Programmatic: The Future Of TV Advertising

Lauretta Wood

Biddable Media Strategist

Marketers have used TV advertising to build brands for more than six decades and it’s still a popular medium. But like all mediums, it needs to evolve and adapt to stay viable and deliver results. The solution? Programmatic TV advertising. Here, I’ll outline some of the many benefits to buying TV media programmatically and explore what the future holds for the industry. But first, a quick introduction to what we mean by programmatic…

What is programmatic TV advertising?

In a nutshell, it’s the automated buying and selling of TV ad space, based on audience data. Traditionally, the problem with TV advertising has been that it’s inaccessible to advertisers with low budgets. Negotiations to book TV inventory were time consuming and inefficient, too. But the rise of programmatic buying has opened the channel up to a broad range of advertisers, who can now tap into TV media with smaller budgets and access inventory instantly.

Why buy programmatically?

PWC predicts programmatic TV will “represent approximately a third of global TV ad revenue by 2021”. And it’s not alone in its attempt to transform how we buy media.

 Recent advances in Video On Demand (VOD) mean advertisers can now run campaigns in a near-programmatic way; serving ads to different users or households – based on factors like age, gender or location – alongside specific channels or TV shows.

But programmatic TV takes this one step further and brings with it automated, data-driven ways to buy ads against TV content. It gives us the precision needed to target specific consumer segments – in contrast to VOD or programmatic buying across personal devices, where every ad is targeted to an individual user.

Programmatic TV advertising means we can reach audiences through owned first-party data (segmented by behaviour and intent) and overlay this with the ability to display ads in specific, contextually relevant environments.

What does the future hold for programmatic TV buying?

But this is just the beginning. Here’s what we can expect from programmatic TV in the future… 

  • Household targeting - Currently, only a relatively small amount of programmatic TV inventory can be targeted to individual households. But Mindshare predicts that “30% of audio visual advertising will be addressable by 2022”. This will be a big win for audiences, advertisers and the TV industry as a whole.

  • Intelligent TV measurement – While reach and frequency metrics help us quantify campaign results, we can also demonstrate value through campaign awareness and interest. In the future, this could be measured via brand impact, which evaluates the number of consumers who can recall your brand and is one of the strongest drivers in measuring brand awareness. The result? More effective campaign planning, optimisation and measurement.

  • Automated buying – Technology advances will soon let advertisers create one media plan, with consistent audience targeting and reporting between programmatic channels – including display, native and video. We’ll be able to execute campaigns faster and have increased visibility between channels.

  • Cross-channel measurement – Automated buying will mean brands can use the same KPIs across multiple channels, including programmatic TV. This will result in more holistic campaigns and increased efficiency.

  • Data-driven targeting – With programmatic TV, advertisers can go beyond the traditional elements of an audience buying strategy (e.g. age, gender, reach and frequency). In the future, we’ll use Gross Rating Points (GRPs) to measure the size of an ad campaign by quantifying impressions as a percentage of the target population. Layering first- and second-party data over this will help us optimise for and deliver more personalised, relevant content to users.

  • ‘Real-time’ optimisation - In the future, programmatic TV will let us optimise advertising based on almost real-time audience-based metrics. This will help bridge the gap between TV and digital and drive media consolidation at scale.

 Over the next few years we can expect to see programmatic TV gain the data-driven status of digital, as it allows us to effectively reach audiences; wherever they choose to watch. To find out more about how your brand can leverage the benefits of programmatic TV advertising, get in touch today.

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