- Tech firms are increasingly using data to help advertisers balance their TV and digital ad budgets.
- Data firm Lotame is rolling out a new product that aggregates app, web, and smart TV data that advertisers can use to create and measure audiences for ad targeting purposes.
- Lotame has to compete with marketing clouds like Salesforce and Adobe and a growing number of ad-tech firms that are also helping advertisers with ad targeting.
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Ad-tech firms are trying to capitalize on the movement of TV dollars to online streaming, and data firm Lotame thinks it can stand out by helping advertisers understand the growing amount of data on what people are watching.
Lotame already sells advertisers and publishers a data management platform that helps store and manage data, and it’s rolling out a new product to help marketers target ads based on what someone watches on TV by collecting data from smart TVs and marketers’ first-party data from OTT apps, mobile apps, and websites.
Horizon Media, ABC, and Fox have used the new tool, according to Lotame.
Lotame is aiming its pitch at digital buyers
Lotame CMO Adam Solomon said Lotame has already been pitching TV buyers data from Automated Content Recognition (commonly known as ACR), which it accesses through a partnership with Vizio’s Inscape. The data analyzes what shows and TV commercials consumers watch on smart TVs, and Solomon said the company is looking to tap into other sources of ACR.
But with TV buyers having planned and purchased TV ads the same way for decades, Lotame saw a growing opportunity to pitch digital buyers.
“We discovered that maybe the industry was not quite ready to use it for that purpose,” Solomon said. “However, we found that digital buyers wanted to run ads targeting digital and mobile.”
Marketers want to understand how TV and digital ads work together
For example, Lotame says it can help broadcasters retarget people with digital ads who started watching a show but didn’t finish. And a consumer-packaged goods brand could run A/B tests to see how a digital campaign performs with people who also saw the commercial on TV and those who didn’t.
Michael Zacharski, CEO of EMX, the programmatic exchange of the agency Engine, said that he started seeing advertiser demand for TV-fueled ad targeting last year with healthcare and automaker clients. He called Lotame’s new tool “incredibly powerful” because of how it uses viewership data to target consumers by interest.
The company has big competition from both marketing clouds like Salesforce and Adobe and ad-tech companies, though.
According to a recent study of 400 marketers from research firm Advertiser Perceptions, Adobe and Salesforce ranked as advertisers’ most-used data management platforms.
A number of ad-tech firms such as TrueOptik and Peerlogix are also using TV data to target digital ads.
“It’s an emerging space, and everyone wants everything,” said Tricia Masturzo, Lotame’s director of data and advanced TV solutions.
Advertising and marketing tech companies also are getting squeezed as agencies whittle down the number of tech firms that they work with.
Read more: Big ad agencies are slashing the number of ad-tech companies they work with — and tech firms are racing to stay a step ahead
Solomon thinks the company can compete by focusing on TV, though. He also acknowledged that some advertisers use marketing clouds to handle their data needs, but argued that some don’t like to get locked into big deals that don’t let them work with other tech firms.
“There’s always room for companies that provide very specific challenges — TV is one of those,” he said.
One challenge for ad-tech firms is figuring out which agency buyer handles OTT. In some cases it’s the digital buyer, and in others, it’s the linear TV buyer.
Barry Lowenthal, CEO of The Media Kitchen, said tech firms should focus on digital buyers with growing budgets.
“You should just follow the money,” he said. “If most money is spent in digital media, then why wouldn’t the vendors want to reach a digital buyer?”
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