As we gear up for the TV Innovation Summit on Sept. 18, we asked Viamedia pres/CEO Mark Lieberman to give us his take on personalization and micro-targeting of advertising messages within the cable universe.

Based on your dealings with cable clients, how much micro-targeting of ad messages occurs today—and what does the industry need to do to take it to the next level?

Depends on how you define “micro-targeting.” Traditional cable does a great job geographically targeting through the use of local ad zones and can use specific cable networks to target demos and specific audiences. This is an advantage over broadcast, which can only target an entire region. For important categories like political and automotive advertising, zone targeting has become extremely important. The next level is true addressability, and the utilization of data that is overlaid on top to deliver commercials targeted to the local household, something that we are working on with some of our cable clients.

What’s the biggest opportunity for cable around personalization right now?

One of the biggest opportunities that cable has is that—as the industry continues to migrate to an addressable environment—consumers will have the opportunity to choose which ads he/she may be interested in. And, while we associate “addressability” with specific technologies that can be deployed within the cable set-top box, the fact of the matter is that we see enhanced addressability via traditional linear TV spots as well. In other words, with each passing day, we are becoming increasingly more sophisticated with the data we utilize to define who is watching specific television shows from a geographic, demographic, psychographic and buyer-graphic perspective. This not only allows our clients to be more effective with their advertising investment, it also enhances the overall viewer experience by delivering commercials that have a greater chance of being relevant to them!

Consumers are inundated with advertising messages on multiple platforms. What do you see as cable’s role in conveying brand messages effectively?

Data can help ensure consistency of messaging across multiple platforms. Since cable companies provide both TV and Internet access through two-way pipes, cable plays a unique role for marketers. Cable has the ability to deliver the RIGHT message to the RIGHT consumer at the RIGHT time on the RIGHT platform. Reach can be extended from one medium to another while carefully avoiding wear out.

What privacy concerns remain when it comes to targeting specific set-top boxes—and even eventually individuals within the home?

The industry has used technology to anonymize set to box data targeting to such a degree that the public is becoming more comfortable with this. While privacy is a legitimate concern and one that we take very seriously, as do our MVPD partners, this level of targeting is become the new industry standard. However, the industry needs to be careful not to run afoul of the court of public opinion. There is a higher level of public scrutiny in TV, which is a 10-foot communal experience, than on the Internet, which is an 18-inch personal experience.

What are some ways that Viamedia has evolved its platform to better leverage an increasingly multiplatform world? 

Viamedia has been focused on an ever evolving multiplatform universe for years. We have a robust digital platform including pre-roll video on our MVPD partner websites and more. And late last year, Viamedia developed placemedia, our a programmatic buying platform which leverages the impression-based currency usually found with digital campaigns, but now with the linear inventory you find on cable television today.

Based on your dealings with cable clients, how much micro-targeting of ad messages occurs today—and what does the industry need to do to take it to the next level?

Depends on how you define “micro-targeting.” Traditional cable does a great job geographically targeting through the use of local ad zones and can use specific cable networks to target demos and specific audiences. This is an advantage over broadcast, which can only target an entire region. For important categories like political and automotive advertising, zone targeting has become extremely important. The next level is true addressability and the utilization of data that is overlaid on top to deliver commercials targeted to the local household, something that we are working on with some of our cable clients.

 

What’s the biggest opportunity for cable around personalization right now?

One of the biggest opportunities that cable has is that—as the industry continues to migrate to an addressable environment—consumers will have the opportunity to choose which ads he/she may be interested in. And, while we associate “addressability” with specific technologies that can be deployed within the cable set-top box, the fact of the matter is that we see enhanced addressability via traditional linear TV spots as well. In other words, with each passing day, we are becoming increasingly more sophisticated with the data we utilize to define who is watching specific television shows from a geographic, demographic, psychographic and buyer-graphic perspective. This not only allows our clients to be more effective with their advertising investment, it also enhances the overall viewer experience by delivering commercials that have a greater chance of being relevant to them!  

Consumers are inundated with advertising messages on multiple platforms. What do you as cable’s role in conveying brand messages effectively?

Data can help insure consistency of messaging across multiple platforms. Since cable companies provide both TV and Internet access through two-way pipes, cable plays a unique role for marketers. Cable has the ability to deliver the RIGHT message to the RIGHT consumer at the RIGHT time on the RIGHT platform. Reach can be extended from one medium to another while carefully avoiding wear out.

What privacy concerns remain when it comes to targeting specific set-top boxes—and even eventually individuals within the home?

The industry has used technology to anonymize set to box data targeting to such a degree that the public is becoming more comfortable with this. While privacy is a legitimate concern and one that we take very seriously, as do our MVPD partners, this level of targeting is become the new industry standard. However, the industry needs to be careful not to run afoul of the court of public opinion. There is a higher level of public scrutiny in TV, which is a 10-foot communal experience, than on the Internet, which is an 18-inch personal experience.

What are some ways that Viamedia has evolved its platform to better leverage an increasingly multiplatform world? 

 Viamedia has been focused on an ever evolving multiplatform universe for years. We have a robust digital platform including pre-roll video on our MVPD partner websites and more. And late last year, Viamedia developed placemedia, our a programmatic buying platform which leverages the impression-based currency usually found with digital campaigns, but now with the linear inventory you find on cable television today.  

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