Andrew Galuppo

Senior Associate, Marketing Content

Andy Fisher, Head of Merkury TV for Merkle, participated in an Advertising Week session along with Ari Turner of Ampersand and Cara Lewis of Amplifi. Learn more about the discussion below:  

With cross-screen viewing now more mainstream than ever, there is an emphasized need for marketers to follow audiences across all screens seamlessly. In fact, according to the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), two-thirds of adults said that COVID-19 accelerated their trial and adoption of new TV technology and platforms. To consumers, whether it’s linear or streaming, there is no difference – it is simply “all TV” to them.

Adding measurement into linear TV and streaming is a lot of our job at Merkle. The challenge of multiscreen delivery is that the TV world is fragmented, and while there are many different platforms with many different approaches, there’s no perfect solution. “Start by thinking about your audience. If you don’t have a common audience across all of the tactics that that you’re trying to push to, its already over,” said Andy Fisher. Head of Merkury TV for Merkle. “We take a very strong position that advertisers should build and own your own audience, so that they can manage those audiences. Then as those audiences are pushed out to platforms, it makes measurement much simpler.”

Once advertisers do that, they must negotiate the ability to get information back from those platforms, so that data can be consolidated. There will always be challenges with walled gardens; therefore, many times you must compromise and build walled garden-only measurement for certain platforms. But, with a few walled gardens together with a cross-platform approach, marketers can do a very good job.

Are we close to unduplicated reach across platforms?
There are a lot of initiatives to have unduplicated reach across platforms, but there is no perfect solution yet. Advertisers are demanding this, and there’s a lot of consolidation, which helps. Its harder to have unduplicated reach across different types of channels and across walled gardens. But there are solid tactics to estimate and optimize against.

How does content factor into a TV campaign?
Content is still important and is a big piece of the puzzle, but advertisers now have the ability to look at the content, understand the specific audiences watching, and apply the insights to buy those audiences, as well as other content those audiences are watching. Since COVID, viewers are thirsting for more content as they have more time on their hands. They are exploring new platforms and watching new shows that they didn’t have time to explore pre-pandemic.

With the launch of so many new streaming platforms, is subscriber rate the best metric for success? Where does content come into play?
From a data perspective, yes. Merkle has integrated with a number of the streaming services. Although many services are small and fragmented, they are being aggregated and resold. Fisher went on to say that the industry has done a good job at qualifying audiences, but not a great job at qualifying content. “I’d love to see the amount of resources going into understanding audiences go into qualifying content, because quality content is something people are will to pay for.”

As moderator Danielle DeLauro of the VAB ended the session, “At the end of the day, it’s all about content.”