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A Simplified, Unified, TV Industry Will Help Marketers Win

A version of this post originally appeared on Ad Age

TV’s evolution is accelerating with a flurry of M&A activity in the marketplace. Disney and Comcast are pursuing 21st Century Fox in an effort to add a wealth of content to their already potent arsenals; IPG is acquiring Acxiom Marketing Solutions in a nod to the increasing importance of data, and AT&T is fortifying itself with ad tech from AppNexus after completing its acquisition of Time Warner.

This activity, driven by a need to simplify advertising by strengthening the connections between content, data and platform, is a clear signal that TV has begun to evolve. We are entering the data-driven, technology-rich future of TV advertising.

But mergers and acquisitions in and among themselves are only one step toward this next-generation, vibrant ecosystem. While consolidation will promise scale and simplicity to a data-driven buying experience, delivering on that integration will take time. More importantly, a thriving marketplace is more than just a consolidated one; it’s one where agencies and advertisers have an abundance of innovations from which to choose as they create next-generation, data-driven brand campaigns to engage modern audiences.

The current dynamics in the TV industry should be viewed as an opportunity for more open collaboration, a moment to initiate change to make all pieces of the ecosystem work better together in service of the advertiser. After all, those who know the benefits of television are in the best position to initiate change and bring new partners into the mix.

TV Advertisers require choice

No two brand campaigns are alike. Audience targets differ, messaging changes, offers vary based on seasonality, measurement of success is connected to the business imperative of a given time. What will serve the industry best is introducing new ideas through a marketer’s lens and prioritizing accordingly.

And marketers’ priorities are clear–they require a unified view of television. As Comcast’s Marcien Jenckes said recently, something needs to happen in order to unify television so marketers can buy in an easier way than they have in the past. “The idea that the industry coalesces on standards and technology, that for certain is a necessity,” he added.

Marketers’ data-driven campaigns call for integrations with campaign systems and TV order systems to provide one view of audiences and campaigns. They need supply sources to enable a single planning, ad execution and reporting workflow. Marketers must have access to innovative options from which to build the best campaign for a particular goal, whether it’s testing a new data segment or refining a media mix between audience-indexed and addressable inventory types.

The new TV economy will grow. And as it grows, assets will be monetized when advertisers have the creative freedom to pick and choose the data and technology building blocks that are right for them. No one platform does everything.

There will be no single partner or stack to solve every brand’s marketing challenges. Instead, the collective innovation and experience across a unified set of partners can provide choice and customization options that allow advertiser creativity to extend into this new era of TV.

While there will likely be winners and losers as the industry evolves, the next generation of TV is not a zero-sum game. So as parts of the industry consolidate, let’s use this time of coming together as a chance to strengthen the connections in the ecosystem with a singular goal of meeting advertisers’ needs. Advertisers need collaborative solutions, not single stacks.

For more on the TV’s evolution, see Cadent CEO Nick Troiano’s post, “The Next Chapter of TV Is Just Beginning.”

One for TV

A month ago, we announced that Cross MediaWorks, Cadent Network, Cadent Technology, and one2one media have come together as a single brand, Cadent.

At Cadent, we believe our people and technology make us uniquely prepared to guide advertisers through the evolution of television. Below, our offices in New York, San Jose and Philadelphia wear their new “One for TV” shirts. Interested in joining our team? See our open roles here.

We’ll continue sharing about our culture, technology, partnerships and more on our blog – check back for more.

5 Takeaways from Our 2018 Upfront

Our upfront event this year, “Brand Advertising in a Data-Driven World,” was all about the evolution of brand advertising, the current media landscape and the future of advanced TV.

The industry is facing challenges such as audience fragmentation, media inflation and more. But as Cadent CEO Nick Troiano said, we’re excited for the evolution of TV advertising and what’s to come – and we’re here to help clients each step of the way.

Below are five highlights from the event, along with videos done in partnership with  Beet TV.

  • TV remains a viable and valuable medium, Cadent CEO Nick Troiano said. While the use and influx of data is forcing evolution within the industry, Troiano says, “if we keep true to the value of television, what it means for our advertisers and for our clients, and find ways to take advantage of what technology and data offers, we’ve got a bright future.”

  • Addressable advertising has evolved from test to proven media plan component, Cadent COO Jamie Power told the audience. The medium  will increase from 63 million cable and satellite households to 70 million by the end of 2018 and praises the fact that addressable is now adding transparency to TV marketing. Because post-campaign analysis can indicate return on ad spend, it’s possible to see what works and what doesn’t, discover appropriate pricing by category and advertiser, and make needed adjustments on future campaigns.

  • The industry is pushing for a common currency, but there’s work to do. We need to do better, Initiative Chief Partnerships Officer Maureen Bosetti said, or money will shift to other screens as clients demand more transparent measurement.

  • Marketers are looking for three things: scalability, consistency, and simplicity—all of which are possible if companies effectively harness the power of robust measurement, precision targeting, and rich (aggregated, anonymized, and privacy compliant) data. “Nobody doubts the sound strategy of using richer data to more precisely deliver audiences and measurement those audiences in more robust ways,” said According to Andrew Ward, VP, Comcast Media 360. “But we’ve got to encase that transaction in elegant architecture from pitch to pay, such that the process is simplified.”

  • Trust between buyers and sellers is the key, VideoAmp chief strategy officer Jay Prasad said. He added that he looks beyond the upfronts to discuss how strong and intelligent scatter market opportunities can be leveraged during the season. If a premium broadcaster is already doing a lot of business with an agency or brand and is committed to them, the situation can be beneficial to all.

See our entire video series with Beet TV here, and learn more about how we support TV’s transformation in a blog from our CEO, Nick Troiano.

How Cadent Is Driving the TV Marketplace Forward

Consumers have more options than ever to watch video.

Look at the 2018 World Cup, for example. Viewers in the U.S. could’ve watched the Denmark vs. France match on Fox’s national network channel and the Switzerland vs. Costa Rica match in Spanish on NBC Universo. If they wanted, audiences could stream the games through OTT service fuboTV. Out of those who livestream World Cup matches, 65% will do so on their smartphone. Seven out of ten will watch live matches on linear TV, the IAB found.

Conventional advertising models are evolving in response to the changes in video consumption. It’s clear why this is a necessity – more than half of all U.S. consumers’ televisions are now IP-connected and an estimated 51 million OTT households steam content without a traditional cable or satellite service.

For some in the industry, this shift feels chaotic. However, we are excited about the new possibilities that data and technology bring to the television marketplace. Addressable TV, which enables targeting on an extremely granular level, could seem intimidating to those used to buying ad solely based on programming. Some marketers may not understand the full range of possibilities that addressable presents and how to optimally leverage their data to take advantage of today’s TV landscape.

With the right expertise, marketers can navigate the addressable landscape and make the most of its opportunities. And while there has been talk about audience-based television buying, Cadent’s one2one Addressable has been doing it for years. We’ve traded eight billion addressable impressions—a lot by anyone’s standards—so we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. We know the most responsive data sets, the optimal levels to plan by category and desired KPI, and we’re ready to share our knowledge.

Simply put, we know TV and addressable, and we’re dedicated to simplifying the ecosystem for our clients. We do this by aggregating all addressable supply, unifying the data and communicating with customers throughout the entire process. We’re screen-agnostic, so we can find the target consumer, wherever and whenever they’re watching content.

Our wealth of historical data combined with our predictive analytics algorithm means that our partners never go into a buy cold. Audience buying is already a great complement to broad demo buying, and our accuracy and efficiency are only going to get better as measurement methods catch up with these new modes of consumption and standards become fixed.

Historically, television was used mainly as a vehicle to drive awareness. With addressable, we’re able to use TV to drive conversion and uncover an incredible amount of data on the back end of the campaign. We can analyze campaigns, identify what worked and what didn’t work, and then use that data to optimize future addressable campaigns or even linear campaigns.

Addressability is still in its infancy, and in many respects, it’s like the early days of digital. As advertisers test, measure, and then leverage data to optimize their campaigns, we can help to guide them. That’s why Cadent – with our expertise and technology from linear to advanced television applications – came together as one. We strive to be the partner that drives the marketplace forward and demonstrates the full potential of this space.

See more information on one2one Addressable and how our unified platform connects brand campaigns with audience data and channel inventory.