Cadent's Rachel Herbstman on the Art and Science of Holistic Addressable Advertising

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A lot has happened since my last discussion with Cadent's Rachel Herbstman last April. Herbstman, now vice president, platform analytics, Cadent Addressable, continues to support the company's updated Addressable Platform, which has expanded and improved its capabilities.

It's no wonder, then, that Herbstman's team has expanded over the past few months and includes experts in data science and computer science who partner with media mavericks. "It's a complementary approach that allows us to look at campaign analytics with different perspectives," she explained, adding that it allows Cadent to "automate attribution and increase our overall productivity within the group."

Perhaps the biggest change is the degree and type of automation that, in her words, informs the platform. "We can look at any campaign performance data received and dissect the results for best learnings and visualizations," Herbstman says, "and because we are getting the data from the whole industry versus just one particular system or one particular type of media, there's a lot to learn." Specifically, they can learn about the variances in advertising impact in different environments, from VOD to linear to OTT, and across types of audiences.

The platform now allows for looking at data holistically to "understand the actionable takeaways from all of the different dimensions," she says. Then, once the individual campaigns are analyzed, The Cadent team can use this knowledge to help inform the entire category.

Cadent's platform is an open ecosystem that can use any data set from any service, Herbstman points out. "So, if a client wants to use their own data, they can ingest that," she says. "If a client is more interested in prospecting, we can use their first-party with any third-party data and compare the measurable differences between the two." In this way, an advertiser can ascertain the differences in audience behavior by platform.

How the Landscape Has Changed

Because Cadent is taking a holistic approach to addressable advertising, the team has a good view of the trends occurring in the media landscape and how different media types and messages resonate with different audiences by platform. "So, for instance," Herbstman says, "in a VOD environment, we may need less frequency to drive a conversion because the consumer is in an engaged lean-in viewing environment, consuming media differently than watching a linear television show."

Being able to look at different cuts of data by audience, viewing environment, or creative length is a great advantage and can lead to new insights into engagement and investment strategies.

Addressable isn't all about lower-funnel metrics.  Reach is another area where having different datasets is valuable. There may be opportunities to add messaging later in a campaign to improve reach. "Maybe we layer on different data-driven tactics in weeks four or five of a campaign when reach has plateaued in linear television," Herbstman explains, "so you can get new eyeballs and pay less to find that incremental consumer."

Predicting Business Outcomes

Herbstman notes that one of the major efforts over the past few months has been improving collaboration within the company. "The analytics group has been working closely with the products group and the data engineering teams and the data science leads," she says. This enables the company to leverage all of the historical data received on a campaign-by-campaign basis to better understand the trends and form models to better predict future business outcomes. These models could also take into account campaign elements such as seasonality and flight length.

"Our platform embraces the very best of all of the marketing tools," Herbstman asserts. "What we're able to do is understand, from a digital and a television perspective, how audiences are engaging in and consuming content." From the onset of a campaign, she explains, instead of looking at addressability as a standalone method, Cadent works with the agencies and advertisers to understand their holistic campaign parameters and how they use other media tactics for the smartest overall strategic approach.

Taking a holistic approach is the future of advertising and Cadent is dedicated to being a frontrunner in that effort.

"While the TV infrastructure evolves, advertisers today want their investments to make a real, measurable impact on their businesses," says Herbstman. "My focus remains on providing actionable campaign results and identifying opportunities for investments for our clients. Through addressable TV, marketers get a complete picture of the effectiveness of their spend, which they can use to make their campaigns work even harder in the future."

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