VideoAmp's Campaign Optimizer and the "Democratization of Data"

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Cover image for  article: VideoAmp's Campaign Optimizer and the "Democratization of Data"

In 2016 at the ARF Annual Conference I presented a paper entitled Cross-Platform Campaign Optimization Must Include Creative, which applied my reach optimizer experience to thinking through the many sides of optimizing ROI rather than just reach. I knew that at that point in time many minds would be thinking about ROI optimization instead of just reach optimization. In programmatic digital, conversion optimization for direct marketers is no longer a news story. But cross-platform is much harder.

I expect to be writing about cross-platform ROI optimization a lot, as more of the leaders step forth in this field in 2021. I've had a sneak peek at a number of new always-on cross-platform ROI optimization technologies, which I'll be able to write about in upcoming articles. You'll definitely want to take a look at all of the technologies I write about here as they will be the best of the best, and to decide which one is right for you, and how they compare with your current workflow processes. Since this wave of ROI optimizers will be world-changing you'll want to stay abreast of the cutting edge and take advantage of opportunities to be alpha- or beta-testers so you get your own invaluable hands-on experience with this quantum leap in adtech.

VideoAmp has been one of the pioneers in taking reach optimization to the next level, looking at reach and frequency optimization alongside conversion optimization. Advertisers no longer have to choose between audience analytics vs. ROI analytics; they can have it all. What makes VideoAmp's advancements even more unique is their goal of shifting the power and access to these types of insights from data science teams to the average employee. Or what they call the "democratization of data."

You may know that VideoAmp has one of the largest U.S. set-top box and smart TV datasets, and you might recall that VideoAmp acquired multitouch attribution (MTA) supplier Conversion Logic. Put these two together with a lot of great thinking and you have VideoAmp's latest self-service solution, Campaign Optimizer.

TRA was the first of these and used "Index of Heavy Swing Purchasers" as the weight on reach/frequency, which "predicted ROI." That one predictor beat all the others TRA tested over several years. ARF (and a raft of bluechip brands) validated this approach with a three-year ARF research review and the clients' own tests.

VideoAmp's Campaign Optimizer goes beyond traditional multi-touch attribution (which is digital only), providing clients with tools to measure performance across linear TV, OTT and digital channels, identify converting audiences and plan against available inventory to buy more of what's working. The holistic solution enables in-flight optimization of media investments against any audience for optimal cross-channel reach and frequency, as well as full-funnel attribution. Campaign Optimizer uses consensual industry MTA algorithms as the means of understanding what should be done in-flight for digital and scatter, as well as subsequent campaigns.

As you may know, the MTA controls are essentially how much weight to give first touch, last touch, and all the touches in between. In Campaign Optimizer, setting these controls is easy and quick for the user.

The research the user needs to do to set these controls correctly is a separate workstream. Most practitioners have been working on sussing out what these generalized "journey touchpoint attribution credit weights" are in their own businesses. No broad generalizations have been made across product categories to our knowledge. We will share same as soon as they come into view.

VideoAmp views the ease of use of Campaign Optimizer as the democratization of data -- putting the power and understanding of data in the hands of planners and buyers, freeing up data science teams to focus on loftier projects. The average planner or buyer and their client can go into the platform, use the dashboard and be able to look at the same data. VideoAmp intends this to create a consensual level of confidence in attribution that is currently unmatched. With its large commingled tv viewership dataset, it provides advertisers with the right data to model and make decisions off of.

VideoAmp also allows clients to select which attribution model (the distribution of weights) should be applied as well as their own attribution window (how long after exposure should sales be partially credited to that exposure), which allows clients the flexibility they need to make better campaign investment decisions. They see this as a step in the right direction of having the entire industry coalescing around a single truth for reach, frequency and conversion.

To me, all babies are beautiful, and so are all methods of optimizing a media campaign. VideoAmp will continue its good work on proving the representativeness of its sample and agreement with various currencies of media and purchase data and will as a result be on the learning schedule of most practitioners. In fairness, Marketing Evolution, the new Comscore (with TransUnion TruOptik), Neustar, Analytic Partners, 605, Nielsen NC Solutions, Kantar and others are all in this noble race called Crossplatform ROI Optimization, and so there will be a lot of action, not only in 2021. It only starts in 2021. Campaign and Branding Optimization are the upcoming era.

Even the media are building them. More on this to come.

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