Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference Highlights 11/19/20



Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference Highlights

Cathy Applefeld Olson

With unprecedented shifts disrupting viewing patterns, audience reach and attribution—not to mention the impending cookie-less future for programmatic and display ads—conversations around measurement and data have never been more important across the television, digital and brand realms. Cynopsis’ annual Measurement & Data conference, November 17-18, dove into these topics and more with a virtual event spanning 14 panels and insights from dozens of industry thought leaders. Sponsors a4 Advertising, 4A’s, Effectv, Gamut Total, New York Interconnect, Nielsen, TiVo, Tubular and TVSquared elevated the conversation, and a portion of ticket proceeds benefited Feeding America. Three attendees came away from the event with more than insights and info – Amy S. won a flower subscription from Bouqs, thanks to sponsor NYI; Gina S. has new Bose headphones, thanks to Tubular; and Tim H. won an Apple Watch, courtesy of Gamut.

Here are key takeaways from the conference:


How can brands accurately plan, buy and measure their advertising investment with confidence? Fariba Zamaniyan, TiVo’s VP and head of sales, advanced TV, counted the ways. “It really comes down to your business objective and aligning that objective with the data source you choose,” she said. Given the fragmentation of available data, Zamaniyan offered a checklist of questions companies should ask to help determine the best path. Those questions include:
* Is a media buy required? Among other things, she said, the answer could immediately eliminate walled gardens.
* What is the coverage inside and outside the household? Inside the household is “where rubber meets the road,” she said, advising brands look into identity resolution, number of TVs within the house and the various local markets and programs to help sort how set-top box and ACR (smart TV) data are being captured.

The industry is turning and facing the change of cross-platform measurement.
Privacy protocol: “Privacy is the biggest technical hurdle right now,” said Scott Brown, GM of audience measurement at Nielsen. “How do you solve for identity and deduplicated audiences?” Nielsen is also working to “broaden the definition of TV,” he said. The company recently overhauled its reporting methodology by bringing on data from smart TVs—Vizio, Dish and DirecTV are initial partners—to sit alongside its set-top data. In January Nielsen will launch new tactics to further deduplicate audiences, Brown said.
The long game: “Agencies represent clients, and clients are interested in more profitable sales,” said Rob Jayson, EVP of insights & analytics at USIM. “Everything has to be linked to a sale tomorrow or else it’s worthless. But there is a role for branding. People move to advertising because they want to build a brand, and that doesn’t happen in one week following one exposure to a video ad. A simple evaluation will be unduplicated reach. I don’t necessarily need to prove the ad is resulting in an immediate sale.”
Come together: “We’re exploring the appropriate applications for the data sets, the co-mingling of set-top box and ACR data,” said Mariel Estrada, VP of cross platform measurement & strategy at WarnerMedia. “While there are and have been strides in this space, there’s still a lot of fine-tuning that needs to be done. For us, reliance on identify in first-party data is most crucial.”

Social media is soaring. Minutes spent on social platforms jumped 21 percent—from 268 billion to 324 billion—from February to September, said Neil Patil, chief commercial officer at Tubular.
Under the influence: “Influencers are garnering a significant amount of attention overall of minutes watched,” Patil said, noting subscriber counts don’t always tell the whole story.
Show me the money: “The growth of social video viewership is causing problems where influencers provide valuable content but can’t speak to the value of content” beyond views and likes, Patil said, a scenario that’s leaving a gaping monetization gap. “Advertisers can’t make informed decisions. They know the audience is there, but they don’t know how to connect and plan.” With new metrics, he said, “we can really tell the impact of influencers.”

The data is here, and largely available. The discussion now revolves around how much to use and how to parse all the reporting.
Incremental lift: “The great thing with data, said Betsy Rella, VP, research & data, at New York Interconnect, is “it’s giving you that window into your campaign, from planning to attribution… Consumers are everywhere, the advertiser needs to be everywhere, and we need to be measuring everywhere.”
TV + digital = lift: When TV and digital video show up together, “Typically we see an increased lift with the two,” Rella said. “TV drives awareness and things like reach, and digital is great for gathering data and being able to look at outcomes. Ideally you want there to be that stair-step effect.” There’s “almost always incremental audience,” said Kelly Kokonas, EVP of global data, technology & analytics at Starcom. “And that total audience is so important to track. Looking at those incremental audiences, we are seeing a couple different analyses, some changes and shifts in where we can pick up unique reach.”
Progress over perfection: “There’s no such thing as perfection; what we need is progression,” said George Musi, EVP of marketing sciences at Publicis OneTeam – Citi. “We have a good understanding of what information exists. The trick is to say, At what point do we stop pulling information? When is the juice worth the squeeze? Sometimes the more information you add, it gives you wrong guidance. There is a point where too much data can throw you.”



Attribution, quite literally, means giving credit where credit is due, agreed our panelists. To avoid misattribution and missteps in marketing, brands and agencies would be wise to carefully parse each step along funnel, they said.
Different strokes: “If I asked everyone watching this to give definition of attribution, I bet I’d get a different answer every time,” said Steve Lanzano, president/CEO of TVB.
The case for opening the windows: “We are really myopic in two ways—in the way we measure the impact and the outcome of initiatives, and not looking at it long term,” said Karima Zmerli, chief data sciences officer at Wavemaker. “Even KPI as a metric is based on a one-time sale within a very short time window, not a lifetime… We risk losing a lot of data in the funnel. What we are looking for is collaboration, finding collectively solutions answers that are fair.” Noted Pankaj Kumar, SVP of advertising impact at NBCUniversal, “Consumers take different times in different stages and depending on what their wallet and situation allows” to make a purchase decision. “But every attribution has a fixed time window because you can’t keep measurement open for too long.”
Connecting the dots: “We can all agree there’s a ton of data out there, but we also can agree it’s directional at best,” said Steve Silvestri, VP of advanced advertising at Discovery. “At the end of day, it’s hard to say that ad impression you delivered was ultimately responsible for driving them to a car dealership or driving foot traffic.”

Agencies during the last six months largely have rolled up their sleeves to tackle systemic organizational racism. “The reaction to Black Lives Matter and social justice have been positive to many agencies in being transparent…but what about the diversity measurement piece?” questioned Simon Fenwick, EVP, diversity, equity & inclusion at 4A’s.
What we don’t know: “We tend to think data is value neutral, when it’s absolutely not,” said Kendra Clarke, VP of data science & product development at Sparks & Honey. “We forget that a lot of the time we’re just codifying what we bothered to measure. What we’re missing often times, we don’t often know. We’re trusting the data to be free from bias in the first place, when that’s an unrealistic expectation.”
Machine vs. man: With increased use of machine learning, diverse representation on panels is more important than ever. “Much of machine learning is going to be based off those panels, so if we aren’t doing a good job with the panels in terms of representation [some demographics] will never make it through to the impact portion,” said Mebrulin Francisco, managing partner, group director & tech services team, at GroupM. “If you’re not counting people across the United States, they don’t count. They will never get to the point of measuring [a campaign’s] impact on them.”

“Measuring the incremental reach of OTT should be the main KPI that all marketers adopt and partners provide. We’re at a stage of maturity where we now have the data and technology needed to measure and prove out what we’ve been saying, OTT is an excellent complement to linear TV in reaching new eyeballs,” said Soo Jin Oh, co-COO at Gamut. At the conference, she noted, “When we look at the sliver of budget we get in OTT, we’ve seen that OTT outperforms linear TV” in awareness and lift, she said. Why?
* Load variation: “There are lighter loads happening in OTT,” she said. With a one-hour block of programming played back via Roku, “you see eight minutes of ads, whereas in linear TV you’re going to see two times more ads, 16 minutes per hour.”
* Targetability. “In OTT you’re able to target more granular audiences. And OTT is still seen as a very innovative tool environment by consumers, so they see aligning a brand with this context helps the brand.”


Kevin O’Reilly, SVP of data, product and monetization at a4 Advertising, spelled out the case for when, why and how to factor in incremental reach—the measurement of new audiences. “Our approach tends to be more digital in nature. We start with linear television and layer on top the ability to generate incremental reach by putting in more OTT,” he said, for two primary reasons:
* Brands have digital-only customers that are inside their footprint they want to make sure they’re reaching.
* Advertisers want to make sure as they are generating more impressions that they’re doing that incrementally, with audiences that haven’t already been reached.
Dollars and sense: “The majority of households can be reached first and foremost through linear television,” O’Reilly said. “There’s no sense in a small campaign going heavily into OTT. You can reach those through linear television.”

With a swelling toolbox of measurement metrics, the impending disappearance of cookies and emerging data around the impact of OTT campaigns, brands have a lot to consider when messaging across platforms.
Art + science: “The customer experience is so important. We talk about audience-first data-drive planning, but we also talk a lot about empathy,” said Danielle Sporkin, US head of integrated planning at OMD US. “In storytelling the data is the what, and the story is the why. It’s that human element we need on top of the data.”
Total sales trend: “One of the remaining challenges left to understand is the total sales impact, the total business impact advertisers are trying to drive,” said Dr. Maggie Zhang, head of OTT measurement & research at Amazon Advertising. “They want to understand both online and offline sales, and we are developing internal tools and collaborating with third-party vendors to bring holistic total sales data to vendors.”
Balancing act: “We believe when we can combine first party and third party insights we can be more effective in telling the story and telling advertisers how their campaigns can better perform,” said Zhang, who noted when OTT advertising was added to existing displays, it lifted purchase rate by more than 90 percent.

It may sound like the script for the next primetime thriller, but conversations around data security—in the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica violation and other breaches, and in the context of new legislation in California—are the real deal. Panelists Austin Mazzella, legal director of data protection & privacy at Dentsu, and Chris Moschovitis, chairman/CEO of TMG E-Media, contextualized what to expect from the Biden-Harris Administration, and parsed a scenario fraught with tension that can lead marketers “to make dumb decisions,” Moschovitis said. “The single most powerful currency that exists worldwide is data. There is a lot of value in data and this value, a lot of it is integrated with the concept of privacy.”
New administration: “I expect to see privacy in the spotlight on all fronts,” Mazzella said, pointing to new proposals from the legislative arena, a new iteration of the Privacy Bill of Rights introduced under the Obama-Biden admin. “There will probably be lawsuits, like the DoJ suit against Google, and regulatory actions at the federal level, an increased focus on privacy from the FTC perspective.”
Compliance concepts: “Conceptually people are moving toward compliance concepts, but I don’t know if the opt-in pieces of the European data protection overall regimen will clone themselves here,” said Mazzella. “We will have a level. We need to be proactive and look at the needs of businesses, but advertisers should always try to adhere to the strictest standard available in terms of the collection of data.”
The end of the line: “The biggest challenge an advertiser could have is breach,” Moschovitis said. “You have structure in place, and biggest threat is a breach because once this data is exposed no one cares about how legally you caught that [personally identifiable information], everyone just cares that now the PII is out.”

If there’s one thing industry pundits can agree on, it’s that the future of measurement isn’t going to come down to a single solution. “There’s not a one size fits all solution here, and once we figure that out we can move in a much better way,” said moderator Tom Ziangas, SVP of research at AMC Networks. Here’s what our panelists had to say:
One size doesn’t fit all: “Any solution will have to be hybrid, meaning a mixture of panel and census,” said Radha Subramanyam, president/chief research analytics officer at CBS. “There will be a place for sales and outcome metrics and currency metrics. I spent a lot of time in the outcome space, and each category and campaign and client is different. Now, as a marketer and media provider, we need to have a whole series of outcome metrics, but our currency metrics don’t have to be identical.”
The equivalency equation: “It’s a hybrid thing, but there are going to be some way points along the line,” said Graeme Hutton, SVP, group partner research, Universal McCann. “Like getting to a proper understanding of what is a digital video equivalency, whether it’s TV or online, and what’s the digital display equivalent. It will vary by client, and will vary by market… we’re never going to satisfy the majority of users. The best thing we’re going to do is come up with a plurality, that the largest minority is going to agree on something, and can that be taken to a wider group?”

Join the TV revolution or get left behind. That’s the word from Jo Kinsella, EVP/chief revenue officer, TVSquared. “When we came to the industry it was 80 percent art and 20 percent science. I now feel we are finally able to flip that paradigm,” said Kinsella. “As an industry we are at a crossroads going into 2021. The future of TV is in our collaborative hands. Based on what we’ve learned in 2020—and boy have we learned a lot—2021 has the potential to be even more game-changing for marketers.”
Time shift: “The last nine months saw an acceleration of viewing behaviors that realistically would have taken two to three years. When consumers got sheltered in place, they turned to television,” said Danielle DeLauro, EVP at VAB. “A year from now there’s going to be a significant number of marketers saying they don’t want to trade on some archaic definition of audience because direct-to-consumer brands care less about demographics, and they are seeing huge returns,” she noted. “If you’re targeting an 18-49 audience and ignoring the $4 trillion of buying power because you’re ignoring everyone 55 or older, you are doing yourself a disservice.”

Travis Flood, director of customer insights at Effectv, shared insights from three recent studies about television’s ability to drive response, drive lift along with digital, and serve as a growth engine. Among takeaways:
Later-gram: Flood advised marketers to focus on longer-returns. A Q1 study showed TV ads drove a 5 percent lift in immediate visitors beyond a brand’s baseline. “Television does have immediate response and can deliver immediate returns… but we don’t want advertisers to just focus on that immediate moment of response because we know TV can have more impact. It’s important to focus on longer-term returns.”
Accounting for audiences: Looking beyond the audience approach and examining network daypart breakouts can yield big results, he said. A key learning in lockdown was the swell of daytime viewing. “If you only focused on a few networks in primetime, you missed the opportunity to grow your audience; you missed all those daytime viewers.”

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