Linking Data to Follow the Consumer Journey: NYI's Betsy Rella

By NY Interconnect InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: Linking Data to Follow the Consumer Journey: NYI's Betsy Rella

Disconnected data means the consumer journey is all too often a mystery. Advertisers that gain an understanding of that journey can also gain a competitive edge. That's where New York Interconnect (NYI) comes in. NYI is arguably number one in reaching the full New York DMA because of its integrated data solutions.

"We are in an interesting position," said Betsy Rella (pictured above), NYI's vice president, research and data. "We are a joint venture between Altice, Comcast, and Charter, and their affiliates underneath them." Because of this unique set of partners, NYI reaches over 17 million people and 6.5 million households in the New York DMA and boasts the ability to go multiplatform, with a range of granular data available to measure, track, and target viewers, as well as attribute consumer transactions and behavior.

Targeting Both Nationally and Locally

In my opinion, one of the most interesting datasets that Rella has at her disposal is from Cablevision (now Altice). I can speak to the richness of this data, having worked with it during my time at Rainbow Media (now AMC Networks), leveraging the range of county sizes, as well as capturing the most diverse and concentrated populations in America.

NYI is, at once, both hyper-local and vastly national. "We are able to find a range of audiences — for example, auto intenders or diners who frequent quick-service restaurants — content preferences, and beyond. We then link it to the backend for ROI,"she explained. "We are selling within the NY DMA, as well as partnering with [Ampersand] to layer in our NY campaigns with national campaigns."

But, NYI also targets by zone. "If our advertiser only has stores on Long Island, we can cover that, too."

Merging Disparate Datasets

NYI, with all of its available datasets, has the ability to combine data from many different sources. "With set-top-box data, we have access to Altice," Rella said, "which is highly granular."

NYI receives ad exposure data from other MVPDs, "so we can do linear attribution across Altice, Comcast, and Charter for exposed ads," she added. "And, we have multiple partners in terms of third-party data such as IRI and Polk so we can then match the HH exposed to the ads with the outcome data. We also work with companies for brand studies and match ad exposure to top funnel metrics."

Rella noted that NYI is bringing Comcast and Charter aboard for addressable linear. This creates the need to artfully and accurately "pull the impressions together in one place," she said. "We are mapping out the workflow: How does it come in, what does the format look like, how do we store it, and how does that funnel into one report?" This functionality is currently in development and will also include attribution, all in a privacy-compliant manner.

Going Forward

The biggest challenge, according to Rella, is pulling all of the disparate datasets into one platform. "There are organizations and platforms out there that have that ability to tie everything together from start to finish," she explained, "but we have to get all of our business partners onboard for automated co-mingling of the data." In some cases, the systems are there; in others, NYI still has to address specific needs with its adtech partners.

"It's putting together platforms, exposure files, impressions, and ad servers," she explained. "The goal of our Audience One platform is to have the linear, digital, STB VOD, and OTT all in one place, from start to finish with regard to planning, targeting, and reporting, and layer on attribution as well".

Through all of this, Rella has a wise take on both the opportunities and challenges of shepherding an ad-driven, data-centric business in today's media marketplace. "We are building the plane as we fly it," she observed. And, right now, maybe that is the best way to manage ad flights.

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