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The New Age of TV: It Doesn't Have to be a Big Bad Wolf - How to Overcome the Integrated Ad Buying Challenge

April 29, 2014

Here's the good news: a recent report from Nielsen and Simulmedia showed that television continues to be the largest platform for audience delivery, with 283 million Americans spending more than 146 hours on average watching TV each month.

The scary part, at least for agencies, is that the medium is changing – fast. Cross-platform viewing trends are not a myth, and advertisers increasingly want a piece of the video advertising pie. Evidence of this can be quickly seen in the Motley Crew that made up the season's Digital NewFronts. Time Inc., Condé Nast, National Geographic Society, oh my! And it's not particularly surprising why they take this strategy – a TV ad campaign that includes digital touchpoints can increase effective reach by 16 percent at the same overall budget.

But most agencies today manage their TV and digital media purchases on separate buying structures, making integrated ad buying a challenge for them. Advertisers are increasingly demanding a 'programmatic creative' structure from their agencies, where their audiences are targeted with custom content during the path to purchase. Agencies or broadcasters are not currently equipped to manage multiple creative assets at any given time.

So, as the world of video content becomes increasingly ubiquitous and complex, how can agencies stay ahead of the curve and prepared for what's next?

Centralizing and automating creative management functions is going to have an immediate impact for agencies. Ideally, this means integrating the information, systems and workflows utilized by all participants in an agency's workflow in getting the ad to air. This includes creative and traffic departments, dub houses, media outlets, publishers, talent, and accounting teams, so that they all see and operate on the same information – from creative file to consumer engagement.

Finding a solution is critical as creative assets continue to multiply. Today teams have to rely on sharing critical information via spreadsheets, word documents, emails, and even faxes. Imagine re-keying a 12-digit unique identifier multiple times for a piece of creative and getting one digit wrong. That could lead to the wrong ad being aired until the CMO or brand manager spots the mistake – Yikes!

For anyone that attended 4A's Transformation in March, you likely walked away with the 'three big media issues' that need fixing – audience addressability, consistency in measurement in a cross-platform world, and effectively incorporating mobile into the media mix. Setting up the type of system described above will help agencies prepare for the future evolution of TV content. And I can promise you, there will be changes.

Via Adage