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Changing the channel: Why the future of TV advertising depends on data

By Jamie West, Sky Media

September 2, 2015 | 3 min read

Sky Media’s deputy managing director Jamie West looks to the future of TV, which he says relies on expert analysis of data.

With all the technological innovation that is taking place in TV, I’ve been asking myself whether the advertising industry is making the most of the new targeting opportunities arising.

We’ve entered an era where data allows advertisers to buy actual target audiences (as opposed to generic proxies) or very specific segments. This gives them the advantage of knowing with far gr eater certainty than ever who is exposed to which creative copy, and how many times. In the future we will see many more advertisers making use of this, embracing the targeting methods that it brings.

Take for example Foxtel and AOL Platforms’ launch of programmatic inventory buying of linear television in Australia through their own private exchange. Closer to home, Channel 4 makes inventory on All4 available to the trading desks, again in private exchanges. The next step for broadcasters is to create a data strategy which informs programmatic buying in linear TV. Sky Media’s step into the future will allow for programmatic trading where there is value to be won for all parties and where we can drive efficiencies and advertiser ROI.

With our comprehensive audience targeting tool, Sky AdSmart, brands have access to vast amounts of data which enables them to look beyond traditional viewing figures to tailor their campaigns. Despite there being many evident advances in automation, the future of TV very much relies on the expert analysis of data and advertisers are taking note. Postcode targeting for example is one method which will draw in advertisers who have never considered TV advertising before.

Take an estate agency in Devon which can now target potential clients in the county at relatively low cost. It is phenomenal to see just how close brands can get to their core audiences at the right time and in the right place.

Similarly, if an insurance firm wants to only target people whose insurance is about to expire, there’s now the capability to do just this. So, what can we expect in the future of TV advertising? While targeting across screens and engaging with a specific audience may not suit every advertiser, it is clear that being able to r each your consumer more efficiently is a benefit, and now advertisers have that power. As the media industry builds its understanding of TV viewing behaviours and expands the breadth of its knowledge into the digital space, the ability to precisely target audiences across devices will become a reality.

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