Data-Driven Linear & Data-Driven Addressable: What You Should Know

Marketing innovation continues to evolve now that TV has made its grand entrance into the audience-buying sphere. Armed with data that allows advertisers to target customers more precisely than ever, brands are readily incorporating data-driven linear and addressable advertising into their marketing strategies. To get a sense of how data can positively fuel business outcomes at every step of an advertising campaign, here’s a breakdown of how both data-driven linear and addressable advertising are breaking the mold of traditional television marketing.


Data-Driven Linear TV Advertising

While the realm of audience data and analytics has advanced astronomically in the last 25 years, TV is still relatively new to these advances. Traditionally, a brand would use age demographics and other limited data to choose time slots for their advertisements on linear TV. Now, a brand can take more minute details about their audience and strategize their ads accordingly.

A diaper company, for example, could target households with kids under the age of 3, or an online travel aggregator could reach people who have downloaded an airline app on their phone. Combined with an understanding of their typical viewing habits as a niche demographic through set-top box (STB) data, advertisers can then decipher the best time slot possible to reach their intended clientele.

Like with many tech innovations, the cultural shift to data-driven linear TV has taken a few years. It is now picking up substantial steam as more advertisers pull the trigger on incorporating it in their strategy. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands stand at the forefront of this approach, attracted to the availability of targeting on a platform that, not too long ago, couldn’t compete with the effective conversion capabilities of online campaigns.

What’s more is that brands can now collect performance data on linear TV campaigns—not just addressable campaigns—to tie ad exposure to actual business outcomes. New York Interconnect’s VP of Data & Research, Betsy Rella, spoke as a panelist at New York’s Advertising Week. Rella explained how this element of attribution is key to taking data from a targeting and planning perspective straight to the action the viewer takes once exposed to an ad. The option of Linear+ with attribution is now offered through NYI’s Audience One platform which offers media buyers all screens from one platform.

“We’re taking the information we get from various campaigns and then we’re able to say what worked and what didn’t work,” she said. “Was it a specific segment? Network? Creative? This allows us to help identify what helped move the needle and get product off the shelves.” With reach, targeting and attribution combined, data-driven linear TV is revolutionizing the marketing structure to the benefit of every brand and buy.

Addressable Advertising

While data-driven linear TV now attaches precise targeting to a brand’s marketing strategy, some marketers don’t want or need reach. For an even more in-depth targeted approach for TV that sends ads to likely consumers—and only them—addressable advertising comes into play.
Similar to online targeted advertising, addressable ads allow brands to essentially buy households, not programs. On any given network, there are two minutes per hour dedicated to addressable advertising. When that slotted time arrives, the system determines who’s watching in real time and chooses which ad best suits each household. Ads never reach households unlikely to buy what the brand is selling.

This strategy also requires brands to identify a required reach to avoid the phenomenon of “viewer burnout.” By instilling frequency caps and minimum time between viewings, addressable advertising maximizes ad spending by assuring the best audience isn’t seeing a brand creative ad nauseam.

Addressable is also the pioneer of attribution in television, an innovation made possible by viewership, impression, and conversion data collected from set-top boxes. During a talk at New York’s Advertising Week, NYI’s VP of Regional Sales, Tom McLoughlin, discussed how filling this gap has been a long-time coming for marketers.

“What we found is that our advertisers were looking for an opportunity to use addressable and to get attribution,” he said. “[This innovation] really gave our clients confidence that their investment was working.”

Data-Driven Linear and Addressable: Greater Together

Advertisers typically view data-driven linear and addressable TV as separate strategies, when actually the two work best in conjunction with each other. Data-driven linear gives brands reach and targetability in their chosen DMA, making data-driven marketing on linear TV more accessible with a relatively lower cost-of-entry in comparison to addressable ads.

However, when a brand needs a more defined, targeted campaign – rather than reach – addressable advertising bridges that gap with audience-specific campaigns that ultimately save brands money by reducing waste. By only paying for the intended audience, the effective cost-per-viewer comes in at a lower in cost than that for linear TV in today’s market.

When armed with attribution for both data-driven linear and addressable, advertisers can analyze performance in specific demographics and adjust how they proceed going forward. As a result, brands can strategize future campaigns and prioritize ad spend more effectively than ever before.