Predictive TV Targets Purchasers, Not Demos: Simulmedia's Zimbalist

LAS VEGAS – People who are fixated on the future of television are missing a great opportunity to mine linear TV right now. And best prospecting asset is a marketer’s own first-party data.

That’s the worldview of Michael Zimbalist, CMO of marketing technology company Simulmedia, as he takes in the activities at CES 2017.

“The future will come,” Zimbalist says. “The future will be maybe like one to one, maybe not. One never knows. But there are so many things we can do today to optimize linear.”

Simulmedia does predictive planning informed by a single-source data set of viewing behavior from set-top boxes and smart TV’s plus purchase behavior. “We don’t have to be constrained by 40,000 plus Nielsen households,” Zimbalist says.

The company buys inventory from networks and cable operators to use TV as an “acquisition vehicle” for brands to gain new customers.

“When people talk about data, the most valuable data that any brand has is their customers,” he says. “The one asset that can’t be commoditized in this day and age if you’re a brand is your first-party data.”

The concept is to look forward instead of backward, according to Zimbalist. “We can now watch and see and anticipate what people are going to watch on TV, not just look retrospectively at what they’ve watched in the past to make a plan,” he explains.

Predictive modeling of viewing behavior as viewing behavior changes is a “fantastic opportunity” for planners, Zimbalist adds. “When you do that particular modeling against targets that are purchasers of your product and not just age and demo, you’ve optimized linear TV today,” he says.

This video was produced as part Beet.TV’s coverage of CES 2017 presented by 605. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.