When Calum Smeaton set out in 2012 to explore the nascent exercise of television advertising attribution, early clients were direct-to-consumer brands. Since then, other brands, agencies and media sellers/distributors have adopted the CEO & Founder of TVSquared’s vision, to the tune of 770 brands, agencies and networks in 70+ countries.
In 2013 and 2014, direct-to-consumer marketers were the biggest TV attribution enthusiasts, Smeaton explains in this interview with Beet.TV.
Among the first of the company’s insights was the anomaly that “the fastest growing part of the TV spend was coming from e-commerce companies and direct-to-consumer companies. And that was fascinating to me.”
TVSquared discovered that it was “the forward-looking brands, a lot of the DTC brands, that really kind of grabbed TV attribution and ran with it,” Smeaton says. He cites as clients Credit Karma and Expedia, “Brands that have really helped shape this space.”
With its roots in linear-TV ad attribution and optimization, “In the U.S. we can take connected TV device data, take our approach, blend it together and then show have TV actually works for them and help them improve performance.”
TVSquared drops pixels on its clients’ websites, germinating a trove of response data for correlating downstream conversion. “We can get response via website, via apps, via SMS, via phone. And then we take when the TV airs and then we look at how we can get a lift that TV has produced because of the spots that have run,” Smeaton says.
Adding deterministic data to the mix can “enhance that and provide more information not just on the lift but also on the audience and which demographics are working for them.”
Two to three years ago, agencies got more interested in TV attribution, according to Smeaton. “They were looking at how they can retain clients and win new business by showing that insight into how they can optimize TV.”
Lastly came media owners and broadcasters looking to protect their revenue turf amid a wave of change in TV content, distribution and monetization. “We’re now seeing the full range of the ecosystem looking at TV attribution and how to use it.”
Within the last couple of years, TVSquared begin assisting the sales side at broadcasters in Europe. “I think they were quite early in realizing that proof of performance to prove that TV advertising works is going to be key going forward with how you sell TV advertising. I think now we’ve seen the same in the U.S. We’re working with a number of the MPVD’s already, we’re working with a number of the broadcasters as well,” Smeaton says.
Asked how his company differentiates itself from others in the attribution business, he cites being “global since day one,” a hybrid approach of combing advanced-TV data with its own solution that provides a “scale and range that others can’t,” along with an easy-to-use, end-to-end platform.