03/24/22: How Premion Is Driving New Audience-First CTV Innovations for Marketers in A Cookieless World


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday March 24, 2022

How Premion Is Driving New Audience-First CTV Innovations for Marketers in A Cookieless World

Cathy Applefeld Olson

With the disappearance of third-party cookies, marketers are reevaluating their media channels and becoming more intentional about the reallocation of their ad dollars. CTV — that’s always operated in a cookieless environment — is among the fastest-growing advertising sectors with no signs of slowing down.

In 2022, 84% of U.S. households are projected to be CTV households according to eMarketer*. The market research firm also forecasts CTV advertising will reach $34.49 billion by 2025, more than double the 2021 total of $14.44 billion.

Premion provides a premium CTV and OTT advertising solution for both regional and local advertisers with advanced targeting solutions and outcomes-based measurement — and now Premion is launching its new Audience First packages that target audience personas built from carefully curated consumer segments.

For Premion, the proposition to advertisers is simple: No cookies? No problem. Tom Cox, president of Premion, breaks down the company’s multi-pronged advertiser strategy and explains why CTV is a valuable choice for marketers navigating the cookieless future — one that’s poised to take even more ad dollars away from other marketing channels.


Big changes are happening with the way advertisers can collect data and target consumers. What is the significance of new consumer privacy changes for marketers?
Two unfolding trends are upending how digital advertisers can target consumers. You’ve got increased legislative changes and we can expect to see more of that, given the political dynamics that are in place at the moment. And the second big trend is what the largest players in the space are doing — specifically Apple and Google — and the sweeping privacy changes that they’re making. The ability to track behaviors has been the linchpin in digital advertising for serving up more relevant ads. The removal of third-party cookies and new privacy restrictions is upending established digital advertising practices.

Ultimately, what you’re going to see is more advertisers shifting their dollars to platforms where they can facilitate the same type of targeting that they’ve been accustomed to. I don’t imagine the mobile or web companies are going to go quietly into the night. Rather, they will continue to innovate with cookieless alternatives, and there are already some big players supporting those efforts. However, those efforts are fairly nascent, and this presents a tremendous opportunity for those of us who are focused on CTV and streaming advertising to capitalize on the cookieless upheaval.

How are marketers preparing and responding to these changes?
The impact of these privacy changes is driving marketers to re-evaluate their media mix and their allocations. They’re seeking alternative ways to target their desired audiences, and CTV is a proven and effective solution as it’s never relied on cookies. Instead, it relies on household level identifiers and leverages offline data sources for targeting. Notwithstanding the recent privacy changes, marketers were already flocking to CTV advertising in a major way.

Consumers have already embraced the streaming habits of convenience, choice and control and they are favoring AVOD over SVOD. These consumer trends, combined with the emergence of advanced targeting and measurement capabilities, have been driving the steady shift of marketing dollars to CTV advertising.


Can you elaborate on why streaming TV will benefit from the demise of third-party cookies?
We saw this emerging shift early on and we’ve made a big push about why CTV is the best of both digital and linear — certainly with the capabilities that we’ve built at Premion. We deliver a full-episode, rich content and fraud-free experience on the big TV screen married with the digital benefits of targeting and measurability.

CTV has come into its own simply by the virtue of its merits as an advertising platform. It’s no longer just for TV buyers looking to extend reach. The cookie demise is now fueling adoption by performance marketers as a valuable platform to target with precision. While there may be some advertisers who look to embrace CTV faster than others, the overall trend is favoring dollars from all industry categories moving toward streaming.

Let’s talk about streaming TV innovation. What’s new with data and targeting technologies?
Premion was an early market entrant and we’ve continued to innovate. We’re delivering data-driven targeting solutions that make it easier for advertisers to reach their most high-value audiences. A prime example is what we’ve been doing with Polk Automotive Solutions. We both onboard their auto intender audience and also get access to their verified car sales data. So, we have the ability to leverage Polk, not only to target consumers, but also to do closed-loop attribution on the actual purchase of a car. We’re also providing advanced destination attribution with Arrivalist to drive measurable outcomes for travel advertisers.

Can you tell us about Premion’s new Audience First offering?
We’ve already been in the business of targeting contextually and we’ve always had the ability to do data-driven targeting by consumer segment — but there’s more to it than that. We also believe that viewers are as dynamic as the content they watch, and people are more dynamic than just a segment or two.

So, we’ve taken this to the next level with our Audience First targeting offering. We’ve created advanced consumer audience packages based on behaviors and personalities. For example, we’ve got our Audience First Fitness Fanatics package. This reaches consumers who are, not only interested in fitness and exercise, but also interested in similar areas that align with a healthy lifestyle, whether that be low-fat cooking or buying vitamins online. It’s really about finding those adjacent interests and behaviors that align with the consumer persona that an advertiser is looking to reach — and reaching those personas no matter what they’re watching.


When it comes to audiences, how granular is granular enough, and how granular is too granular?
It really depends on who you’re working with as a streaming advertising partner to understand the viability of the audience that you’re trying to hit. If you’re looking for Democrat-leaning cat lovers in Peoria, that’s a fairly granular set of potential consumers and it’s limited by the scale of what you’re able to reach with your existing inventory. As Premion is an aggregator as opposed to a walled garden, we have much greater reach across a variety of different publishers enabling us to deliver highly targeted campaigns at scale.

Performance marketers are focused on measurement. How has measurement evolved in CTV advertising?
The absence of third-party cookies also makes measurement equally challenging. In the digital and mobile cookieless world, you would now have to target contextually, so you really don’t know who you’re reaching. This impacts your ability to measure results and calculate your return on ad spend — and that’s why we’re seeing more marketers shift their spending to CTV.

At Premion, we’re focused on outcomes-based measurement as opposed to defining an industry currency. Over time, an industry currency will evolve and take shape. For us, it’s a better value proposition to focus on specific campaign objectives and to be able to measure those outcomes for our advertisers. The extent to which we can deliver measurement that’s specific to a campaign puts us in a much better position to garner, win and retain business.

What other new innovations should we watch for in the CTV space?
One area is story-telling ads, where the creative can be broken up into several segments and you can hit the consumer with a storytelling brand message that’s more engaging. While this requires greater sophistication to execute multiple forms of creative, it offers a more compelling consumer experience. We see this more as a national play versus a local play, and more vertical-specific, such as for CPG brands.

Another trend that we are focused on, is working with agencies and agency buying platforms to connect the pipes between the platforms to bring more efficiency and simplicity in CTV media buying for advertisers. By making it easier for an agency to transact, we can open the door for more dollars to move to CTV. Beyond that, we’re seeing a greater use of dynamic ad insertion in CTV campaigns — the ability to quickly change ad creatives in response to changing market conditions. One of the key benefits of CTV is the flexibility it offers advertisers to be able to shift and optimize campaign buys.

As advertisers rethink ad targeting and measurement approaches, CTV has emerged as an essential and winning channel for both brand building and performance marketing. With its expanded audience-first approach, Premion continues to pave the way with new innovations to unlock more value for advertisers in the cookieless era.


* eMarketer, Connected TV Households, February 2022 Copyright © 2022 Insider Intelligence Inc. All Rights Reserved

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