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Finding Sports Fans Across the Fragmented TV Landscape

It’s no surprise that live sports on broadcast, cable, and CTV consistently draw in a strong viewership. Ever tried to record a game and watch it the next day? Good luck avoiding spoilers from friends, co-workers, and social media! TV remains an impactful medium to reach audiences with improved targeting and attribution capabilities. Whether marketers need to drive brand awareness or sales lift, TV provides an effective path to achieve your business outcomes.

While the TV landscape continues to fragment and audiences shift toward OTT/CTV platforms, you wouldn’t know it based on the sky-high ratings of live sports. In fact, according to Sports Illustrated, 23 of the top 25 most-watched broadcasts in 2021 have been NFL games. Further, the Tokyo Olympics snagged 16 spots within the top 100, while events like the NCAA’s March Madness Final Four, the NBA Finals, and the Masters all claimed their own spot on the list.     

To help you get started, we’re sharing our top three strategies that marketers can use to reach their target audience through sports programming.  

3 Strategies to Reach the Sports Audience 

  1. Play into the passion of live sports viewers

There’s nothing like the energy of watching a live sports game! Some die-hard fans will even watch regular-season games with the same fervor as a playoff or championship. So how can advertisers capitalize on key moments throughout the sports season? It’s important to keep the momentum going. Some brands opt to make a single, big splash; however, it can be more impactful to activate your media plan over the course of several weeks or months. This consistent pacing will allow you to target your audience with non-skippable advertising and reap the benefits of frequency capped, repeated exposure – a win-win for brands.   

  1. Maximize impact with a cross-channel approach 

If you are already activating on linear, consider extending and amplifying your reach with CTV media. The lion’s share of live sports is still found on cable and broadcast, but increasingly, leagues and networks are airing games through OTT and CTV platforms. Simultaneously, more and more households are cutting the cord with their cable providers, but still want to tune in to watch their beloved sports teams. For marketers looking to improve the efficiency of their media buying for sports programming, a cross-channel approach can be a game-changer! Live sports on CTV give advertisers the real-time advantages of linear with targeting and attribution similar to digital.  

  1. Reach an upscale audience – at scale 

Most sports benefit from a broad-reaching audience – football, basketball, baseball, and hockey each draw fans from the full spectrum of individuals that make up the 18-49 demographic. However, a few sports boast a more niche appeal. Golf and tennis in particular provide marketers with the opportunity to engage with a fanbase that falls in a higher income demographic, making these sports an ideal space for luxury retail, luxury auto, and financial services advertisers. In fact, according to Scarborough Research, 30% of adult tennis fans and 27% of adult golf fans have household incomes $100,000 or more. High-net-worth individuals are notoriously difficult to advertise to, so advertising during golf and tennis matches allows brands to get in front of this hard-to-reach segment.   

Sporting events on TV offer marketers endless advertising opportunities. A multipurpose solution, activating your message on TV enables marketers to meet both their upper and lower funnel KPIs.  

Ready to take your sports TV advertising to the next level? Get in touch with a Cadent account executive.  

Why Automation & Collaboration Will Scale Addressable TV

[A version of this post originally published on Ad Age.]

In today’s world, where viewers curate their own “must watch TV” across a combination of content providers and screens—including TV networks, subscription video on demand (SVOD), advertising-based video on demand (AVOD), virtual multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), set-top-box (STB) and internet protocol TV (IPTV)—there is no place for siloed planning or buying. It is impossible to execute a thoughtful cross-screen campaign orchestration without automation, unified audience planning and execution, and the ability to deliver appropriate frequency at the household level. 

As an industry, we are finally at the tipping point to drive meaningful addressable scale; all the technology exists. The last step is connecting the pipes to create true interoperability.

Over the last decade, I have planned and executed thousands of addressable TV and audience-based cross-channel campaigns, both on the agency side without automation and on the sell-side with automation. I can say with absolute certainty that it is much easier with automation.  

Essentially, any type of TV (STB or IP) that allows you to target audiences at the household level and measure results against specific business outcomes is addressable.

To scale addressable, it needs to be easier to plan, buy, sell and measure. Early technology focused on turning the STB into an ad server to allow brands the ability to target strategic audiences. Next, the industry focused on creating unified audience segments to send across screens. Newer technology has automated the workflow between the buy and sell-side to create operational ease and executional efficiencies.  

Technology, when put in the hands of media buyers, makes it easier to scale addressable TV across multiple suppliers. Brands also need the ability to contemplate holistic cross-screen viewing of their target consumers by being able to find their target audiences regardless of what type of inventory they are watching.  To a consumer, TV is the content they watch; they have no idea if the commercial they are viewing was served in a local addressable STB pod, or a national addressable STB spot, or IP-based OTT/CTV inventory. As we look holistically at addressability across all these screens, brands will be able to deliver their message thoughtfully and at the appropriate frequency.

So what has stopped addressability from achieving wider adoption as a TV buying paradigm?

Ultimately, the right technology exists and agencies understand the impact, but broader collaboration is needed to ensure the best consumer experience. No one wants to send 30 messages to one household and none to another. Viewers do not view in silos and we cannot continue to execute in silos. For addressable TV to realize its full potential, interoperability is key. In fact, a recent Forrester report determined that 74% of TV buyers want there to be more interoperability among MVPDs and 66% want simplified buying and campaign management across suppliers.¹

Technology needs to facilitate more relevant ads to the right consumers and protect the viewing experience. Relevant ads at the appropriate frequency will better resonate with audiences and ultimately drive meaningful KPI-based results for brands.

Over the last few years, significant progress has been made. The industry has managed to live through years of time-consuming, manual spreadsheets. Television has made great strides in catching up to digital media over the last several years with targetability, measurability, and automation. Advertisers have seen the impact of advanced TV and experienced positive results. So until another medium proves to be more effective, the time to embrace advanced TV is now.

It is time for us to combine the power of data and technology together to truly empower advertisers to reach the right audiences within premium content and at scale.  


¹ The Transformation of Television: Embracing the Era of Addressable TV, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Cadent, Comscore, Canoe, DISH Media, INVIDI Technologies, LiveRamp, ViacomCBS, Verizon Media, and WarnerMedia. https://s3-prod.adage.com/whitepapers/dish_futureisnow_wp.html

Veterans Day at Cadent: James Bentley, Senior Cloud Manager

In honor of Veterans Day, we are proud to stand with the individuals who served and sacrificed in the U.S. military. At Cadent, we recognize the value that Veterans bring to our workforce. Today, it is our privilege to recognize James Bentley, an Air Force veteran and Senior Cloud Manager for Cadent. Recently, we spoke with James to learn about his role at Cadent and his experiences as a member of the U.S. Air Force.

To learn more about James, check out our Q&A below.       

The following interview has been lightly edited and condensed. 

Tell us about your role at Cadent  

I just started at Cadent at the end of August so I’m fairly new. I’m a cloud engineer on the DevOps team. In my day-to-day, I work with our developers to architect and deploy their applications in the Amazon cloud. 

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work? 

I have two boys in elementary school, so most of my free time is spent with them. Otherwise, I enjoy gaming, reading, and riding Peloton 

What does Veterans Day mean to you? 

It’s a time to recognize those that served in the Armed Forces and personally, to remember that I was more fortunate than most that served during the Iraq and Afghan wars 

How would you describe your time in the Air Force?  

I was a deployable network engineer. I spent much of my time deployed and we would set up networks and infrastructure for air operations where there wasn’t yet a base. I was deployed to the Middle East a few times, and a couple of times in the U.S. for humanitarian aid. 

What opportunities and challenges do veterans face? 

I think members of the military receive a lot of training to help them function in high-pressure situations. They also have options for professional training if it relates to their job, and they have multiple opportunities to take college classes during and after their time in the military. 

What was your experience leaving the military and moving on to a civilian role?  

My experience was pretty seamless. I worked in IT before, during, and after serving in the Air Force, so I was able to move into a civilian role without much issue. 

What advice would you give to other veterans transitioning out of the military?  

Try to network with other service members whose enlistments ended before yours. It’s helpful to discuss what issues they may have had so you can prepare to enter the job market or go back to school. Networking for military members is just as important as it is in the civilian world. 

Is there anything you wish civilians understood about military service? 

I would say that not all members of the military enlist for the same reasons. Some are looking for a way to pay for college while others think of it as a way to see the world. The military is like most large organizations in that not everyone has the same views and experiences. 

Learn more about life at Cadent and see available roles on our Careers page. 

Octillion Selects Cadent Aperture Platform to Enable Sales Lift Measurement from OTT & CTV Advertising

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cadent, the TV advertising technology company, today announced an expanded partnership with Octillion, the platform as a service company for local and mid-market advertisers, to measure the direct sales impact of clients’ advertising based on in-store sales lift from exposed homes.   

Through this partnership, Aperture Viewer Graph – Cadent’s cookieless audience mapping technology is paired with Octillion’s proprietary real-time attribution suite to offer Octillion clients a holistic look at the purchasing behavior of ad-exposed consumers.

“The past 18 months began a record shift from linear TV viewing to OTT/CTV. As the market continues to see explosive growth, marketers are seeking better ways to leverage these channels as well as understand how they are driving business outcomes including retail store sales, web traffic, and foot traffic,” said Gabe Greenberg, Octillion CEO.

Octillion and Cadent are now enabling brands and agencies to measure true business outcomes including ROAS (return on ad spend) from their media spend. The new partnership allows marketers to measure brick and mortar sales, providing deterministic accountability and deeper insights for optimization of current and future campaigns. With this enhanced sales attribution tool, advertisers are realizing the full potential of OTT/CTV and consequently increasing their investment in this format.

Robert VanHoose, CEO of Big Sandy Superstores comments, “We have gone from zero accountable partners to over 50% – anyone that could not provide attributable media had their spend reduced or cut. Today, OTT with Octillion and Facebook are our largest spend, compared to circulars and broadcast TV just two years ago. Octillion’s level of focus and detail has allowed us to reduce our overall marketing spend as a percentage of sales to almost half and we can prove it with their full suite of attribution tools.”

To begin the attribution process, Octillion clients securely onboard their CRM (customer relationship management) files into Octillion’s self-service FATE platform and select the campaigns they want to match against. Aperture’s measurement enablement technology determines which conversions are attributed to the viewership of each of the CTV ads. Lastly, the post-campaign analysis is provided to Octillion’s advertisers.

“Our partnership with Cadent allows us to provide a far more detailed sales attribution and ROAS report, demonstrating how our client’s working media is driving true business outcomes,” Gabe Greenberg, CEO of Octillion said. “Invariably, clients that have these additional insights, paired with our fully transparent pricing, as well as transparent reporting and fraud tools, have the confidence to make a larger investment in these and other channels in the future.”

“OTT and CTV viewership continue to grow, as audiences become more and more fragmented. This means that it is becoming increasingly important for marketers to be able to demonstrate results from campaign activations,” Jamie Power, Chief Data Officer and COO of Advanced TV at Cadent said. “Through the use of Aperture Platform, we can offer Octillion’s clients a clearer picture of their ad conversion, minimizing wasted ad spend and strengthening the power of this impactful advertising medium.”

About Cadent
Cadent powers the evolution of TV brand advertising. We provide marketers, agencies, operators, and media owners with data-driven solutions for buying and selling TV advertising. By connecting brands with opportunities across national inventory sources—cable, broadcast, and OTT—our technology improves efficiencies and boosts the results of linear, addressable, and cross-screen campaigns. For more information, visit cadent.tv or follow @CadentTV.

About Octillion
Octillion believes programmatic should not be problematic, complex, or costly. Octillion’s FATE, a platform as a service solution, makes it easy for local and mid-market brands to complete fraud-free and fully transparent, media planning, buying, optimization, and attribution of CTV, Audio, Video, Addressable TV, and DOOH. The platform coupled with Octillion’s combined hundreds of years of expertise ensures their buyers of all sizes have the support and care they need to deliver quantifiable business outcomes from every media dollar invested.