The Trade Desk today is giving all of its customers access to the latest version of its addressable television advertising system called Connected TV, which has been tested by a select group of unnamed brands in recent months. Connected TV is plugged into the company’s larger data management platform (DMP), and it’s takes aim at the 22 million cord cutters in the U.S. that eMarketer predicts will exist by the end of this year.
What’s more, Trade Desk now lets marketers target campaigns with first-party and third-party data, while simultaneously serving ads via internet-enabled TVs and desktop and/or mobile.
“Up until this point, any ‘audience targeted’ buy [via Trade Desk] was through second-party data from the inventory source,” explained Tim Sims, svp of inventory partnerships at Trade Desk. “For example, if a client worked with Sling TV directly, Sling TV could apply audience targeting on their end. Clients could then target a custom private market deal through our platform.”
As of today, though, more data can be poured into the mix for, theoretically, better targeting. The tech player built an IP-based device mapping system, tying television viewing to other devices. Connected TV is designed to give buyers more control over how they spend their ad dollars with better digital and television analytics, including video completion rates, gross ratings points (GRPs) and view-through conversions driven by their commercials.
Cross-channel retargeting is also central to The Trade Desk development. WPP-owned Xaxis and independent Mediasmith are among Trade Desk’s programmatic partners for Connected TV.
“We can now focus commercials on specific households—at scale—using our own custom data segments inside The Trade Desk platform,” stated Max Jaffe, Xaxis’ svp trading and operations, North America.
Marcus Pratt, vp of insights and technology at Mediasmith, added, “By making [Connected TV] inventory available within the platform, The Trade Desk makes it easy for us to apply the same targeting parameters from our desktop and mobile video buys to CTV campaigns.”
So to be clear, in terms of retargeting, is the idea to retarget people with TV ads after they see a digital ad? Or, is it to target people online after they see a TV ad?
“It could technically work either way,” Sims answered. “But when you think of the consumer experience, it makes more sense to target people online after they see a TV ad. Television is such an impactful branding medium, and it’s where many consumers form their first impressions of a brand. From there, we can reinforce the message on their other internet-connected devices—and across any other channel.”
Trade Desk didn’t reveal who the test brands were or their results. At the same time, its news represents a growing arms race for the addressable TV market—particularly with mar-tech players and cloud systems.
For instance, last spring, Oracle began helping Charter Communications deliver targeted ads to the cable TV giant’s 16.5 million subscribers. That endeavor marked Oracle Data Cloud’s first foray into the addressable television space and was designed to complement its recent agreement with smart TV ads player Simulmedia. And Adobe in June debuted Adobe Advertising Cloud TV, while Nielsen Marketing Cloud and its partners has been offering marketers addressable over-the-top television options for months.