SAN JUAN — It’s now 13 years since the phrase “data is the new oil“, it is believed, was first uttered.

Now we are living in a world which is swimming – or, perhaps, drowning – in the sticky, digital substance.

For many in broadcasting, data is proving to be transformational to the way they sell advertising, reinventing a discipline that has long relied on manual operations and sketchy viewer targeting.

In this Beet Retreat panel convened by Beet.TV, executives discussed the application of data to their businesses.

Data is a product

Panel leader Ashley J. Swartz, CEO of Furious Corp, kicked off by positing that “data is a product”…

Jesse Redniss, EVP, Data Strategy & Product Innovation, Turner:

“100% data is a product. We just announced the fact that we’re launching our own Warner Media D2C (direct-to-consumer) product itself, which will be driven by deep insights on consumption, on behavioral insights, personalization, recommendation engines, dynamic ad insertion built into the overall interface, as well as dynamic content insertion, and dynamic framework of how the actual product itself gets built out. That’s all data driven.”

Frans Vermeulen, COO, TruOptik:

“Typically. what we see is in a programmatic delivery or even in a direct sold model, we see anywhere from 15% to 20% lift on the value of media when that kind of data is applied to it.”

Data needs more

But speakers also said that data alone won’t be a game-changer…

Frans Vermeulen, COO, TruOptik:

“I would say it’s not just the value of the data. It’s the value of the addressability itself. You’re also enabling this household-level dynamic insertion ability. It’s the combination of those two plus the media I think that gets you to that.”

Jesse Redniss, EVP, Data Strategy & Product Innovation, Turner:

“They have to work together.”

Brian Kilmer, SVP Advanced TV Solutions, NinthDecimal:

“Where I see the convergence of these two is traditional linear and then you have this audience data. The challenge is, what is the value of that? Is it about outcomes? Is it about time spent? Is it about consumer lifetime value?

“I think we’re not getting to that. We’re not starting to understand the value of combining data and linear television in a way for brands and buyers to truly value it in a sophisticated way.”

Quantifying value

Turner’s Redniss argued that this value actually is becoming clear. But Swartz asked panelists whether it can really be quantified…

Brian Kilmer, SVP Advanced TV Solutions, NinthDecimal:

“There is not a significant interest in proving the value from a buying standpoint at the moment, because they’re not incentivized to do so. They’re incentivized to efficiencies and reach.”

Frans Vermeulen, COO, TruOptik:

“I think we have the talent. I just think the costs of trying to understand the end ROI is still so high, and every marketer has their own metrics for success. It’s just hard to make it a universal standard.”

Industry must come together

Swartz said she feared different companies, all hoping to burst the bubble of traditional TV measurement currencies, would simply pick their own solutions, leading to silos…

Jesse Redniss, EVP, Data Strategy & Product Innovation, Turner:

“We as an industry need to come together to identify some key data points that we can all trade on. That’s it. If we can all baseline around that – and it’s not just one currency, it’s probably going to be five or six – that’s when it really starts to come together.

“We all need to do a better job of educating … the end consumer. Right now we’re giving them a shit ton of opportunities and a shit ton of choice. How do we help teach them and educate them on what those things mean?”

This video was produced in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Beet.TV executive retreat. Please find more videos from the series on this page.

The Beet Retreat was presented by NCC along with Amobee, Dish Media, Oath and Google.