A little over a year ago, Comcast Spotlight decided to assemble a measurement team to prove that linear television works beyond just upper-funnel performance metrics. The ad sales division partnered with TVSquared on a mission that is intended to extend to VOD and IP-delivered TV.

“We absolutely know that we have to get beyond the core linear product because we want to essentially be platform agnostic,” says VP of Research & Insights Andrea Zapata. “Just as we are now network agnostic when it comes to reaching customers and making our recommendations, just as we are now daypart agnostic.”

In this interview with Beet.TV, Zapata explains how it’s “still early days here” in proving the value of TV beyond simple ad recall and viewer sentiment. “I think for television now it’s absolutely crucial that we start proving our value as we go down that funnel. It’s not just good enough to say that we got people to see your ad.”

Comcast Spotlight’s approach is rooted in the belief that if it’s going to be making audience targeting recommendations, it should be able to prove they worked. “For us, attribution is did the person who saw your ad take an action and can we measure that. We know you’re going to measure it. You absolutely should. It’s your responsibility,” says Zapata.

Deciding on partners is “a very rigorous process,” she adds. “I always say God bless our vendors because they have to go on this journey with us.”

With TVSquared, the process started with a proof of concept followed by a pilot and scaling. “We’re in north of sixty markets, so for us we’ve got thousands of sellers and thousands upon thousands of clients. We want to make sure the solution that we’re building for can answer core questions and scale appropriately.”

Initially, Comcast sought to determine if exposure to TV commercials drove website traffic for advertisers, whose websites are tagged by TVSquared. “They get the option of two KPI’s or two pages based on their campaign objectives,” Zapata says.

Within 30 days, Comcast sales personnel and advertisers can log into dashboard “and see if there was any lift to performance after exposure to an ad. For us it wasn’t good enough to see lift website over a long period of time,” so Comcast chose to use a 30-minute window of time after exposure to an ad.

It’s a case of correlation as opposed to causation. “Giving the right credit to television but not all credit,” says Zapata.

This video is from a Beet.TV series titled TV: Now an Outcome-Driven Medium. For more segments, please visit this page. This series is presented by TVSquared.