As the Upfront presentation season blossoms with multiple TV and digital video content presentations each week, the market is experiencing it's most sustained downturn since 2008/2009. Multiple quarters of a soft scatter market have created a case of the jitters at both networks and agencies. (Our preliminary forecasts for volume and CPMs are shared below.) Meanwhile digital video suppliers are adding to the inventory pool and creating that industry's first confrontation with over-supply. As the Upfront unfolds, several new research tools and measures are vying for attention and funding support. CBS senior research executive David Poltrack, at the recent ARF ReThink Conference, shared a new CBS engagement measure and also explained how the integration of new research tools and metrics into both the buying and planning process is impacting the evolving Upfront marketplace. In February 2014, MyersBizNet and Betsy Frank Insights collaborated to conduct a review and analysis of how advertising agencies are using new (largely non-Nielsen) tools, resources, systems, and data, and whether, how, and to what extent these are impacting the process of television planning and buying. We interviewed more than 30 senior ad agency executives and six vendors/suppliers of new data and systems to the industry.
If the consensus of executives on both the agency and vendor sides are to be believed, "2014 will be the year everything will change…and nothing will change… in the agencies' go-to-market approach to the National Television marketplace. There was strong agreement around the continued support of television from the advertising community, but it was clear that the goal is to integrate the targeting, measurement, and accountability metrics into the overall video planning and buying process," advises Betsy Frank.
With more technology and more data—granular and customized—than ever before at the ready, the agencies are approaching this year's TV Upfront with the goal of bringing targeting, measurement, and accountability into the realm of what they have come to expect from Digital. With more Activation teams bridging Television and Digital (or at least Digital Video), and new systems, tools, and metrics aiding in the evaluation and optimization of the medium, it would seem that all systems are go for monumental change.
And yet…with a diversity of marketer risk tolerance, and no single new metric "ready for prime time," the unanimous expectation from respondents is that whatever takes place within the agencies' four walls, this year's negotiations and primary guarantees will continue to be based on Nielsen age/gender demographics.
CBS has built a comprehensive Media Demand Landscape segmentation of the U.S. population to fully capture today's dynamic media environment, which segments the audience to provide planners with data to target more engaged and responsive audiences. The CBS study enables agencies to re-rate programs based on their share of each marketer's best customers and potential customers. "The study also confirms that the television medium today, enhanced by social media and the online connectivity of the viewer, is more powerful than ever. We, and our Nielsen partners, have made that segmentation available to all Nielsen clients on an 'open source' basis," says Poltrack.
Disclosure: Jack Myers is a member of the Simulmedia Board of Advisors
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