With resources constrained and a new importance placed on sure-fire customers, marketers are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by using data tools and data to find more bankable targets through advertising.

In recent weeks, we have heard from several executives who have suggested ad buyers are moving further down the marketing funnel, looking to improve the efficiency of their spend by finding more likely leads.

“With the quarantine that we’ve all experienced … you’re finding buyers becoming smarter about how they target folks,” says Darren Sherriff, VP of ad tech solutions at Fox Networks Group.

“The ‘spray-and-pray and hope you find your right customers’ methodology or mantra, I think, is going to the wayside. What we’re seeing is more and more advertisers want to find the exact household demographic that they’re looking for.

“They’re layering data, they’re bringing their own data, or they’re bringing third-party data of potential customers that they’re trying to target.”

More effectiveness sought

EMarketer has revised-down its 2020 US digital ad spending forecast from a 17% growth to just 1.7%, with TV ad spend declining at double-digit rates.

There are also forecasts of big job losses at ad agencies, as some brands pull some of their ad-buying duties in-house.

Across the industry, companies are looking to wring more effectiveness out of their activities.

In advertising, that may mean less emphasis on brand-building and more on data-driven targeting to reach in-market consumers.

Warm targets

“There’s been an increase in the amount of data trying to be used and that they’re bringing to deals,” Sherriff adds.

“Some of the advertiser budgets who have declined and have essentially got hit hard with the COVID crisis, travel, autos, things that essentially were big purchases and sometimes luxury purchases… those buyers are going to now strictly target the folks that they know that have the disposable income who are still looking to travel, are still looking to make those big purchases, rather than just essentially hit a broad demographic,” he says.

Efforts to help buyers buy the way they want to buy are crucial if the evolving TV industry is to arrest anticipated decline.

EMarketer expects 2020 first-half US TV ad spending will have declined by up to 29.3%. Before the pandemic, it had expected a 2% increase.

The growing amount of TV consumed via internet-connected devices gives broadcasters a shot at presenting advertisers with the precise audiences they are looking for.

Provide evidence

Brands are also asking for new levels of measurement and analytics stats, in a bid to prove the effectiveness,” Sherriff says.

“We’ve seen more and more advertisers looking to measure in an aggregate fashion across their entire programmatic buy.

“We’re getting requests to support measurement studies. We’re getting requests to support sort of more robust delivery reporting, indicating where their campaigns ran, on what content, et cetera.”

Fox Networks Group is having to navigate CCPA and other regulations to figure out what audience data it can supply in response to the requests.

SSP shuffle

The Fox unit is selling digital linear TV ad inventory through a supply-side platform (SSP) marketplace, but is increasingly letting digital programmatic inventory compete with direct-sold ad space, because tools like programmatic-guaranteed afford greater control.

Sherriff says he started out by having many SSPs plugged into Fox’s inventory.

Over the last two years, however, he has consolidated around “a few key partners” whose technology has evolved to use OpenRTB, audience data and other features.

This is from a Beet.TV series titled “The Accelerated Evolution of Programmatic OTT” presented by PubMatic.  for more videos please visit this page