Why does TV advertising treat everyone in a household the same?

Why does TV advertising treat everyone in a household the same?

Giles Cottle, Thu 08 December 2016

Although TV advertising is in the main bought and sold at the individual level, in Europe at least, the measurement of individuals’ viewing behaviour is only carried out at ‘market research levels’ - via people meters and samples.

So although brands would like to accurately target the individual, they still rely on placing ads around programming for which there is a high affinity between the content and their target audience. But there are measured by the small sample-size techniques of ‘people meters’ and other market research tools.

The MVPD themselves do the same thing. Cable is a household subscription, and their services are more often than not targeted at a household level.

Operators also use the power of TV to better market their services to the consumer. In our experience TV operators primarily aim marketing messages to their subscriber base at the household level.

We think there is a great opportunity for both brands and MVPDs to more accurately use individual viewing data to enhance profitability. The opportunity for the MVPD is to use in-house and third-party data such as census data to infer who is in the home and build an individual model of viewing that can be used for both advertising sales and better subscriber marketing. And for multi-service operators the ability to use mobile device usage and connection data is incredibly valuable in building a really accurate picture of the individuals within a household. MVPDs can also share this data with brands that can in addition use datasets from DMPs to target individuals that have already expressed an interest in a brands products and services.

For the MVPD it’s important to be able to address each individual, because although the head of the household might pay for the subscription, they only do so because other members of the household use and enjoy the operators’ services.

Netflix uses many multiple profiles to understand its audiences – while are not suggesting TV operators move straight away to such a granular approach, we believe that operators that treat a household as a collection of interacting individuals rather than as a single unit will reduce churn and be able to far better upsell additional services.

We are already working with MVPD customers to help to use individual viewing data. They are using individual viewing data to improve targeting, and to make a real difference to some of their key internal metrics

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