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Data-Driven, Advanced TV is Within Reach

In 2019, 78% of brands were expected to spend more on what’s become the most valuable commodity in the world: data. It’s easy to see why this trend has helped a traditionally mass-reach channel like TV see significant growth on the emergent, data-driven channels of over-the-top (OTT) and digital video.

Up to 40% of TV ad spend is projected to be data-driven by this year, according to a study commissioned by Comcast. The challenge for brands, however, is to find data and solutions that connect those visual channels, and non-TV channels, to link consumers and drive holistic, relevant consumer journeys.

To understand and reach audiences, brands need trustworthy data spanning interactions, preferences, actions, devices and more to forge a meaningful understanding of household and individual consumer identity.

When determining how best to activate data across OTT and video, brands must first understand what first-party data is available. Often, brands collect and store massive amounts of data, but siloes, integration challenges, missing pieces, differing formats and accessibility restrictions are just some reasons brands often struggle to tap into first-party data’s potential.

Data and technology partnerships can help alleviate some of these common pain points, as well as increase visibility into data brands don’t have access to today. With access to more cross-channel data, brands can activate against specific omnichannel, identity resolution and personalization goals.

First-party data, while often a reliable compass of accuracy, can only go so far when it comes to fulfilling budgets and reaching objectives. Precise, transparent third-party data is often key for additional scale and activation.

But marketers have expressed obstacles in reconciling third-party data discrepancies with first-party data to drive accuracy. It’s important marketers understand how to assess factors like accuracy and coverage that lead to successful execution. This enables transparent conversations with third-party data providers that reveal their proficiency and capabilities.

By understanding data sources and coverage, marketers can connect the dots to how third-party data will drive objectives. For example, marketers looking to connect customer data across channels may want to work with a provider that leverages a deterministic dataset to resolve identity versus a probabilistic dataset based on online data.

Data providers should also be able to provide insight into how many data sources they leverage, the general data categories they aggregate, and how those sources are evaluated and cross-verified to drive accuracy. For marketers looking to fulfill large budgets or target specific personas, it’s important to understand the coverage of these data categories and how it corresponds to objectives, such as targeting people likely to become customers, increasing purchases and sales volume.

Targeting broad, generic segments on a channel-by-channel basis does a disservice to marketing efficiency. Instead, a people-based approach and machine learning can help find profiles similar to those known customers identified by first-party data. Through analysis, brands can also target those complementary profiles across additional channels and devices.

The story of “right data, right tools, right place” is nothing new. What’s becoming increasingly challenging for marketers in an evolving privacy and security landscape is the ability to shed light on data and how it’s used. In order to facilitate good data governance from end to end, transparency between advertisers and the buy- and supply-side of the ad tech and martech ecosystem is critical.

Strong, end-to-end data stewardship requires advertisers to align with internal and regulatory compliance, industry standards and consumer trends to ultimately drive more positive consumer experiences.

As investments in data-driven TV grow, we’re likely to see brands, as well as advanced TV players, incorporate more third-party data into buying and selling strategies. We’ll see more brands invest in data to connect and scale audiences across channels for improved targeting performance. On the other side, we’ll see advanced TV providers and technology platforms leverage more third-party data to secure and grow those marketing investments. These trends will become increasingly interconnected as they fuel adoption of data-driven TV advertising.

You can read more thoughts on the state of omnichannel media from TransUnion executives in 2019’s State of Media report from 4C.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TransUnion. The information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation. TransUnion does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute an endorsement by TransUnion. TransUnion LLC and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“TransUnion”) make no endorsement, recommendation, or representation with respect to the information provided herein. For complete details of TransUnion products, visit

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