Breaking Down Addressable: The Road to Execution
By Jim D'Antoni
For a long time, addressable TV had been considered a “nice to have,” instead of a “must use” technology. However, during the past few years we are seeing a growing number of advertisers embrace addressable TV as a key element of their video mix. Addressable provides significant boosts to a campaign’s strength and efficiency, and in a time where brands need to be more strategic with their spending and prioritize opportunities that can prove ROI, its importance is only growing.
Addressable technology utilizes first-, second- and third-party data to create custom target segments and reach viewers on a household level no matter what, when, or how they watch. This level of precision targeting is enhanced through the integration of first-party deterministic data and working with distributors that can deliver additional scale by inserting across linear and OTT. Additionally, addressable’s main goal is to eliminate waste and maximize the results of every campaign.
One thing that buyers must come to terms with is that with addressable there are no parameters that are one size fits all. There are multiple factors that play into running a successful campaign: demographics, data sources, flighting, attribution windows, and more. It can seem a bit complex to navigate at first, but it's about being thoughtful and strategic at every step, and taking the time to evaluate and distill your objectives to ensure a successful campaign.
Let’s get into the mechanics of building a successful addressable campaign.
Know Your Goals and Choose Your Tools Wisely
The first step to creating a successful addressable campaign is to break down your specific KPIs. What are you looking to get out of your campaign? Is it seasonally driven, product-driven? Who are you trying to reach and what do you want them to do? Answering these questions is a vital part of understanding how the campaign should run and informs most of the other aspects of campaign execution, such as what measurement partners to include and what data you need to build the best segment.
Whenever possible, marketers should integrate first-party deterministic data into their campaigns. Although not all advertisers are able to collect or permission first-party data, some categories, such as finance, auto and insurance have a plethora of information that can be used to inform the target of a campaign. They use this to inform both their KPIs and the target segments they will build.
In the case of finance, a bank can create campaigns to both recruit new customers to open a savings account, and convince current customers to open a new credit card with them. In this case, the bank would need to create two different target segments and use their own first-party data to discern who is and is not currently a customer. They would not want to waste impressions on convincing someone who already has a savings account with them; instead, they would want to serve an ad from their second campaign.
To optimize the impact, advertisers should also prioritize working with partners that are able to use their own first-party deterministic data to fully maximize the campaign within their specific footprint, like DISH Media does. Advertisers should also look for partners able to work with multiple data and attribution partners to ensure that they are able to use the most updated and relevant data sets to match and measure the success of their campaigns. Seeing this need for flexibility, DISH Media has built up relationships with 20+ data partners that are both broad scope, like Experian and LiveRamp, and category-specific, like Polk (Auto) and NCS (CPG).
Design Your Strategy
Once you know your campaign goals, you can go on to determine the second most important parameter in the campaign-building process: the attribution window. Attribution windows are the time period within which marketers survey the results of a campaign. For example, if a brand is looking to increase website visits through an addressable campaign, it would check to see if its website traffic rose during the campaign or during a specified period of time after the campaign ran.
Attribution windows vary from product to product — sometimes season to season — and also depend on the individual habits and preferences of each consumer. Advertisers need to step into the minds of the viewer and understand the buying cycle for each product or service being promoted. Windows can be 30, 60, or 90 days depending on the goals of a campaign. In general, higher-priced items, like cars, require a larger attribution window than something people buy weekly or monthly, like toothpaste or detergent. That is why the attribution window for auto advertisers is often 90 days, whereas most CPG brands work with a 30-day period.
Considerations for flighting run parallel to attribution windows. When thinking about how long a campaign should run, advertisers need to center their campaign goals and the consumer buying cycle. Certain campaigns find more success with an "Always On" approach, while others follow seasonal trends and only run for 6-8 weeks. Some performance campaigns can run even shorter, knowing that their attribution windows are relatively short.
Review, Learn, Repeat
Next, the campaign moves onto the execution phase where planners steward the campaign to make sure creative is submitted and the flight schedule is maintained. You should strive to have as consistent delivery of your impressions as possible across the entire flight. This is typically monitored weekly to ensure the appropriate amount of impressions delivered each week.
Once the campaign’s flight has ended, viewership and attribution data is compiled into a single, robust and comprehensive report. Unlike with linear, addressable post-campaign reports can detail exactly where, when, and to whom an ad was served and allow for greater studies to be done on the campaign's impact, looking into brand health, sales lift, and more.
Sometimes an advertiser testing addressable may test a campaign once, but if it is not the expected result the first time, they give up on addressable and go back to broad linear buys. In truth, optimizing a campaign strategy can take time. When a campaign is done, we encourage our clients to review the elements of a campaign to see what did and did not work. If you’re not sure of a segment, try 2-4 others. If the flight wasn’t long enough, add two more weeks. Cast a wide enough net and don’t be afraid to use previous campaigns to keep learning. While at first an advertiser may see a small bump in incremental growth in their first campaign, with the right tweaks, their fourth campaign can bring back triple the returns.
At DISH Media, we work with many clients across all categories, and we know that every campaign is unique and may take a few iterations to optimize. It is not uncommon for a client to run a campaign without fully curating the campaign variables and watch the campaign perform unspectacularly. Only when advertisers are willing to participate in connecting the puzzle and learning from the process do they truly succeed.
Now is the time for advertisers to reevaluate their campaign strategies and truly understand how their ad dollars are working for them. Advertisers can no longer afford to waste their ad spend on ineffective strategies that do not prioritize the end user. Data-driven solutions like addressable are invaluable tools that need to be added to every brand’s media mix. More and more, we are seeing addressable TV being earmarked on the front end of the strategic planning process and integrated into both Calendar Year and Broadcast Year upfront deals.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to the individual campaign and the front end goals you are looking to achieve. Work with experts in your categories who will help you map out the targets, strategies, and partners that will work best for you.
Jim D'Antoni is director of national media sales for Dish Media. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.