At the final Ad Age Publisher’s Panel of the year, Empower CEO Jim Price and Cadent CEO Nick Troiano joined Ad Age President and Publisher Josh Golden to explore how to fully understand TV audiences as well as the customer journey through TV today.
Here are four key takeaways from the conversation:
At the end of the day, isn’t it all just video?
This year, the screen doesn’t matter—it’s all about following content, Empower CEO Jim Price said. The most exciting thing that’s happening now, he added, is using data to better understand how to reach audiences and narrow in on your exact targets more effectively.
Always begin with the customer journey.
The consumer journey has transformed this year. E-commerce alone experienced sales growth not previously anticipated until 2022, according to eMarketer, and the shift to online purchasing has offered marketers more moments to engage and better understand consumers. “Every product now has some kind of customer journey,” Price said, adding, “To understand that a little bit deeper is critical.”
Troiano said that as long as marketers connect the dots on data, measurement and reporting, they can reach consumers on any platform or device in an integrated way, adding, “I think that’s the paradigm shift that 2020 represents.”
What gets measured gets managed, but don’t stop at measurement.
Walled gardens measure how they want to measure, Price said, but agencies such as Empower have to ensure they’re giving clients the measurement that matters most. Troiano agreed: “[Technology partners] actually have to show that the ad delivers what it’s intended to do. … In order for us to see success from measurement standardization to currency, ultimately to performance and KPIs, we are going to need to see more uniform data sets from walled gardens or from suppliers.” In other words, to repeat success, marketers have to understand why an ad worked in the first place, and that’s a key point—don’t stop at measuring.
Measurement fragmentation is an absolute, Troiano said, but measurement is only one component, a basis for how the TV industry transacts and connects buyers and sellers. “I think about a future where you have a basis for currency that will be normalized on some standard set of measurement,” he said.
Understand the full scope of TV advertising today.
Price said one misconception in the marketplace is that TV is top-of-the-funnel versus full-funnel, and that it’s limited to demographic or index-based methodology versus more data-driven methods such as addressable TV. “Cadent allows us to bring our data and the addressability, as well as the audience-based strategies, to the table and use them to our client’s best advantage,” he added.
Troiano remarked that he doesn’t think marketers misinterpret data, but that the industry generally mixes up audience viewing with where ad dollars are going: “There’s a tremendous amount of value in dollars spent on television and television viewing in general. We know that’s going to shift. So I think it’s just a question of finding the right balance. And that’s what we’re doing with Empower and what we’re trying to do as a marketplace.”