Two Former Cablevision Execs Hope To Take Local TV Targeting Tactics National

605Two former Cablevision execs – former COO Kristin Dolan and former media sales President Ben Tatta – are bringing their experience in local TV advertising to the national level.

The two formed an audience measurement and analytics firm called 605 earlier this month through an acquisition of Analytics Media Group (AMG), the data and analytics operatives behind Barack Obama’s two presidential campaigns. Dolan Family Ventures, owned by Dolan and her husband, James Dolan, led the investment in AMG.

It’s easy to see the synergies. Before the 2012 election, AMG helped the Obama campaign evolve from reach-based TV targeting to addressable campaigns backed by audience and set-top box data. Cablevision Media Sales, led by Tatta, did the same for commercial clients.

AMG and, now, 605 focus on helping media companies and brands like Walmart measure the impact of television viewership on business outcomes like sales.

“Rather than just tracking ratings or impressions, we’re really focused on using census-level data to determine [how] media drives people to engage in a certain way,” Dolan said.

AdExchanger spoke with Dolan and Tatta about their new measurement and analytics venture.

AdExchanger: What lessons from Cablevision do you hope to apply at 605?

BEN TATTA: An appreciation for the impact and value of census-level data. A lot of what we’d done early on was the extension of addressable TV, but the real impact of addressable is being able to apply those learnings more broadly. 

For example?

Tatta: There’s discussion in the marketplace today about which is better – linear or addressable TV? The fact is, you should be using both. With addressable ad buys, you get very granular measurement and can do very controlled treatments on copy and media, and those learnings can be applied to linear.

What’s the main difference between a national broadcast/linear or addressable TV buy?

KRISTIN DOLAN: You see instances where traditional broadcast television is used for a brand [buy], whereas addressable is used for specific segments – auto being a great example. So an automaker might want to get Lincoln and Cadillac out there more broadly, but then use addressable and more sophisticated forms of buying to do custom segmentation against a mini van driver versus a sports car driver. The holy grail is using all different components of a media campaign to work in tandem, but it’s about whatever’s most suited to your end goal.

What’s one of your priorities with 605?

Tatta: There’s opportunity to make a lot of the planning tools and processes [in linear TV] more intelligent. Our goal is to help enable buyers and sellers of media. We aren’t in the media space. This is a pure-play independent entity that’s not attached to any media owner or interests in a media company that may be held by an agency group. We’re trying to keep this neutral and independent and, as a byproduct, be able to provide credible measurement.

How are you working with CPGs and retailers?

Tatta: We help to define new segments based on point-of-sale and viewing data. You can identify segments and then get a very quick [understanding] on how much lift you’re driving in-store and online. It’s campaign optimization where you’re using addressable for test and control and then tying those insights back to linear [ad buys].

How about media companies?

Tatta: Programmers are using the same kind of archaic measurement system to determine ratings and to understand predictive elements, like what it would take to drive additional ratings. Analytics and data will have a tremendous amount of value here. Often, our conversations at Cablevision ended with how to apply this [strategy] more broadly across the country.

AMG built a really large national base of census [data], which covers over 40 million addressable households today.

What kind of data are we talking about?

Tatta: General demographic information that was built off of the voter file, but because they’ve also been running, managing and optimizing numerous addressable campaigns, they have cross-MVPD data at the household level. Our intent is continue to expand that deeper. Right now, that data is weighted toward conventional linear, but over time we will add all of the nonlinear and OTT data we can to get a full picture of consumption across platform.

Where will sellers and advertisers see the most disruption in set-top box data?

Tatta: More advertisers are embracing addressable on a national scale. As a byproduct, they’re more accustomed to working with other data sets. What’s most important is that campaign performance is optimized and measured at an impression level because you can’t really optimize a GRP.

GRP is intended as just a gross reflection of delivery, not to measure very discrete audience segments and how impressions are delivering. So there’s a lot of discussion around when GRPs go away and we move to full impression-based optimization. For the time being, the two can coexist.

What does all of the TV and telco consolidation (Altice/Cablevision, Verizon/AOL, AT&T/Time Warner) mean for addressability?

Dolan: The opportunity for us, having done this on a regional basis, is to apply the same sort of learnings on a larger basis, whether it’s looking solely at TV or integrating unicast streams from VOD or DVR playback and tying that back to web visits and digital information.

Some of these insights can be used for media optimization, but also establishing a viewership profile where even if linear viewing is down, is that OK if they’re consuming your brand on digital and VOD? Everyone always says they’re data-rich and information-poor, and I think that’s still pretty accurate.

Interview condensed and edited.

 

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