In a world where more ad buyers want to see demonstrable returns from their spend, new data-driven systems are giving agencies and brands optimism of a multi-currency future.

Case in point – independent agency Horizon Media just issued a call to alternative media measurement suppliers.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, David Campanelli, EVP, Chief Investment Officer, Horizon Media, explains what’s at stake.

Horizon seeks partners

“We’re at a really interesting point in time where, for the first time, we can truly consider … something outside of the Nielsen ecosystem,” Campanelli says.

“Delivering business results is the ultimate currency. It’s not (about) ‘how many people saw our show, saw our commercial within the show, or even within the CTV environment?’; it’s ‘did they take an action? Did they buy our product? Did they visit our store?’

“We’ve just done our own RFP in the measurement space to find out which players out there can really solve for agency’s needs.”

Push to performance

Now that first-party audience data is the order of the day, more and more ad buyers are keen on following user or household IDs all the way from ad exposure through to point of purchase.

These days, thanks to connected TV platforms, that can even be the case for linear, IP-delivered TV. Previously, the industry had relied on Nielsen’s panel-based currencies for viewership data and after-the-fact purchase tracking.

For Campanelli, the benefits are obvious.

“You can measure some results, performance results on the backend but, with the (audience) ID going in front end, you’re really able to track that ID and or household throughout the entire process.

“Do we identify the household? Did that household see our spot and take action? And what was that action? It really helps us close the loop on performance.”

Into the Blue

Horizon Media, the largest privately-held agency in the US with clients like A-B InBev and Geico, is selling a minority stake to investment firms.

It has its own data platform for creating people-based audience identifiers, Blue, built using TransUnion’s own identity graph.

Campanelli says: “Blue really is driving everything that we’re doing from a media standpoint.”

For him, it’s not an either-or. Horizon sometimes fuses campaigns with clients’ own first-party data, sometimes not. In either eventuality, Horizon is an example of one agency getting excited about getting specific, when it comes to audience tracking.

Beyond proxies

“I don’t think Nielsen’s going away,” adds Campanelli. “Nielsen will still be a part of the measurement ecosystem. But I don’t think we’re any longer stuck with the single currency to be able to compare cost, network-to-network.

“That is where we want to get to. The measurement of counting impressions has always been a proxy for that but, if we’re getting closer to measuring the performance, the impression counting becomes less important.”

As well as issuing an RFP, Horizon Media is partnering with several media sellers to test their own measurement offerings, now that many publishers and broadcasters are bringing their own tech solutions to market.

You are watching “Arriving at Your Audience: Why Direct-to-Household Connectivity Is Critical for TV Advertisers,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series presented by Blockgraph. For more videos, please visit this page.