SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The ability to track a consumer business action back to an ad exposure is one that has existed in digital media for some time.

Now advanced connected TV platforms are getting in on the “attribution” act.

Plain old linear TV can promise advertisers the same power – but more complex attribution techniques need to emerge over time, says one TV ad sales leader.

“At A+E, we are trying to move from a world where the only data that matters is Nielsen age and gender demos,” says Ethan Heftman, Senior Vice President, Precision & Performance Advertising Sales at A+E Networks, in this video interview with Beet.TV.

“We’re trying to move into a world where outcomes, actions, those are the things that matter for our business. It’s a conversation that linear television can have a major impact in. At A+E, we will guarantee two very specific results (from advertising):

  1. “We will guarantee foot traffic into a store location.”
  2. “We’ll guarantee web attribution.”

Heftman has previously observed that many in the industry are already staring to price guaranteed ads on a CPW, or Cost Per Whatever, basis.

A+E Networks, which operates channels A+E, History Channel and Lifetime, is accomplishing attribution by partnering with an array of technology and data providers, like LiveRamp, whose RampUp event Heftman was speaking from.

Ultimately, Heftman wants to guarantee advertisers more outcomes than just physical or web traffic – but therein lays more complexity.

“Where you begin to get into more difficult scenarios is where there are more steps in the sales process, in the funnel,” he says. “It just becomes a lot harder.

“There are a lot more steps in the chain between an ad exposure and a sale, steps that we want to make sure that we’re all on the same page and we’re all partnered for the same thing.

“There are a range of vendors and suppliers that can all do individual discrete things. Piecing those vendors together and paying them each individually is a challenge for our business.”

The interview was carried out by Beet.TV director of editorial and strategy Jon Watts.

This video is part of  Beet.TV’s coverage  of  RampUp, LiveRamp’s summit for marketing technology in San Francisco.  This series is co-sponsored by LiveRamp and ZEFR.