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Questions to Ask Prospective Advanced TV Providers - Part 1

Josh Brentan
Josh Brentan
Updated: Apr. 27, 2022
Published: Jan. 25, 2018

Marketers everywhere are taking stock of how their different channels are contributing to the brand’s overall goals—and given that TV is the largest line item in most budgets, it’s bound to get its fair share of scrutiny. That’s a good thing. Media buying and planning practices haven’t evolved enough to match the changes in audience viewing behavior, which has caused huge inefficiencies in many of today’s ad campaigns.

If you aim to make your TV advertising more accountable this year, it’s likely you’ll be looking into some sort of Advanced TV solution. The good news is that there are many to choose from. The bad news is that because there are so many to choose from, knowing how to differentiate between them can be difficult.

We’re here to help. Unlike most Advanced TV providers who offer a single point solution, Simulmedia offers a complete solution for data-optimized linear TV, including targeting, planning, activation, and measurement. We’ve been improving the performance of TV campaigns for nine years, and gained a lot of experience along the way. Today, we want to share some of that insight with you—so no matter what type of Advanced TV provider you might be looking for, you’ll be armed with the questions you need to ask, as well as the context to understand the types of answers you should be listening for.

It can be a lot to digest, so we’re breaking this blog into two parts. Below is the first portion, which covers Advanced TV’s most talked-about offering, audience targeting. In part two, we’ll discuss media planning and buying, as well as campaign measurement.

By adding TV to your cross-channel targeting capabilities, you’ll be able to approach your marketing in a more holistic fashion.

Audience Targeting on TV

The trades are talking about audience-based targeting. This refers to targeting strategic audiences using high quality 1st or 3rd party data sets based on observed behavior, as opposed to using traditional methods based on index and broad age/gender demographics. In other words, if you’re Instant Pot (a home appliance brand), would you prefer to target W25-54, or find actual W25-54 who have kids and who are also cooking enthusiasts, and then target similar people through national TV?

In this way, you can reach more of your target audience and drive more growth for your business. When talking about targeting, here are a few key questions to ask:

1. What 3rd party data sets do you activate?

If you’re already using 3rd party data sets from companies like IRI or Oracle Data Cloud for targeting in digital, it’s important to understand if a prospective vendor can activate those same datasets on TV. By adding TV to your cross-channel targeting capabilities, you’ll be able to approach your marketing in a more holistic fashion.

2. Can I use my CRM data for targeting?

Targeting with 1st party data not only makes it easier for you to reach people who are similar to your best customers, it opens up opportunities for measurement and optimization that can lay the foundation for sustained business growth. We’ll have more about this in the measurement section in Part 2 of this blog post. Back to targeting though, it requires that you match your data with a provider’s viewing panel, so be sure to inquire about a prospective provider’s data matching process. Find out which safe havens they regularly work with, if any, and how much experience they have in this area. If they’ve only been down that road with a handful of clients the gears may not be as well-oiled as you’d like, and completing the match could become a major obstacle in getting your campaign up and running.

3. What proves that the audience I would use for targeting is comprised of people in market for my products?

A viewing target is only as good as the panel it’s based on, so it’s essential to know whether their panel is nationally representative—and if not, where the gaps are. The sheer size of the panel only serves to ensure a higher level of statistical accuracy, but you’ll want to feel comfortable with how a prospective vendor translates the people in their panel into your target audience.

Check out Part Two of this blog post, in which you’ll learn about questions to ask a prospective Advanced TV provider offering media planning, buying, or measurement services.