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Advanced TV and identity: A holistic approach

October 31, 2022 by Experian Marketing Services

Advertisers continue to increase their spending across addressable TV, connected TV (CTV), and digital. According to IAB’s “2021 Video Ad Spend and 2022 Outlook” report, digital video ad spending is expected to increase by 26% to $49.2 billion in 2022. Understanding who consumers are and how to best reach them in their preferred channel is becoming more complex.

Damian Amitin and Colleen Dawe discuss how a seamless identity strategy can address the complexity of the emerging TV space.

The evolution of identity resolution

Around ten years ago, the idea of digital “identity resolution” or “Device Graphs” was born. This idea connected cookies and MAIDs to understand when many IDs were the same person or household. In more recent years, our industry began to connect that initial understanding to the CTV ecosystem. But, a large part of the TV ecosystem existed in silos, like first and third-party audience data, and the growing advanced TV market.

The goal of identity resolution has always been to understand the consumer better. To achieve more accurate targeting and measurement in the CTV ecosystem, we must incorporate the following:

  • What we know about the household and consumer from an ID perspective
  • Who the consumer is as it relates to audience data, as well as the wealth of first-party data in the advanced TV space

We know the cookie is a flawed way to collect data. While Google delayed the deprecation of third-party cookies, there are other challenges that we face right now. Such as the glaring gap in Safari traffic and the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) turning to “opt-in.” Understanding consumer behavior across devices and platforms continues to challenge marketers and publishers.

These challenges are creating the need to find more stable identifiers. Though the cookie remains valuable, it has an uncertain future. This has led advertisers to place bigger bets on the combination of addressable and CTV.

The overlap in addressable and CTV data leads to fragmentation

Personally identifiable information (PII) makes up the majority of addressable TV households’ data. Part of the attraction to CTV is that their IDs remain universal, persistent, and stable.

Analysts project that CTV ad spending will hit $23B in 2023. Consumers now have an average of 4.7 streaming subscriptions per household. It’s no surprise then, that Disney+, HBO, and Netflix released or announced ad-supported tiers.

Addressable TV and CTV are often thought of as distinct markets across the industry. But, in the context of identity, we should look at them through the same lens.

Millions of households still consume TV and video content via a set-top box or through apps on CTVs. This is in addition to what they consume on their laptops, tablets, and phones. Of the top 11 cable and satellite providers, 65 million U.S. households still have a box in their homes. On the other hand, approximately 96 million U.S. households have at least one or more Smart TVs and streaming services. With about 126 million total U.S. TV households, that’s a lot of overlap.

There are still significant numbers of both addressable and CTV homes. How can we address fragmented TV consumption? Through a holistic and comprehensive approach to identity. An approach that captures addressable TV, CTV, and digital identifiers. An approach that captures all audience attributes inside of a single identity graph. This is the ideal approach for publishers, AdTech vendors, and brands.

Discover how to unlock holistic identity

How can we achieve a holistic identity? Through a three-pillared approach:

  1. First-party data onboarding
  2. Digital identifiers
  3. Consumer data

First-party data onboarding

Bringing offline data from a brand’s consumers is very valuable due to the quality of the data. Because the data is being collected right from the source, you know it’s accurate. It provides the foundation you can build your identity strategy from.

Digital identifiers

Once you create a foundation with first-party data, you need to connect it. Either with an internal or licensed digital ID graph. Then you can understand the connections between all devices within the household.

Consumer data

After you know which devices tie to a single consumer, you’ll want to act on that knowledge. The next step is to partner with a data provider that can help you understand your consumers. Establishing this partnership will help improve targeting, measurement, and the customer experience.

To achieve a well-rounded customer view tomorrow, we need to start today

The three-pillared approach bridges the gap between the offline and online worlds. This provides a well-rounded view of customers and audiences. However, the ability to tie these aspects of identity together still presents several challenges.

To achieve the three-pillared approach today, you need to use many vendors and fragmented data sources. Often with conflicting data.

As we look forward, the tools to do this are becoming more advanced and unified. The players in our ecosystem should adopt a seamless identity strategy. One that provides a privacy-safe yet full-picture solution. That means capturing and unifying all devices within a household. While also understanding the consumer behaviors and profiles behind those devices.

As TV becomes more sophisticated, our data and services will enable you to unlock a holistic identity. Chris Feo, SVP of Advanced TV and Platforms, spoke with Broadcasting & Cable about how our data powers measurement, audience insights, and results for businesses within the TV space.

“As more and more companies enter the general TV space, whether you’re a publisher, an advertiser or anyone in between that’s doing measurement, insights, analytics, our data or our services will play a role in some part of that value exchange.” – Chris Feo, SVP of Advanced TV and Platforms, Experian Marketing Services

Keep up with your customers and their data

Once we create an informed identity strategy, we can begin to understand the makeup of each household and the individuals within. In this new world, personalizing the experience for an audience is key. Where do they prefer to spend their time? What type of content are they most engaged in? Only then can we as an industry provide an optimal experience for each consumer. All while driving greater ROI for advertisers and publishers.

Are you ready to know more about your customers than ever before? Let’s get to work together to achieve your marketing goals. Contact us to learn how we can connect the complex dots of identity resolution.


About our Experts

headshot of damian amitanDamian Amitin, VP of Enterprise Partnerships, Experian Marketing Services

Damian Amitin is the VP of Enterprise Partnerships and joined Experian during the Tapad acquisition in November 2020. Damian is a senior sales and partnerships executive, specializing in the identity resolution and marketing data ecosystem. Damian helps brands, publishers, and technology vendors enable enhanced ID resolution through The Experian/Tapad platform to attain a 360 view of the customer across targeting analytics, attribution, and personalization.

headshot of colleen daweColleen Dawe, Senior Account Executive, Experian Marketing Services

Colleen Dawe is a Senior Account Executive on the Advanced TV Team within Experian Marketing Services. With 15 years of experience working within the television ecosystem, Colleen works with clients to bring the value and expertise of Experian to support their objectives in the areas of data, identity, activation, and measurement.