Mass targeting - advertising’s next evolution

CEO at MCN, Anthony Fitzgerald
By CEO at MCN, Anthony Fitzgerald | 25 March 2015
Anthony Fitzgerald

In our new multi-screen world, mass media audiences are evolving to the point where mass inefficiency is fast becoming the unfortunate end result.

Things were simple in the ‘good old days’ of television trading. You booked your advertising spots, hit your targets and hassled your channel sales rep for the odd make good if a campaign under-delivered.

Nothing wrong with that – except that profound growth in the number of TV channels, a significant increase in the number of short-run series, and most recently the arrival of internet delivered television has fundamentally changed viewing behaviour. For advertisers this means that booking a TV advertising campaign today is far from simple.

The issue for all of us is that when a campaign fails to deliver, advertisers, agencies and media owners spend a significant amount of time and energy trying to fix the problem.

Despite this painful administrative inefficiency, more than 95% of television advertising is still bought, sold, measured, post analysed and reconciled using a fixed placement ‘spot’ model.

The model is evolving

There’s some good news on the horizon, with two significant developments making campaign delivery simple again and putting the power back into television advertising. 

Firstly, we are seeing the resurgence of premium content, as entertainment companies invest deeply in high quality programming franchises. We are seeing advertisers gravitate towards these trusted programming formats which deliver brands premium, safe environments with high viewer engagement.

The second, more fundamental change, is a gradual mind shift towards audience and customer segment targeting rather than pure spot advertising placement. Whilst this may seem a natural evolution given the way online advertising has been traded for some time, in a television environment this is only now possible in Australia after significant investment.

New technologies are becoming available to agencies and clients that will ultimately make it easier to buy TV and digital together and will offer advertisers a shift from traditional spot buying into highly-targeted, optimised, audience-driven campaign outcomes.

The combined effect of these new technology platforms is ‘mass targeting’. It’s about having a new transactional model that will offer an alternative to the administratively inefficient and cost heavy fixed placement spot model. But more than just a change in technology, it will require a change in behaviour.

Unlike most new advertising offerings, the new mass-targeting model requires no great leap of faith.  Accountability through data is built into our mass-targeting framework across the complete planning, buying, delivery and reporting life-cycle of a campaign.

The end result will be a far more effective, efficient and logical system for all stakeholders in the media game.

That’s an advertising evolution worth supporting.

By Anthony Fitzgerald

CEO at MCN

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