Arun Kumar deliberately avoids the term “programmatic” when talking about advanced television’s audience targeting potential. “All we’re trying to do is take some of the principals behind programmatic. We don’t want to buy space for the sake of buying space,” says the Global President of Cadreon, Interpublic Group’s ad tech unit.
Semantics aside, Kumar is focused on answering a particular question from marketer clients. “Have I made a smart decision on my media investment, and why is it smart?” he says in an interview with Beet.TV.
Key to such smart decisions is making sure that creative and planning agencies are working with the same target audiences and that buyers are executing against the same segment.
“What it means for us is this is the way we expect all media to be bought in the future,” Kumar says. “It’s less about whether it’s biddable, whether it’s going through an exchange, whether it’s private inventory. The most important point is are we planning and buying on audiences or are we still stuck with space.”
He notes that advertisers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for media “but we need to know exactly what are we paying a premium for and how is it driving the business.”
Kumar is encouraged by the increasing scale of U.S. households that can be reached with addressable TV advertising. “From our perspective, addressable has been a significant growth area. I think as the number of households scale, that’s where a lot of clients are going to be focused,” says Kumar. “We’ve gone past the tipping point on that.”
The bigger challenge lies in being able to target specific individuals within households as they consume content on a variety of devices through a variety of delivery mechanisms.
“The blockage in the system is how do you measure cross-screen and how are you going to figure out frequency capping across those multiple devices,” says Kumar.
In addressable TV he sees a similar pattern in location-based targeting of digital ads populated by dynamically inserted creative messaging. “I think a lot of that is also driving the growth of household addressable,” he says.