositions and will likely find a CPM benefit from their current undervalued impressions. Under appreciated audiences such as Boomers [Adults 50+] will be welcome when data shows they are the ones buying certain products and services.”

Interviews conducted by Charlene Weisler, Weisler Media LLC. She can be reached through herCharlene Weisler research blog www.WeislerMedia.blogspot.com or at WeislerMedia@yahoo.com. Full disclosure: Charlene hosts a street art blog on The Starry Eye blog community.

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