However, Morgan acknowledged that the TV business is slow to change. And the process of TV buying has always been largely built around opaque guesswork.
"So much of the TV industry is still operating on truisms that were developed in the 1970s and 1980s," he explained. "Those truisms no longer reflect America. To pigeonhole people as, for example, stay-at-home moms watching soap operas or to hold on to the idea of a family gathering around a single set to watch comedies from 8 to 9 are assumptions that don't hold water any more. The data proves the case. That's why the industry needs to move beyond sex/age demographics."
Earlier this month, Jon Mandel, CEO of TV analytics company PrecisionDemand, told AdExchanger that demographic targeting "is no better than statistically random when trying to hit actual consumers/potential consumers for most brands."
Trying to get TV buyers to reduce their reliance on demo targeting is a particular focus of analytics companies, though there’s a fear that TV's advertising dominance is entrenched. (This viewpoint, however, is contested by others who believe that the roughly $75 billion spent annually on broadcast and cable will start to shift to the $4 billion online video market.)
Simulmedia believes however that results matter, and if it can demonstrate that purchase data, not demos, can lead to actual products being sold off of store shelves, that will go a long way toward changing the current mindsets of agency buyers and their clients.
"Audience-based buying is still a new to most of the ad industry," Morgan said. "Just the notion of separating people from programs is a big leap. But it's simply inevitable that marketers will want to measure the performance of a campaign on not just whether it reached enough people, but what the sales lift actually was."