SANTA BARBARA — Television ad salespeople need to go beyond just selling impressions and brand marketers need to empathize with the underlying goals of their companies  in an age where outcomes are becoming more in-demand.

That is the message from one leading advertising exec at US TV company A+E Networks.

The company, which operates channels A+E, History Channel and Lifetime, says it is now beginning to sell ads whose prices are guaranteed on viewers completing certain actions that take place after the ad is viewed.

“Right now, the two that we trade on specifically at A+E is web attribution and foot traffic,” says Ethan Heftman, Senior Vice President, Precision & Performance Advertising Sales at A+E Networks, in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“Those are the two areas based on automated content recognition (ACR) and measurement algorithms that work with multi-touch attribution.”

In the traditional model, TV ads are used to merely reach the right groups of viewers, defined by age and demographics, in groups of thousands, priced on a CPM (cost per mille) model.

In the emerging opportunity, software would track which viewers were exposed to which ad, link that record to brands’ own data and draw a line between the two, attributing real, end business results to the initial ad exposure.

How do you price that? Heftman says some in the industry are starting to refer to it as CPW, or Cost Per Whatever, because the desired end outcome may be different for each advertiser.

He acknowledges that website visits and physical footfall aren’t “necessarily the optimal metric, but it’s far better than a broad age, gender, media outcome”. He says: “It’s finally moving linear television into a place that is beyond just a media metric.”

“It is not enough for television, any longer, to put up a proxy that doesn’t make sense to an investor. It’s not enough to talk about data points that only make sense to marketers. Marketers have to be able to speak the language of business and of finance, and that is what performance is all about.”

This video is from a series leading up to, and covering, the Xandr Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara.  This Beet.TV series is sponsored by Xandr.   Please visit this page to find more videos from the series.