A Guide to Data-Driven TV for Holistic Advertisers

In today’s marketing landscape, recent technological advances have made targeting a brand’s ideal customer possible across platforms. Since these processes are relatively new, a lack of uniformity can result in fragmentation from platform to platform. With a push for integration facing the obstacles of varying data points, it can feel overwhelming to construct a successful multi-platform campaign. However, armed with an understanding of each platform’s approach and the challenges they face, marketers can effectively find a path forward.


Advertisers reviewing data on computer


The Modern Data-Driven Landscape


Historically, linear TV is the standard for advertising, with exceptional reach and influence on a brand’s ideal audience. However, up until recently, TV relied on age-old marketing tactics and educated guesses to find their customers. As digital and OTT platforms gained substantial traction in the data-driven space, this platform recognized it couldn’t rely on historical precedent alone to sway advertisers.

Data-driven TV is a crucial component of a modern multi-faceted advertising campaign because it offers the scale the other two platforms can’t obtain. Advertisers can now use digital targeting and attribution skills in the linear space, pulling from a far larger pool to find their audience. Plus, addressable advertising allows brands to devote ad spend to their target customer—and only them—not wasting money reaching out to uninterested viewers.


The digital space stands at the forefront of the data-driven revolution in advertising. It revolutionized how brands see their audience and changed audience buying into an impressions-based game. By searching for customers on a person-by-person or household-by-household basis, larger brands can connect with their base more personally than ever before. With a lower cost-of-entry, digital also created a space where smaller brands, like DTC brands, could gain traction.

Digital is crucial to advertisers because it connects with the younger generation, and it provides a sense of healthy competition to TV as a result. Social media and banner campaigns offer a competitive edge in brand awareness due to their immediacy. They drive conversion via constant exposure in a cost-effective and minimally intrusive format.


As the newest advertising spaces in the digital era, ad-supported streaming and video-on-demand reach customers when and where they want to consume content. The COVID-19 pandemic has exploded this platform as customers sat at home craving new content.

“The migration of viewership is exactly why we built our Audience One platform,” explained Sona Pehlivanian, VP of Addressable Campaign Management & Operations at NY Interconnect. “We needed an integrated approach that considered the creative, the media mix, and the scale that’s needed, and the data available on the backend.” 1

Advertisers that take advantage of these digitally-driven yet TV-based mediums will not only gain a competitive edge, but they will also have critical user insights to drive campaign strategies on other platforms more effectively.

Challenges in Data-Driven TV

Walled Gardens

While TV, digital, OTT, and VOD all have data-driven targeting capabilities, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this data can be used on a 1-to-1 basis across platforms. The concept of data walled gardens presents the most substantial obstacle in the modern TV advertising space, forcing marketing campaigns to take a siloed approach rather than work collaboratively.

Plus, as marketers work across platforms, there is no guarantee that all of a brand’s partners can access the same data sets. Without this transparency and access, brands stand at a disadvantage when trying to create a holistic, multi-platform campaign.

Advertising team meeting reviewing TV data

Lack of Uniformity

The walled gardens mentioned above remain in place due to a lack of standardization across platforms when it comes to what data is useful. The discrepancy in vocabulary for similar types of data from platform to platform also poses a similar issue. Advertisers and partners alike are pushing to remedy these disconnects, but since the realms of data-driven linear and OTT are relatively new, there’s still a ways to go.

The Path Forward for Data-Driven TV

For data-driven TV advertising to reach its full potential, finding the way towards integrated campaigns is essential. Data partners play a huge role in bridging that gap between platforms, acting as a passthrough for TV, digital, and OTT data. NYI’s Audience One platform exists to take data from multiple leading providers in the New York DMA and give advertisers unified data and measurements that cover their whole ad buy.

“We have adjustability that’s available with most of our partners in some form, whether it’s linear TV or digital,” said Sona Pehlivanian. “We work hand in hand with them to execute on those audiences—the data comes back, and we build solutions.” 1

OTT is also playing a crucial bridging role between TV and data. It allows advertisers to test campaigns on a smaller scale before investing towards similar audiences in the linear space. Streaming and digital also bolster campaigns on linear TV by providing more touchpoints for viewers to retain brand advertising and eventually convert.

The most successful advertisers are willing to accept the mixed data sources and play them to their advantage. “The opportunities that we have on the media landscape is how we can reach the eyeballs,” explained Michael Minardi, VP, Regional Sales at NY Interconnect. “One thing we can do here at [NYI] is hit the traditional linear TV bar; we can hit beyond that on extra screens with OTT, VOD, cross-platform…You can purchase content or audiences.” 2




1. Weisler, Charlene; Minardi, Michael; Ranieri, Linda; DeLauro, Danielle (2020, Oct. 6). Moving the Industry Forward: New York Takes the Lead [Panel]. Advertising Week 2020, USA. https://live.advertisingweek.com/agenda/session/378324.

2. Horstman, Walt; Pehlivanian, Sona; Ward, Andrew; Levine, Noah; Coruble, Stéphane (2020, Oct. 6). Moving TV Forward [Panel]. Advertising Week 2020, USA. https://live.advertisingweek.com/agenda/session/378139.