MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – With some marketers becoming more skeptical toward top-of-funnel, awareness-driving campaigns in a tricky economy, television is being challenged to transform itself into a digital-style medium that can offer guaranteeable results.

One expression of that is attribution technology that can link up a known exposure to a TV ad with a consequential outcome like website visit, store visitation or eventual transactions.

That’s the technology that 17 local CBS TV stations are adding to their toolset, by doing a deal with TV ad software platform Alphonso.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Alphonso’s senior director of product, Chaitanya Upadhyay, explains how it will work.

Closing the TV loop

“Because of our relationship with various TV OEMs, we’re able to identify households that were exposed to the ad and conversions that are happening from those households,” Upadhyay says.

“The station account executives, sales folks who work directly with the local advertisers in these markets, will be able to utilise the Alphonso TV data to show their local advertisers real-time attribution leading from exposure to their creatives that are playing out on the stations to website or location attribution.”

Alphonso‘s offering brings the ability to retarget consumers with ads on digital devices based on what they are watching on TV.

It does that using audio content recognition build in to devices in its footprint, including smart TVs, mobile phones and set-top boxes, monitoring more than 200 cable networks.

From national to local

Local TV Needs Better Measurement: Alphonso’s Chordia

Alphonso’s journey began seven years ago when it began enabling real-time ad retargeting based on TV viewing segments. Four years ago, it began offering ROI-based TV ad buying at the national level.

But lately Alphonso has seen an opportunity in local TV.

“What we realised was that there was a blind spot where the local market was specifically just ratings based, and it was almost a $9.5 billion market where there was no ROI,” Upadhyay adds.

The idea is to bring the same kind of effectiveness and attribution to local advertisers that is now being enjoyed by a growing number of national advertiers.

Sustaining television

In doing so, many will hope, it could help drive up ad revenue rates and overall business for local TV broadcasters.

In the COVID-19 economy, marketing budgets are being constrained especially at the top-of-funnel, awareness stage by many brands.

Many ad buyers, however, remain content to continue spending where they can see a demonstrable return on investment.

The challenge, then, is for for broadcasters to show ad buyers how the line can be drawn from exposure to consequential outcomes.