The emergence of digital attribution technologies plugged in to local TV ad sales promises to bring “significant” levels of ad spending back to local TV operators.

That is according to an executive whose software company’s insights have been encouraging hundreds of advertisers to greatly increase their spending in the medium.

TVSquared helps power Instant Impact, an analytics platform at Comcast Cable’s Spotlight ad sales unit which shows the impact on web traffic from airing an ad on Comcast, within 30 minutes of transmission.

The relationship started with a proof-of-concept in three to five markets, followed with a pilot involving 25 advertisers and the full roll-out was announced this month. Comcast Spotlight has also said it intends to apply Instant Impact to more customer types outside of automotive.

Jo Kinsella, TVSquared chief revenue officer, spoke with Ashley J. Swartz, CEO, Furious Corp, in this recorded discussion at Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!” in August.

TV is resurgent

“Television, to me, has the opportunity to thrive, not just survive now,” Swartz said.

“(In TV), we’re really not … losing money to digital,” Kinsella concurred. “We see (advertising) people coming back all the time. We have advertisers on the platform in 72 different countries right now, soon to be probably up at a hundred countries.”

She said one advertiser on the platform, which spent $1 million on TV three years ago, this year plans to spend $40 million.

Attribution unlocks value

The “game-changer” is attribution technology. Historically, TV has been viewed as a brand-building medium, at the top of marketing funnels; it has been difficult to prove how television commercials prompt actions like store visitation or, particularly, purchase.

That has caused many marketers to turn away from linear local TV, finding they can get results and proven effectiveness in digital channels.

“Now we can measure it and make it accountable,” Kinsella said. “We’ve seen advertisers double their spend, double their commitment, saying, ‘I’m not just going to advertise for three months, I’m not just going to do a Pulse campaign, I’m going to do an annual commitment, because now you’ve shown me that TV. is working’.”

An incremental comeback

Kinsella doesn’t expect the return of ad flow to local TV will happen overnight. Rather than place all their money on black, she imagines ad buyers making iterative changes, testing to discover exactly how TV can demonstrably fuel performance.

“When they’ve done that for a couple of months and they see that it’s driving more response, whatever the response might be, they say, ‘Oh, this is working, let’s keep doing it’. We have clients that have been optimizing now weekly, monthly… for three, four, five years.”

The future is measurable

Kinsella acknowledges that many in TV land are “terrified” of data-driven, automated TV ad sales. But she expects they will come around when all kinds of TV are made measurable.

“It just changes the whole TV ecosystem, if we can now measure everything, whether it’s a digital platform or a linear platform,” she says.

“It’s about serving up an analytics platform that allows our clients to choose their KPIs and to tie TV performance, whether it’s linear or digital, back to business outcomes. That’s the future.”

This video is part of a series from the Beet Retreat in the City, “We’re Going Local!” hosted by GroupM Worldwide and sponsored by Amobee, Comcast Spotlight, TVSquared and WideOrbit. Please visit this page for additional segments.