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Are Local TV Advertisers Ready For Location-Based Ad Targeting?

"Addressable Geo-Fencing can be used both as a stand-alone tactic and to improve the results of addressable TV campaigns, direct mail campaigns, and other marketing efforts that target specific households," says Simpli.fi VP Ryan Horn.

As mobile advertising is poised to surpass TV ad spending by 2021, according to a recent analysis by Publicis Groupe media agency ZenithOptimedia, platform companies such as Simpli.fi and Unacast have unveiled respective plans on tying the two major media channels more closely together.

This morning, local programmatic ad platform Simpli.fi released its Addressable Geo-Fencing, that promises to connect TV viewers to 1 million locations per campaign across mobile, desktop, and OTT/CTV devices.

Simpli.fi intends to capitalize on advertisers’ demand to localize and personalize their campaigns, even as solutions like IP-based targeting are being “hobbled by truncation of IP addresses in the programmatic bid stream.”

“This is the ideal solution for any advertiser who has customer or prospect address lists that they would like to target digitally, and also those who measure increases in store visits by households that are exposed to their ads,” said Simpli.fi CEO Frost Prioleau. “Through plat line [the lines between housing subdivisions] and GPS data, we can be certain that campaigns deploying Addressable Geo-Fencing are only served to the specified addresses. This is now one of the most accurate and most scalable addressable targeting solutions available.”

The release comes a week after cross-platform marketing provider TVadSync struck a partnership with location data platform Unacast with the promise of giving “brands a clear picture of how combined TV and digital media campaigns influence their customers’ real-world actions.”

TVadSync will use Unacast’s transparent location data to measure foot traffic to store locations, providing marketers using TVadSync’s cross-screen targeting platform with valuable attribution measurement.

For Simpli.fi, the addition of Addressable Geo-Fencing follows it’s other efforts to bring various local channels together under its platform. In what can be seen as preview of this latest move, Simpli.fi used its suite of location tools to geofence  arenas where the NBA finals were held, which showed how marketers might reach their ideal target market at specific locations during a designated time frame.

“Live sporting events such as the NBA Finals are a hot spot for marketers,”  Prioleau told GeoMarketing in a conversation at Cannes Lions. “Rather than shelling out large budgets to get in front of fans on TV, companies of all sizes [can] leverage mobile location data in order to target fans across devices and at certain locations.”

Location Advertising: Ready For Primetime

Most location business services companies — such as Placed, PlaceIQ, and Foursquare have all exploring ways to show how geo-data can inform and advance TV advertising for years.

BIA Advisory Services has attempted to quantify that complementary function for location advertising, as the local market consultancy estimates advertisers will spend $20.8 billion in local television and $22.1 billion in location-targeted mobile to target audiences in 2018.

“Today’s marketers increasingly rely on data-infused audience targeting to deliver relevant cross-platform messaging throughout the consumer’s journey to purchase,” Rick Ducey, managing director, BIA Advisory Services, told GeoMarketing previously. “TV and mobile are two of the most powerful platforms that audiences are using daily in a unified, not fragmented, experience. Advertisers who integrate audience targeting on TV with location targeting on mobile can achieve an incredibly powerful one-two marketing punch.”

While terms like “interactive” and addressable” can be confusing in a TV advertising context, for the most part, the former implies on-demand and one-to-one communication, while the latter is generally another word for general targeting based on specific household attributes.

“Addressable Geo-Fencing can be used both as a stand-alone tactic and to improve the results of addressable TV campaigns, direct mail campaigns, and other marketing efforts that target specific households,” Ryan Horn, Vice President, Marketing for Simpli.fi, explains. “For example, any cable company or TV company that is running addressable TV campaigns can use Addressable Geo-Fencing to target the exact same households with digital advertising. This is a very efficient way to deliver additional advertising to the targeted households via mobile, desktop and/or OTT/CTV ads.”

The main use is to target users based on being present at specific addresses that advertisers want to target, Horn adds.

“The differentiators are the use of actual GPS coordinates along with plat line data to ensure the accuracy and scalability of the address targeting,” Horn says. Users can be targeted while at the address, or after they have left, but will have been added to the audience by being within the plat lines of the addresses that are being targeted.”

“TV has always been the platform to build brands. No other medium can challenge its ability to elicit emotion at huge scale, and that’s something brands can still very much capitalize on,” says Ronan Higgins, CEO of TVadSync. “With TV and digital cross-platform campaigns, advertisers, for whom footfall is an important KPI, no longer have to be worried they won’t be able to adequately gauge campaign efficacy with transparency – while at the same time they can look forward to driving huge lifts in location visits.”

Unacast aims to combine its IP address information with “smart TV data” as sourced by TVadSync from Inscape. Ultimately, the two say they will be able to help brands to understand which consumers saw ads on both their TV and a mobile device, and which of those later visited a store or point of interest.

“Our goal is to understand how people move about the real world, and present those insights in a clear, transparent fashion,” says Thomas Walle, CEO of Unacast. “The only way that advertisers and businesses can make informed decisions is if they have clarity into the location data and what it tells them. We feel that the TVadSync product is powerful, and Unacast’s transparent data finally gives brand marketers the proof that their campaigns are driving store visits.”

TV’s Power Remains

As BIA’s recent report notes, TV remains the largest media format at the local level, with $27.70 billion being spent on television ads this year, up from $26.2 billion in 2017.

In addition to commanding spending, SMBs also acknowledge TV as providing the greatest ROI among all other media formats, including radio, newspapers, digital in general, and out-of-home.

At the same time, marketers are also gaining assurance that location intelligence adds value to television campaigns by layering in audience-targeting and the ability to tie outcomes to the campaign. As the technology, data and business processes around mobile advertising using location targeting have expanded over the last several years, location targeting provides a performance-based buying model for marketers that ties offline and online media together in an integrated campaign execution, BIA says.

“Location intelligence allows marketers to define actionable consumer personas based on the premise that, ‘where you go is who you are,’ said Eric Hadley, CMO at GroundTruth, who was quoted in the BIA report. “If you’ve been to a gym, a sporting goods store, and a recreational park within days of each other, it’s a better indicator that you’re a Fitness Enthusiast than any content you may consume but never action upon. Thus, when you combine location’s ability to find and target consumers at the right place and time in local markets with TV’s massive reach and frequency, marketers are able to build and measure highly impactful advertising solutions.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.