Few marketing topics get people as riled up as debating the return on investment of traditional television advertising. Whether you believe TV advertising is here to stay or you think it needs to undergo a major overhaul, many marketers will agree with you.

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But maybe everyone's right! TV advertising is undergoing a major overhaul that is making it much more targeted and effective. Jay Stocki, senior vice-president, data and product strategy of targeting at Experian, has seen how just two minutes of "addressable" TV advertising gets clients four times the results they achieved through traditional campaigns.

I invited Jay to Marketing Smarts to discuss addressable TV advertising, which serves up household-specific ads based on the advertiser's predefined target market no matter what shows they're watching, what time they're tuning in, or whether they're watching live or recorded shows. 

Here are just a few highlights from my conversation with Jay:

Addressable advertising allows businesses to reach their exact target audience instead of using TV shows as a proxy (02:51): "If you look historically at advertising, we've always tried to reach an audience, but we always ended up using the media as a proxy for that audience. We made assumptions about the type of person who watched cooking shows, or the type of person who watched soap operas, or the type of person who watched reality shows, and that was used to reach an audience.

"But now, with so many technological advances, the ability to do addressable TV, the ability to addressable online [advertising], we no longer have to rely on media as the proxy for that audience, we can actually reach the exact audience that we want to target (with some limitations, of course)."

Addressable enables you to target two viewers watching the same show at the same time with different ads (03:44): "We're talking about two minutes of every hour...[that cable networks] have available for their own advertising. Most of them have allowed those two minutes to be done in an addressable manner. So you and I could be sitting in houses next door, with the same cable provider, watching the same show at the same time, and see two different television commercials based on the makeup of our household. That's what addressable TV has enabled."

Use data from your two minutes of addressable advertising to inform your traditional ad buys (09:00): "You take that ROI learning that you get from the addressable campaign, and then figure out how do it to do indexed linear buys. So there's two minutes of every hour that we can do addressable, but what about the rest of it? Can we then take what we've learned from the addressable campaigns, aggregate them up to the right ZIP codes or the right cable zones, and then do smarter spot-buys for TV ad campaigns in the broader arena, which is...ten times and more the size of addressable. If you can make smarter buys there and help your clients be more successful there, that's a huge home run." 

To learn more, visit Experian.com, and be sure to follow Jay on Twitter: @jstocki.

Jay and I talked about much more, including the dramatic results he's seen clients achieve through addressable advertising, the cost per impression of these types of ads, and how to get started, 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!

Intro/Outro music credit: Noam Weinstein.

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