In the classic film Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella believes 'If you build it, he will come'. But what if the 'he' is The Target Audience. If you develop a platform that features the sizzle of addressable but delivers the meat & potatoes of Linear TV, will the audience be there? New York Interconnect believed in the possibility and has proven it with its new Linear + data and attribution platform that closes the campaign loop and proves ROI. I spoke with NYI's Director of Addressable Sales, Jim McGraw, to investigate further.
Addressable TV has enjoyed all the buzz in recent years, and one can make the argument that Linear TV has regained buzz as consumer habits have shifted and overall audiences for all TV have increased. According to Leichtman Research Group, since the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, 53% of adults in U.S. say they now spend more time watching TV per day, while only 16% say they watch less. * NYI created Linear + to find the consumer, wherever they are. "We're trying to find the audience where and when they're watching. For the longest time, we've heard nothing except cord cutting" McGraw says. "The reality is they're just watching the same things differently now." With 7.5 million households in the New York DMA, the biggest in the country that's a powerful reason to find them.
So how does Linear + find them? With an effective combination of the reach of linear and the measurement of backend addressable set-top data from partners Comcast, Charter and Altice, says McGraw. NYI is able to get exposure files from their partners so they can do post campaign analysis to the bigger footprint instead of just the addressable side. Reach really does matter, McGraw agrees, and reporting on the household (HH) segments vs. demo can in fact give advertisers a more effective actionable picture of their campaigns. With 2021 budgets even tighter than usual, this can be crucial to maximizing ROI. We all know how awesome data is, but how it's implemented is the critical ingredient. McGraw makes a point about assumptions, "If you're assuming that women 35 to 64 are the ones making the decision to purchase paint at Lowes, for example, perhaps it's not accurate. Building data to confirm assumptions in reverse is absolutely fascinating, because I believe there are a lot of assumptions out there."
For media planning, I asked McGraw how this changes the landscape. "Addressable was something that the more traditional buying community often shied away from in an impressions-based buy." For example, he commented, "daytime news consumption is through the roof," and traditional concepts like dayparts have been blurred to the point of non-existence in this new linear TV world. While this platform might not be ideal for the most finite of targeted campaigns, it's ideal for broader reach-based advertisers. "For financial institutions, if you're looking for people to come in and open a credit card or a checking account, everybody has the ability to do that. So why not use this type of platform," McGraw encourages.
How have clients been receiving Linear +? McGraw informed me that "those who understand the technology trust the audience and the data. If you're not yet on board, you're going to continue to buy traditional roadblocks or high-profile rotators in prime time and things like that. Luckily, I think it's shifting and more believers in the technology are in our world."
Obviously, clients who have already embraced data and are comfortable with that level of detail are more inclined to use this product. But how do you bring along those who have stayed in the more traditional arena? McGraw says it's as simple as smart positioning and showing clients exactly what reporting capabilities are available. "With the benefits of cable's reach, and addressable measurement, it really is the best of both worlds" he concludes.
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