As TV and Video Converge, Technology Must Stop Pushing Old-fashioned Digital Solutions (Part II)

In last week’s blog post, our Chief Scientist, Kevin Haley, shared his insights into the changing world of video advertising.  His thoughts were in response to a newly commissioned Forrester study that examined how marketers, publishers and agencies think video convergence is changing their business, as well as technology’s role.  This week, he continues by sharing his point of view on how the new world will take form, and who will benefit from the changes. 

So, if this merging of planning and buying does occur, what will this new world look like?  Will it look like television?  Will it look like digital?  The answer seems to be “yes.”

In the Forrester survey, both those respondents who currently work in digital video and those who currently work in linear TV say that TV will look more like digital video, and vice versa. At first glance, the interpretation is that both will borrow from each other.  And that may be true.  But at the end of the day, it’s not about TV looking like online, or online looking like TV, it’s about advertising looking like advertising. The way the Ford team plans and executes advertising should not shift to look like how the Amazon team plans and executes its campaigns.  Had the responses to this survey question been sorted by brand-oriented marketers versus direct-response marketers I believe the lines of demarcation would be clear. 

In a related finding, while over 70% of agencies and media companies show strong interest in programmatic buying, the ability to buy ads on specific programs—what is essential the “match buy”— ranked at nearly the same levels.  What these latter respondents are saying is what I hear from clients every day, and that is simply, “My spreadsheets can no longer keep up.” Yet that doesn’t necessarily mean that all want to switch to exchange buying. Too much emphasis on RTB has been a barrier to entry for many advertisers and publishers.  Video and TV solutions need to be automated beyond spreadsheets, but, as these results show, adoption will be hindered by a myopic focus on exchange and/or biddable execution. As technology providers, we need to build solutions that support the diverse approaches, protocols and measurement systems still being utilized successfully within the industry. 

At the end of the day, regardless of how this shakes out, the survey showed that all sides are confident they will benefit. Advertisers will get greater ROI.  Publishers, as a result will get higher CPMs. And an ecosystem where everyone thinks that they will win is one of the surest indications that change will come swiftly. As a product developer, this is the reality and I couldn’t be more excited. As long as we don’t continue to force TV-centric advertisers and content owners to conform to our old-fashioned digital solutions (yes, I said that), and we make sure we listen to those who are experts in TV advertising and TV workflows from both the supply and demand sides….tremendous opportunity exists for all.

Kevin Haley

Chief Scientist & Chief Product Officer

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