07/27/22: Gamut Takes Local Advertising to the Next Level


Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday July 27, 2022

With Uber-Local Messaging More Important than Ever, Gamut Gets Personal

Cathy Applefeld Olson

They say what’s old is new again. For the advertising industry, whose roots are in targeting audiences by postal code via direct mail, that adage rings true today. Streaming may be replacing stamps, but the core tenet remains the same: If you want to engage consumers and drive ROI, you need to reach specific audiences with specific messaging.

Fortified with a tech stack that ensures delivery of local audiences at scale in the OTT realm, Gamut is helping brands find, target and engage with relevant consumers by leveraging direct access to video inventory from more than 100 premium publishers in a fraud-free environment.

“We’ve really taken that level of efficacy and relevancy to the streaming space to be able to offer all kinds of advertisers, whether you’re a local advertiser or a national advertiser, the ability to reach specific households on a much more personalized effort,” says Gamut president Soo Jin Oh. “That’s paramount for OTT.”

So paramount, in fact, that the latest Borrell Benchmarking report released this spring shows that by 2025 the local digital ad spend will rise 9 percent to $92 billion, which will amount to almost two-thirds of all available local advertising dollars. Nearly 20 percent of media companies surveyed for the report stated video streaming has become their No. 1 digital product purchased by local advertisers, with spending projected to surpass paid search within three years.

Layer on profound social divisiveness and uncertainty, and hyper-local messaging is more important than ever. “Take an automaker that sells pick-up trucks for example,” says Adam Gaynor, Gamut’s chief revenue officer. “Nationally you can talk about the beautiful leather seats, its powerful engine, its ability to tow a boat, and the room it has to carry the whole family but let me be crystal clear, the conversation needed to sell this pick-up in Brooklyn, New York is very different than the conversation needed in Abilene, Texas. It’s this personal connection with customers that have led to the resurgence in local.”


Building a Better Brand Experience

Gone are the early days when streaming had to prove its viability. The market is now at an exciting new juncture where programmers and brands are assessing the finer points of OTT including fraud, personalization, attribution and measurement, QR code testing and direct-to-consumer testing.

Gamut works directly with its publisher partners’ ad servers to ensure it gets first-look access to premium content—a key differentiator from those who play in the local programmatic marketplace where metrics are not always guaranteed. A Q3 2020 study by fraud protection and compliance analytics platform Pixalate revealed more than 20 percent of programmatic OTT/CTV advertising reaches “invalid traffic,” defined as traffic that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria.

“We’re a safe environment to begin with. We have direct access to those ad servers and have tools in place to ensure any semblance of fraud is removed before campaigns are delivered,” says Joni Kinsley, Gamut’s VP of product strategy.

Personalization is also top of mind for marketers and for Gamut, which offers turnkey customization that digs deeper than ZIP codes. Its exclusive partnership with AdGreetz brings automation that enables clients to deploy thousands of customized ads to hyper-localized audiences with one buy, and Gamut execs provide expertise and guidance from the ideation phase through outcome measurement.

On the attribution and reporting front, partnerships with data companies mean clients can measure not only OTT metrics but also compare those metrics to linear TV via technology such as automated content recognition (ACR) to give them a better idea of their ad spend. Gamut also has partnerships with data companies through which it can onboard customer purchase data.

Case in point, Gamut worked with a national wine and spirits retailer with a goal to increase conversion rate and exposure. The customized OTT campaign delivered a 2.05X lift in total purchases made from those who were exposed to personalized ads compared to those who did not receive personalized ads.

“We not only told them how many households they reached with their streaming commercial but how many actual people went to their online store, and offline store, and made purchases after seeing an OTT ad vs. not seeing one,” Oh says. “So, we’re getting to the level of specificity we all know in digital, now on the biggest screen of the home. The screen that delivers the powerful sight, sound, motion and emotion of a brand is now highly measurable.”


Sales Channel Harmony For Programmers

The pool of programmers is deep, ranging from FAST channels to broadcasters, cable, virtual MVPDs, OEMs and free-to-consumer networks to walled gardens and, as early as Q1 2023, Netflix. Gamut works with them all.

“Where they like working with Gamut is that, for the most part, there’s no sales channel conflict,” says Anthony Greene, Gamut’s VP of Programmer Partnerships. “Programmers aren’t looking to stand up local sales teams. They’re focused on national advertisers. They may have some local advertisers they work with on a national IO or upfront basis, but for the most part they aren’t going after tier 2, tier 3. They aren’t going to the dealership level or even the regional dealership level on the auto side.”

What Gamut offers in local is “a harmonious experience because there are set guide rails in sales channels where we aren’t bumping into each other,” Greene says. “We are complementary and add-on revenue to programmers.”

In order to super-serve those local markets, a company needs to have a local presence, another issue Gamut is solving for—and in a big way.

“We have allowed other companies to use our solution in a white label fashion, so that gives us hundreds and hundreds of sellers using Gamut in various local markets,” says Oh. “We’re able to get that coverage because not only are we selling through our sellers who are working at Gamut but we now have this extension which we call Channel Partners that we’re constantly evolving to get more companies on board with our solution. It’s the fastest growing channel of revenue. It’s another way doubling down for that local at scale.”


Political Aspirations

As election season heats up and ad dollars start flowing, Gamut’s managed services can bring campaigns the kind of local reach they need to engage voters, and its level of personalization can deliver messaging down to where a viewer’s closest voting poll is located.

“This is what we do every day. We’re not a platform that dips into the local space during political time. We do this all year. Our value proposition is the same whether we’re serving political ads or automotive. We know how to handle local, and we have an expertise in reaching those local Congressional and legislative districts, DMAs, and ZIP codes,” Gaynor says.

“We know political buyers need to spend those campaign dollars,” says Kinsley. “Our platform is designed to deliver in full, and when they are unable to exercise their full budgets elsewhere, our doors are open.”

With a dynamic political season approaching, one thing’s not debatable: Gamut delivers local advertising at scale in a fraud-free environment by optimizing direct access to publishers’ ad servers and aggregating targeted, personalized ads across local DMAs.

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VP/Group Publisher

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