SAN FRANCISCO– As an industry, TV is still feeling its way towards the large-scale use of outcome-based measurements. In an interview with Beet.TV’s Jon Watts at LiveRamp’s RampUp Summit, Jim Nail, principal analyst at Forrester Research, explained that companies are starting to get a handle on it, but there’s still a long way to go.
Part of this has to do with the TV industry being accustomed to almost 50 years of thinking in terms of age and gender and an infrastructure that supports that.
“We’re about to throw that out and move into a whole different world,” Nail says. “And it just takes time to, first of all, get the infrastructure built up, then to gain the experience with the processes within that infrastructure, and then build up again those benchmarks and that history.”
According to Nail, the TV industry is entering a world in which there will be multiple metrics for different advertisers, sometimes even for the same advertiser with different objectives. This makes it even more complicated for media sellers. There are also risks involved.
“That is my biggest fear,” Nail says. “That TV will end up going down the direct response rathole that digital did in 2000-2001 and has never gotten itself out of. If we do allow TV to go there, we will be doing the brands and ourselves a huge disservice.”
But can the industry balance funnel metrics and brand or revenue business outcome? Nail believes that the industry needs to head towards this balance, and TV as a medium is unique in that there could be payoff in the long-term.
One of the positives is that the finance around advertising will become much clearer, so we could see more companies willing to spend more in order to see more specific outcomes for their brand.
“Now we’re getting better and better tools for tracking,” Nail says. ‘’Whether it’s the cash register, store traffic, web traffic, whatever that business outcome is, we’re getting better tools to measure that which I think will justify the spending on television and video.”
When it comes to the transition away from the cookie, Nail sees a period of chaos as inevitable. He believes that the focus has shied away from the big picture—consumers’ attitudes towards advertising and the invasiveness that is sometimes perceived to come with it.
“There’s a deeper issue of how we do this in a way that consumers feel respected,” Nail says. “And feel like it’s being done more for their benefit than for the advertising ecosystem’s benefit.”
A big part of it is making the value exchange much more explicit, as it has been historically implicit. In being more explicit, Nail sees opportunity for experimentation, especially in giving the user more options to either pay or see ads along with viewing content.
“I have no question that we will get to a good solution in the end,” Nail says. “But it’s never a straight line, it’s always a little bit chaotic for a while, a lot of stuff gets thrown against the wall, but then ultimately we get to a point where we find a really positive solution.”
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.