Social media data is key link for addressable TV marketers tuning in to interests, preferences and TV habits of consumers

Josh Dreller

Marketers have just begun to scratch the surface of mining the biggest behavioral data set ever amassed: social media. With more than 1.5bn social media users in its database mapped to 250,000 interest categories, “There’s just so much there,” says Josh Dreller, VP of product marketing at multi-screen analytics and activation provider 4C Insights which traffics in real, observed behavior.

The company’s algorithmic insights are derived from Facebook and Twitter’s “fire hose to their anonymous engagement data,” Dreller explains recently in an interview with Beet.tv, “Who’s commenting, sharing, what’s connecting.”

Advanced TV provides the opportunity for marketers to tap into what core customers are thinking about which is great for messaging and media placement. 4C Insights mines what people are sharing, talking about, and posting in its raw form and provides the algorithms to process the data. In television and social media, this can be translated to what shows people are watching, what recipes they use, what books they are reading and which celebrities they follow, and its all real time in nature.

Dreller adds that over time he has gotten used to meeting with marketers that advertise on television armed with two lists: One showing the 100 programs those marketers are advertising in most and the other listing the 100 shows those brands’ “engagers” are most engaged with. “Why aren’t you advertising there?” Dreller says of the discrepancy.

A “fairly new data set” beyond social media consists of second-by-second feedback of how viewers are consuming media on television, according to Dreller. Among the takeaways are whether people are skipping, fast-forwarding through or changing channels to avoid commercials.

“It’s kind of like the view-ability piece in digital,” says Dreller. “Are they even seeing your commercials? I think this is a very important signal that TV marketers can start to mine.”

Asked about second-screen viewing, Dreller cites media usage research showing that total time typically exceeds 100%. “That’s because people are consuming two channels at a time,” he says, adding that it’s not uncommon for him to use three devices simultaneously.

“For most television marketers, they’re seeing how TV advertising is evolving and they’re realizing they need to adapt. Social data provides an interesting outlet for TV marketers to see these insights,” Dreller says. “Marketers are just scratching the surface now.”

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