Data-driven, automated media buying doesn’t just apply to digital channels.
It has also changed the way advertisers approach “analog” channels, providing insights, improving targeting and enhancing the return on ad spend of what many may think of as old-school media.
Let’s look at five examples:
While there has been talk of “programmatic” TV for some time, broadcast and cable ad inventory is not yet broadly available on ad exchanges. But solutions like Adobe Media Optimizer extend the benefits of digital buying (such as targeting and reporting insights) to TV advertising, so advertisers can plan and optimize cross-screen campaigns. Meanwhile, networks themselves are promoting data-driven ad buying. During this year’s upfronts, Turner, Viacom and Fox Networks Group launched OpenAP, a platform that can be used for cross-publisher audience targeting and measurement.
To the surprise of many, radio is still the leading reach platform—some 93 percent of Americans listen to AM/FM radio over the airwaves, higher than TV viewership. And then there’s the growing “audio” market, encompassing everything from streaming services and podcasts to Internet radio. Digital channels are not the only ones that can be targeted programmatically. For instance, earlier this year iHeartRadio brought out SmartAudio, a data-centric product that lets advertisers buy media across the company’s 850 broadcast stations, targeting either 700 audience segments or via their own first-party data.
3. Out of Home
Spending on out-of-home (OOH) media is now around $29 billion, and will grow consistently by 3-4 percent annually over the coming years, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. Digital OOH is available programmatically—Clear Channel launched a private marketplace early this year and Outfront Media is developing a supply side platform. More important may be the intersection of mobile targeting and billboards, where mobile location data is being used to measure OOH media (for example, tying exposure to a store visit), and geofencing allows advertisers to send an action-oriented message on mobile after seeing a billboard.
4. Direct Mail
Direct mail may seem passé, but it too is being amped up via data-driven targeting—the response rate of 5.1 percent is the highest it has been since the DMA started measuring it in 2003. Less mail is being sent, but data is making it better targeted and timed. For instance, some advertisers are marrying email and direct mail campaigns—if a prospect does not reply to an email offer within, say, two days, a direct mail offer is triggered. Disruptors promoting programmatic direct mail include PebblePost, which has raised $47 million to use online data to fuel direct mail marketing, and Paperplanes, a UK startup.
5. Experiential/Event Marketing
We’re in the experience economy and spending on experiential marketing is expected to grow 11 percent this year, per the Event Marketing Institute. But as companies focus on experiential’s ROI, they need real-time data and insights to optimize event messaging and make them more personalized, engaging and valuable for consumers. Some challenger brands are even using data to get in on the conversation during huge global sports events or major music festivals without becoming “official” sponsors, creating ambush campaigns that use digital channels to reach attendees.