Closing the Loop

21 October 2014 | Blog

Close the loop on attributionFor a long time, marketers were resigned to measuring their impact indirectly. If your ad ran during a show that Nielsen said was watched by 10 million people, well, that’s how many people you assumed saw your ad. If your sales over the next month were 2% higher and you hadn’t done anything else, well, maybe it was because of the ad.

More recently, we’ve been getting better at this measurement thing. Nielsen’s NBI and Catalina data links credit and loyalty card data to viewing patterns, for example. Set top box data offers more precision and speed on who watched what. But that’s nothing compared to what’s been available in digital marketing for some time now. When ads and email offers can be linked directly to conversion rates, marketers find themselves with powerful new tools. And these are tools they now want to see for TV.

Smart TV data offers a way to start closing the gap. Program promoters are already taking advantage of Smart TV’s ability to track not only the programs watched but which ads for the program were seen. This makes it possible to close the loop—TV program marketers can tell exactly which ad and which placement resulted in someone later tuning in to their show. But there’s even more potential for the future. Smart TVs not only have the onboard capabilities to accurately measure exactly what ads were watched, they come linked to IP addresses. With anonymized IP matching, it then could become possible to link an ad being watched with a subsequent online purchase.

Better ad decisions require us to have better measurement. Smart TV data may offer us the opportunity to do exactly that.