DISH Media's Vanessa Longworth on Managing Addressable Data

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Cover image for  article: DISH Media's Vanessa Longworth on Managing Addressable Data

When it comes to driving the value of addressable advertising, "first-party data is extremely beneficial," notes Vanessa Longworth (pictured above). She should know. As the data partnerships manager at DISH Media, Longworth is responsible for creating and managing strategic data relationships and maximizing the use and value of DISH Media's first-party DISH subscriber data.

Current Data Uses

The burning questions Longworth often gets regarding the use of data for targeting audiences include, "What data is commonly used?" and "How is it used?"

"It's important to remember that Personally Identifiable Information is not released to advertisers. The process is completely anonymous," Longworth says. "There is so much data out there and there are many ways that brands can use it. Brands can use their own first-party data, sometimes supplementing that with third-party demographic datasets."

Data can be leveraged depending on KPIs ranging from top to bottom of the marketing funnel, starting at awareness and consideration and down to intent/preference and purchase/loyalty.

"We see advertisers using brand health surveys to gain insight into the top of the funnel, and using a mix of first-party and third-party data to target consumers to make an action at the bottom of the funnel," says Longworth. "Auto advertisers are really digging in, using third-party DMV data to target consumers in-market and then a variety of attribution touchpoints to follow the consumer in their purchase journey. They use brand health to see awareness and consideration, website traffic and foot traffic to dealerships to see intent and preference, and sales lift to see purchase."

DISH itself uses its own aggregated and anonymized first-party DISH subscriber data and viewership data from DISH's set-top-box data to help programmers promote their content. "We can target households who have viewed the network or a specific show or a similar genre of a specific show," Longworth explains. The data can also be used for pay-per-view clients where viewers can be targeted to make a purchase. "We build a lot of viewership models to hone in on programmer target audiences," she adds.

One strategic way brands may use their own first-party or third-party data is "to target current customers, target potential new customers, or conquest by going after a competitor customer base," Longworth says. "They may try to target customers who have lapsed purchasing their brand, or target current customers to buy a new product or increase spend."

The Data Evolution

Data has evolved significantly since Longworth first started in the industry and has become a vital aspect of the advertising ecosystem. She notes that while new datasets are available courtesy of new technologies, there is also much more availability of data in general across the ecosystem. "The number of data companies and the abundance of data available has boomed," she says. "A lot of data points are collected through the internet, mobile devices, and other public and private sources like CRM databases."

TV advertisers are able to utilize this data to create a more personalized experience for the viewer, and in turn, compete with digital advertising. And brands are responding positively, by finding ways to make their own efforts more data driven.

For example, some DISH Media clients are able to track which viewers complete a call to action, after seeing a specific advertisement. "We see some of our clients place a pixel on their website, to track who is visiting the page. Using a third-party data company, they are able to match that list of website visitors with a list of viewers who saw the ad, in a completely anonymous and safe environment."

With such an abundance of data, Longworth's team works to partner with the best sources in order to benefit clients and remain data agnostic. "We've been doing this for so long and we know a lot of data vendors, and the best practices for addressable and addressable verticals," she noted. "And we are always keeping on top of trends."

The Data Future

With the legislative push toward greater privacy protection, the future of data-driven targeted marketing might be open to question. But Longworth is optimistic. "Data has existed and been used for advertising for half a century, when you consider one of the first 'addressable advertising' strategies were done through direct mail," she says. "These laws are meant to create more transparency to consumers."

That's one reason Longworth expects the use of data to grow rather than decline in a more privacy-compliant world. "I see data being used more and more as the years go by. Because there are more players in the space, it's making the addressable footprint more robust. Data helps inform advertisers of the right way to target and the best way to optimize and measure their campaign, while creating a more relevant advertising experience for consumers," and this can be done in a privacy-compliant, consumer-friendly way.

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