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Advertisers See Need to Work Collaboratively to Drive Growth

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Addressable advertising was a key theme at Wednesday's Beet Retreat digital advertising conference in New York City, with panelists looking at the tools the technology still needs to succeed, then championing a collaborative, not isolated, way of working with data.

Inserting addressable ads—meaning ads targeted to the individual viewer or household—is possible for on-demand files, but getting it to work with linear broadcasts has extra difficulties. What's holding it back is the need for technology and tools that fit within the ad buyer's workflow, explained Stacy Daft, general manager for enterprise commercial business development at Amobee. She sees a disconnect between addressable and planning. Simply having the technology to insert addressable ads in linear isn't enough; it needs to be linked to the sales process. That would give planners confidence they could meet objectives.

"[TV planning teams] have a very good set of tools and capabilities to look at linear and the linear universes, and understand who they're going to be reaching when they put together their plans," Daft said. "When it comes to the linear addressable, that universe data is disconnected so there's no way to get a really good understanding of how much budget they should allocate to the addressable inventory line when they don't have an understanding of unique reach and frequency across all of those screens.  

"I think it starts with the agencies being able to fund that line item on their plans, and in order to do that I think they need more information."

Speaking on the same panel, Kelly Abcarian, general manager for video advanced advertising at Nielsen, talked about her company's February 2019 purchase of Sorenson Media, and how Nielsen is expanding "beyond being the referee on the field" and venturing into addressable advertising. It's now inserting its technology into connected TVs by working with OEMs to get into their software layer with the goal of making all commercial time addressable. The supply of premium video is constrained, she noted (an idea echoed by many speakers) and addressable lets broadcasters sell their inventory more efficiently and impose frequency caps to avoid oversaturation.

To get to that point, the advertising ecosystem needs to work collaboratively, Abcarian said. Put the walls down and collaborate, she urged, saying players should partner in some spaces and compete in others. Getting the complexity of ad segments and viewer targeting right is a challenge no company can do alone. Players need to become more comfortable with how their data flows to other agencies and welcome these collaborations—because none of them can do it by themselves.

Image: Stacy Daft of Amobee and Kelly Abcarian of Nielsen at Beet Retreat.

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