“The market is hungry” - agency bosses weigh in on TV's next big step

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 12 June 2015
MCN Landmark dashboard

Following MCN's move into programmatic linear TV, revealed by AdNews today, we caught up with some participating media agencies to find out what this means for them, their business, and advertisers.

As revealed by AdNews earlier this morning, in the culmination of a five year and $30 million investment, Multi Channel Network (MCN) and AOL Platforms have officially launched the first private exchange for linear TV in Australia.

Chief investment officer at IPG Mediabrands, Victor Corones, said the linear programmatic TV (PTV) offering shifts the conversation from straight demographic cost per thousands to a more highly targeted consumer segment that is more likely to respond to a client’s advertising message - which should mean improved ROI and less wastage when buying the medium.

“We expect the wider linear programmatic TV scene to gain momentum, initially with an efficiency focus and long term, to see new streams of data to help make more informed choices around programming,” Corones said.

“Linear TV’s immediate challenge outside of PTV has been the lack of automation. Getting a national campaign to air requires a considerable amount of manpower.  As pace gathers in this area we would expect to see new pricing and sales models that talk more to client’s ROI requirements.”

He added that perhaps the biggest challenge is getting the most relevant buyer graphic data to help with targeting. “It’s early days but we do expect the number of segments will grow and therefore offer more advertisers a targeted solution,” he said.

The market is hungry

Marc Lomas, managing director of IPG's trading desk Cadreon, said the market is hungry for efficiencies and that naturally this will be the first big impact the market will enjoy.

To illustrate this point, he said the first linear PTV campaign was booked start to finish in under 30 minutes, which would have taken a week with the standard process.

“The greatest impact however will be longer term for clients/advertisers,” Lomas said.

“Programmatic TV gives rise to a platform that will allow television advertising itself to be taken from a mass targeting medium to a micro-targeting medium. Relevant television messaging served directly to households based on their behaviour.”

On how Cadreon is explaining this new offering to clients, Lomas said the proposition of efficiency and effectiveness is powerful.

“Efficiency is easy to quantify, effectiveness is harder with this medium, as such we have an extensive evaluation roadmap set up to measure effectiveness of this new approach with our clients,” Lomas explained.

Starcom MediaVest's executive director of technology, digital and content, Jason Tonelli, said PTV methodology provides the Starcom group with an additional layer of granularity when targeting audiences and is a step in the right direction for the television market - and ultimately is where the industry needs to move. 

“From an operational point of view, we do not see the operations of placing orders or bookings drastically changing. Since our integration of our programmatic trading team (Audience on Demand) into the SMG team, we have been preparing the investment group to buy across channels using platforms and we are best placed to work with MCN to deliver a seamless transition through this change,” Tonelli said

He added that the responses of clients to linear PTV have been very positive to date. He said clients see the opportunity to be able to segment audiences better to drive efficiency in media and also relevance in message distribution.

Challenges to face

Tonelli added that as with any new approach to trading, there are going to be challenges to face.

“How do we best leverage the data to deliver scale into the market and how do we start looking at delivering content into individual households, are the future states that we are working with MCN to solve for,” he said.

“We see this transformation evolving over time to meet the needs of our consumers and the desires of our clients.”

On the subject of how the wider linear PTV scene likely to play out, and the future of TV trading, Tonelli said simply put it's about delivering precision marketing at scale.

“To do this we need to be data led but also have the connectivity to people so that we can create these experiences,” Tonelli said.

“The technology exists in market to organise data, make this data available to trade with and also data that can take household level cues to best understand what content to deliver to that person. We need to take the right steps to realise this vision, be prepared to fail fast and pivot quickly to ensure that as an industry we can find new ways to connect with consumers and deliver 'Experiences at the Speed of Life”

Easing the burden

OMD CEO Peter Horgan said with programmatic, the media agency is moving beyond demographics to target “real consumer segments”, and is driving this hard primarily across clients that have an online conversion infrastructure.

He said the new MCN programmatic PTV offering is a smarter more efficient way to buy TV, as the traditional model is manual and lacks overt accountability through to sale.

On the subject of how OMD is explaining this new offering to clients and what their response is, Horgan said OMD is framing it as digital accountability applied to the television ecosystem.

On what challenges have burdened linear PTV, he said: “Legacy transactional systems mean we are managing a hybrid between the old and the new models, which creates a burden on the teams.

“The response loop in linear TV does not yet exist so we are relying on consumer segments and improved targeting. The return path of proliferation in internet connected TVs and IQ Box connections is addressing this at pace. There are a wide range of comfort levels in moving on from traditional R&F models.”

Did you see the initial announcement on MCN and AOL's new venture? See here for more.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at adnews@yaffa.com.au

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