Cynopsis Special Report: Closed-Loop Attribution with Premion



Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

How Premion is optimizing streaming TV advertising performance with closed-loop attribution

Cathy Applefeld Olson

Understanding where your customers are coming from, how they heard about your brand, and how they’re interacting within a purchase funnel is table stakes for today’s data-driven marketers. With skyrocketing streaming TV viewership, CTV/OTT advertising is a highly attractive value proposition for advertisers to extend their reach, drive lift in brand awareness and achieve measurable outcomes. By combining the big screen TV viewing experience with the precision of digital targeting, advertisers are turning to CTV/OTT advertising to reach specific audiences that are most relevant for their business. As advertisers shift even more dollars to this medium, new attribution capabilities make streaming TV advertising even more compelling.

Today, advertisers are increasingly seeking the same attribution in the CTV environment as they are in traditional digital advertising. Premion, with TEGNA attribution capabilities, is helping CTV advertisers connect the dots between local spots and business KPIs like visits and sales, whether online or off-line.

“There are lots of companies out there now that are using real science around spikes in attribution. But what Premion is doing differently is closed-loop attribution,” says Jessica Daigle, TEGNA VP of Sales Intelligence. “We’re using granular data down to the IP address to connect viewership to business results. As in, this home saw the ad and these viewers went to the car dealership or the website.”

At its core, closed-loop attribution doesn’t leave the interpretation of results to chance—a business plan that brands can get behind. These new capabilities are further fueling the adoption of CTV from both traditional and digital-only advertisers.

“The flaw in the spike analysis measurement is that a million things can happen to cause a spike,” Daigle says. “Giving clients access to closed-loop attribution data helps them vet and believe in the numbers. They want to be confident their decisions are rooted in accurate data.”

One of those customers is Joel Bassam, Director of Marketing for Easterns Automotive Group, a collective of used-car dealerships in and around Washington, DC. Easterns uses Premion’s attribution capabilities for their linear and Premion OTT measurement.

Client Perspective

“I was looking to get to a point where we continue to sharpen the spend with real data instead of gut feelings,” Bassam tells Cynopsis. “I’ve been buying TV for so long, it’s been hard to say if it’s effective or not. This model allows me to get very specific on how I buy based on real data, and looking for these small increases in attribution and click-through rates will increase my business exponentially over time.”

The Premion attribution model enables Bassam and other clients to refine their targeting to reach untapped and qualified audiences. “I don’t want to limit my universe, I want to add on layers of targeting. And now I can do that more effectively by looking at performance attributes that I wouldn’t have been able to even consider before. I’ll be spending the same amount of money and getting a more effective reach, not necessarily a larger reach,” he says. “Now I can say this is how many people saw these spots and came to my website, which makes this Premion attribution capability incredibly powerful.”

Today, Premion is expanding its attribution capabilities and is now rolling it out as a core competency in every one of the 210 DMAs it serves. “It’s exciting,” Daigle says. “We are ensuring that every customer, whether you’re in Abilene or Dallas, Texas, has the opportunity to maximize their marketing spend.”

And in a year like no other, advertisers are acutely interested in optimizing their spend. While many were tuned in to the concept of closed-loop attribution prior to the onslaught of Covid-19, the pandemic kicked advertiser interest into high gear, according to Daigle.

“There’s definitely a marked change in the conversations we’re having with customers,” she says. For local businesses, “we had plenty of customers who were interested in the capabilities as an add-on to reporting. Now, as businesses are under pressure and concerned about viability, we see a heightened desire to really examine and apply the metrics and data we are able to provide, especially from customers who depend on foot traffic for their business.”

The key takeaway, she notes, “is they are really digging in and listening. That won’t go away. Their strategies have become reliant on the data and they’re using our attribution solutions as a compass for their marketing decisions.”

Case Studies

Premion has a lot of expertise and data points that can prove to advertisers whether their campaign performance drove business outcomes. In a recent study of reach extension that showed the optimization of spend across OTT and linear TV, the company measured 34 different campaigns and came up with a similar rate of success.

“We ran this on a sample of local customers that buy Premion and linear in four of our major markets. Across the board, 81 percent of homes reached through Premion were unduplicated, as in they were never reached through the linear buy,” Daigle says. “That’s about what you see, in the mid-80 percent range, because Premion is reaching a truly unique, cord-cutting audience.”

In another case study in the services area, one of Premion’s largest verticals, Premion sent 154 leads to a dental implant company’s website during a six-week period. The company had gone dark on linear TV for six weeks and shifted its budget to Premion for CTV/OTT, and the activation delivered at a cost of about $130 per lead.

“That sounds expensive, but you’ve got to keep in mind for every dental implant procedure they make $20,000 to $40,000; that’s their ROI,” Daigle says. “Then in December they went back on linear, and the combination of the two yielded their best month of sales ever—they achieved a $1 million month in revenues.”

With boxes checked to ensure its reporting is nimble and detailed, Premion now is piloting several new client offerings. Among current pilots in progress are a point of sale activation with a furniture company on the West Coast, a brand lift activation and an app-download attribution model.

Predictive Measurement Predictions

And there’s more on the horizon. “As we look forward to 2021, that’s really where predictive is exciting,” Daigle says. “We are taking our benchmarks and case studies and making them more actionable for our customers. We’ll be able to say, ‘If you increase your frequency to X, we expect you to generate Y results.’ Or, ‘By spending X number of dollars with this audience segment, we expect you to get these results.’ We’re really close to being able to start testing that.”

As the company navigates predictive measurement waters, it has the benefit of being early to market and drawing on learnings to make highly educated business decisions. One of those decisions was our expanded partnership with TV data firm, Alphonso, on an integration that enables Premion’s data to be transferred on a server-to-server basis that yields 100 percent accuracy and no data leakage.

“This data is new for this type of media that we’re measuring, so you have to be skilled and dexterous to interpret it properly to make good optimizations,” Daigle says. “Bad data is bad data. We’ve continued to iterate and learn during our pilot phase. We have the data to show advertisers which OTT creative is driving the best results and we know how to mitigate mistakes and drive good optimization.”

Continuing to learn, and continuing to educate clients, is core to the Premion brand promise. “Right now, technology is not the inhibitor. It is the enabler.” Daigle says. “Premion is getting it right for clients who want to reap the benefits of both streaming advertising and advanced analytics.”

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