MoreThan: ‘Buying TV ads based on data is a difficult conversation at board level’

Explaining why the brand is buying TV advertising spots based on data and impressions is difficult internally, according to MoreThan’s head of marketing, Hannah Fisher.


In a session at Ad Week Europe today (24 March), Sky Media launched three new additions to its AdSmart product, which allows brands to buy TV advertising based on viewer data, but its customer MoreThan says using the technology creates challenges internally.

In response to a question from panel host, Thinkbox CEO Lindsay Clay, on whether the brand has experienced any negativity in using AdSmart, Fisher said that sharing strategy about buying TV using data is a “difficult conversation” to have with the board.

She said: “When you are trying to talk about marketing [at board level], which is a challenge in itself, and you try to introduce different ways to analyse TV it gets more complicated. There is definitely a role that we need to play around simplification and how we can package it up and communicate it internally.”

Fisher also believes there is a skills gap at brands when it comes to the alternative ways of buying TV compared to the traditional routes.

“Marketing departments and media planners are trained to buy a spot TV plan. We are trying to converse in a new language and we don’t necessarily have the right skills, dialogue and even the right vocabulary.”

However buying TV advertising in this way will be in MoreThan’s media plan for the coming 12 months as continuing erosion of its marketing budgets is “breeding new creativity in the marketing team” in how it can do things differently.

At the event Sky launched three additional options for advertisers, including a ‘custom segment’ option that would allow brands to target specific messages at different parts of the target audience.

For example, an online retailer could target messages to its core market but segment it according to a customer that hasn’t shopped in the last 6 months or to a customer it knows spends over £100 a month so it can use a slightly different message.

It also launched two new data segments to the product, including the ability to target home movers and expectant families.

Head of Sky Adsmart, Graeme Hutcheson, says that the product has “opened up the market” as TV used to be an exclusive “playground” for bigger brands but now all brands can experience the scale using niche audiences.

Not on the High Street, also on the panel at Ad Week as a customer of AdSmart, said that the brand has previously run TV campaigns where it was “not immediately obvious” where the impact had come from so it used the technology to test the impact of creative.

Lizi Riehl, senior advertising manager at Not on the High Street said: “You can run small tests and run the data to see what impact you are having, with smaller campaigns it’s easier to do.”

However, Rhiel said it’s hard to compare the results with a standard TV plan as it’s not a like-for-like comparison in relation to stats, and advises brands not to use the products if they are “only looking at the numbers”.

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