The Marketing Corner: Programmatic TV

By Adele Lassere
Adele Lassere
Adele Lassere
December 27, 2014 Updated: December 27, 2014

Star Trek fans can quote any series episode or movie franchise opener with: “Space, the final frontier!” Well, in the land of marketing, the final frontier would be television. It is the vehicle that has the highest time spent and entertained many generations with a variety of programming targeting age and gender.

Now, you may be saying, programmatic conversations revolve around digital. And, yes, that is true! However, these conversations are starting to open up and include television. To define “programmatic television,” let’s use eMarketer’s definition: “an automated, technology-driven method of buying and delivering linear television ads.”

This means tapping into a platform that allows marketers to purchase time seamlessly to capture consumers wherever they may be since they are constantly moving between devices.

The industry has a growing interest in programmatic TV because of some inherit problems due the inefficiencies in buying television such as measurement problems, difficulties of buying specific audiences, underrating of specialty programming, and cross platform planning. In addition, planning and buying software doesn’t transition easily to executing buys.

Programmatic TV offers a solution for these problems and provides a means to use data to determine the effectiveness of the buy and capture a greater ROI. Another plus is that it allows for addressable-based audience targeting. This is where third-party audience data information is used from a provider such as Experian, with household TV ad insertion platform. All of this doesn’t mean that the traditional upfront process will change overnight. However, it does mean that the industry is ripe to consider new methods to improve the manner in which we execute buys.

There is a saying that you can’t teach old dog new tricks. Believe it or not, intangible forces can compel an industry or individuals to move in a different direction. Programmatic TV is being driven by technology. It’s the force behind making this concept more plausible and compelling given the prospects of what it can do!

As the conversations continue and larger marketers start testing this proposition, it would be wise to keep an ear grounded to glean future results.

Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant with 20+ years experience, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (self-help advertising guide); available at Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2011 Top Execs in Marketing & Advertising and Black Enterprise’s 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: