TVOT Recap: Taming the “Wild West” of TV Attribution

September 11, 2020

For the second panel that TVSquared’s President, Jo Kinsella, joined this week during the TVOT LIVE! virtual conference, the topic was focused on the emerging world of TV attribution. Speakers discussed how TV attribution is thriving in a “wild west” world that is still very volatile and new.

The emergence of granular TV data has enabled buyers and sellers of all forms of TV to conduct the same kind of attribution analyses that digital platforms and publishers have offered for years. Smart TV and STB data enable precise information on who has been exposed to a TV ad. These data insights can be matched with various forms of KPI data, such as website visits, physical location visits, online and offline sales. Jo sat with other industry practitioners, as well as the CEO of CIMM, to explore differences in data inputs across different vendors. We rounded up our key takeaways from the session below:


Christine Grammier, Head of Buy Side TV | LiveRamp TV
Howard Shimmel, President | Janus Strategy and Insights
Jane Clarke, CEO/Managing Director | CIMM
Jo Kinsella, President | TVSquared
Jonathan Steuer, Co-Founder | Anonymous Media Research
Rob Jayson, EVP of Insights and Analytics | USIM

  • With different data sources, models, and outcome variables, it is possible to get different results from different providers. Howard sets the stage with a recent CIMMs study encompassing nine attribution providers’ occurrence, exposure and outcome measurement for one brand compared to Nielsen’s national TV benchmarks. The findings indicate, “key television attribution inputs are highly inconsistent from provider to provider across our test schedules. As a result, outcomes differ widely. Methodology, rather than technology, is the root cause of key differences.” Key takeaway from the study: attribution results will be more consistent and reliable when providers adopt a more stringent media measurement standards (i.e. settling on one exposure criteria, considering implementing a robust panel weighting scheme, etc).
  • Jonathan talks about how brands and marketers have become used to lower funnel and that they should avoid that tendency to look only at lower funnel metrics as it’s important to know that brands have very different KPIs for conversions and time horizons on when those KPIs occur. He notes, “We are in the early stages of fully baked TV attribution measurement.”
  • Christine notes, “One of the underlying challenges is ‘garbage in, garbage out.’ If there isn’t really great data going in, you cant expect great answers.”
  • Jo explains that the industry seems to be coming together and COVID-19 has helped drive this revolution. Marketers, tech providers and sellers are all finally converging. TV has to be measured like digital now. The way that we move to a revolution is to produce buckets of currencies. It’s not all about lower funnel—it’s about upper as well. It’s an always-on solution. At TVSquared, we are measuring linear, addressable, digital video – all from a single platform. The reality is when you show people that TV is working (whether streaming or linear) they will buy more. And measurement, reach and outcomes should be available to everyone at all budget levels, all the time. In closing she states, “We have to meet people where they are. We measure TV the way people watch TV. And we have to be able to find a way to leverage data to drive value so the buy and sell side both win.”
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