Josh Dreller is vice-president of product marketing at 4C, a global leader in data science and media technology. He's been a search marketer since 2003, with a focus on SEM technology.

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I invited Josh to Marketing Smarts to talk about how marketers can overlay rich data about people's television viewing habits onto social data to uncover powerful insights into brand affinities and consumer preferences.

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:

Television viewing has changed, but people still tune in (03:11): "When people are watching television, they're really watching a variety of screens. The latest research from Accenture says that 87% of consumers are multitasking on second screens while watching television.... There's a lot of benefits to [digital marketing that syncs with television campaigns]. Not only does it increase the value of television (because, as we know, the power of television's a bit waning in this distracted viewer environment), but it does boost a lot of KPIs that digital marketers track.... In terms of the top-level KPIs, like click-through rate, engagement rate, unique reach, those kinds of things, we've seen some really great results."

Not only are people still watching TV, more than half of them are watching live (04:43): "We have access to to 1.8 million households via their set-top box behavior, so we do understand anonymously what people are doing, what commercials they are watching, which commercials they're rewinding, which commercials they're pausing, which commercials they're fast-forwarding. There's a lot of great data that we bring out in our total data set that comes from the ad occurrences plus the actual behavior in the household....

"Television is very powerful, and people are still watching. Almost half of people we see across all the demographics, really.... About half of people are still watching linear TV...especially during prime time hours. This "appointment TV"—that's what we called it years ago when people had to rush home and there was no DVRs there was no on-demand, where people did have to watch television on appointment. Now today—with all the great ways people can access this content and it fits in their lives—why would anyone continue to watch live? But there's that emotional attachment that we're finding....

"What's going on at the moment that consumers are watching television together? There's a shared media experience, whether the emotion is that you want to just experience it as it happens, whether it's that you're afraid you're going to get a spoiler if you don't watch that episode of 'Game of Thrones' or 'Walking Dead'...but there's a lot of reasons why people still watch TV in a live manner and that's a very interesting topic for us."

With the right algorithm, you can sift through mountains of data on TV viewing and social data to hypertarget your marketing (07:03): "One of the first things that we started to pioneer a few years ago were 'affinities,' where we're looking at the connections between profiles and consumers on social sites...and what we found is that, if you mine this data correctly—we're talking trillions of calculations to get to this point—you can see the affinities of the engagement between certain brands and the consumer base.

"For example, people who watch a certain program may also be more inclined to engage with certain brands on the social sphere. When you panel that out on the 'limitless panel'—that's 1.6 billion people in the social sphere—you can start to see the trends and patterns and surface some really strong insights about what's working for marketers, what's not working for marketers, how their messages are resonating with consumers, and that's a strong area of our expertise."

To learn more about 4C, visit You can also follow Josh on Twitter @mediatechguy.

Josh and I talked about much more, including how your company can get started using data science, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

This episode brought to you by Citrix GoToWebinar:

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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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