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Teaching Traditional Media New Tricks: Factual’s Panel at Cannes

What is the difference between emerging and traditional media? This was a question posed by Tanya Dua, a Business Insider reporter moderating Factual’s panel about emerging channels, hosted at the Hotel Martinez beachfront during Cannes Lions.

We gathered a group of experts in the space, including Brian Cordes, AVP, Head of Portfolio Partnerships, Xandr; Doug Rozen, CMO, 360i; Jessica Ciliento, United States Media Director, Reckitt Benckiser (RB); Michael Provenzano, CEO, Vistar Media; and Wade Rifkin, SVP/GM Programmatic, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA), to discuss how the world’s smartest marketers and brands are activating these platforms, and how data can further enhance them.

TV and OOH are not new channels, but the injection of data is allowing marketers to activate audience insights and better analyze the results in new ways. Even radio is being reimagined with podcasts and new forms of audio personalization, in both playlists and the ads served in between songs. Data has continued to evolve as the channels through which its deployed evolve as well. 

When it comes to OOH specifically, both our Vistar and CCOA platform partners, Michael and Wade, agreed that the addition of data has revolutionized the advertising channel. There’s now the ability to hand-select OOH units, as well as activate them programmatically, which wasn’t possible just a short time ago. There’s also more flexibility and control in optimizing campaigns through the use of footfall measurement, which will hopefully lead to more meaningful campaign activations.

While OOH formats are (mostly) easily understood, Advanced TV is a bit harder to define, given the various distribution methods and technologies involved in content distribution. Doug Rozen positioned it best as a subset of connected TV, offering better data decisioning to determine better buying. Whether TV is linear or not, he and his team are looking to operationalize TV buying on behalf of his clients, finding more ways to truly “optimize” creative, beginning with programmatic and backing into the insights it provides. Doug has an innovative take on activating TV for clients – he doesn’t necessarily see the need to bucket TV separate from digital, and believes that clients can use the same segmentation to target and analyze across both.

One of the biggest challenges now facing our panelists is figuring out how to best organize data, communicate the learnings it offers, then activate it. Further, traditional metrics still matter, though new ways of augmenting them are being data-defined.

Jessica of RB said The Gross Rating Point still matters and is “very important” to her business, but the buying market has changed, and negotiation is now part of the process. RB still currently works with Nielsen, but it can take an inordinate amount of time to determine the ROI of a strategy written ages ago. Now, she is looking for real-time cross channel attribution solutions, particularly around what her organization refers to as a proxy metric. “What can stand in place until the ultimate number is realized?”, she asked? Data-driven, multi-touch attribution may be at least part of the answer. Brian from Xandr also noted that his clients are moving away from a general “marketing mix” to focus heavily on MTA. Our panelists all agreed that the “Rosetta Stone” is the ability to connect exposure data to additional metrics, like location data and shopping habits, to make a direct connection to device identification, all ultimately feeding lower funnel activation.

The biggest takeaway from the session was that it all comes down to performance, and marketers would be wise to focus on the message, rather than the “channel” it runs on. Everything is now overlapping – for example, why can’t OOH be considered display? – and metrics are what connect the dots and create a true funnel for marketers. Measurement is key, and will play an important role as marketing strategies continue to evolve.

For more on Factual’s activities at Cannes this year, read our recap blog, or contact a member of our team to learn more about how you can better activate your campaigns with location data.