Data Makes Its Big Move at the PeopleFront

Is there anything more exciting in today's media world than data? In my opinion: no. According to the recent Simulmedia PeopleFront, several major media and brand companies are busy executing data driven solutions into their sales efforts. Panels of Brand Leaders, Enablers (Research companies) and Media Sellers all spoke of using data to measure outcomes as well as go beyond GRPs and proxy demographics to target and measure actual consumers at the household level.

According to Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan, his company is “moved from digital into television… with people based measurement tools. (The industry is) on steroids (where) companies can deliver tens of millions of points of data.” And yet, he admitted that we are a couple of years away from a meaningful percentage (20%) of the media buying and selling business adopting this method. But the momentum is there as the industry continues to evolve, capitalizing on better technology, cloud based solutions and learnings from past measurement experiences.

Media veteran Jack Myers remarked that he was interested in knowing “the obstacles, the issues preventing a move forward. The currencies models are shifting and changing. Where it is today and where we are going next. Look at points a year from now to evaluate actual performance. Evaluate success on behalf of marketers and for audience based measurement.” 

There were plenty of issues discussed:

Big Announcements
Major media conglomerates are taking big steps to move their companies into the new data age. Linda Yaccarino, NBCU’s Chairman Ad Sales and Client Partnerships, announced that, after a three year investment in infrastructure, NBCU has just launched a system that links their entire ecosystem of “proposals and contracts that include linear and digital inventory as well as other data. It was developed to match different data sets across our entire portfolio, all on same system.” She added, “This is what we can do to activate at scale and to merge datasets that find customers who buy our advertisers products and services. We will close the loop with TV performance and purchase data.”

Make TV More Efficient
There is certainly a lot of enthusiasm for making television more data driven. Liza Landsman, EVP and Chief Customer Officer for said that, “TV is not efficient in targeting a niche audience.” Karna Crawford, SVP Marketing Strategy and Digital for JP Morgan Chase agreed, “We want scale and precision. Every decision as to how we invest needs to show return. You get massive scale of very targeted things in digital. When I try in TV it is not at scale.” So the implementation of big data sets that can more efficiently target niche audiences and segments can be a boon to television, bringing it on par in targeting efficiency with digital.
Where’s the Talent?
The biggest challenge in the market today has to be in finding the right talent to help in a company’s data development. Robert McDowell, SVP Marketing and Distribution for Choice Hotels, announced that they are “seeking analytics experts. We are investing in talent and keeping them engaged.” Crawford added, “We seek people who are more integrated in the way they think and explain things in a simple way. We need to connect the dots. We need a holistic view of the data. It is hard to find that type of talent.”

Metrics vs Movement
Such talent is being developed as Research Departments move into the realm of Consumer Insights. And we see data and analytics play a much bigger role in business decision-making. Dan Aversano, SVP Client and Consumer Insights for Turner, loves “the momentum and the conversation around data. Our clients want to hear more about what we do with that data and how to interact with our inventory. We want to hit a CPM but also sell product.” Sharon O’Sullivan, EVP Ad Sales for Discovery Communications added, “It is an exciting time where we have the opportunity to re-create metrics and speak in more effective way.” 

Legacy metrics have their value too. Aversano noted that demo CPMs offer “historical and in-market comparison across networks. The challenge now is that there are a thousand different metrics with data pieces thrown on top. It is important to be data agnostic. We might be measuring the wrong thing.”

People-targeting initiatives like those implemented by Simulmedia have changed the television conversation and have made the prospect of buying TV akin to a treasure hunt for consumers that can result in a verifiable sales ROI pot of gold. TV is not dead. Thanks to data, it is just getting started.

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Breaking Out of Legacy Measurement. Q&A with Ellen Weinstein

It seems like the accessibility of big data enables all types of media trading, targeting and placement but it was in talking to Ellen Weinstein that I learned how marketing campaigns can use data segmentations to impact ’the addressable market’ . Ellen Weinstein is an industry veteran with background in designed planning, buying and workflow systems using data for such companies as Nielsen and Canoe. She is currently involved in helping agencies to reach and quantify addressable marketing efforts at Marketo. 

In this interview, Weinstein defines the addressable market as that which connects to a consumer in some personally identifiable way, including anonymous cookie tracking which can be used to give a more complete picture of the customer journey. She talks about Marketo, changes in local television and in the agencies, legacy systems that impede growth and evolution in our industry, what the future holds for companies on both sides of the buy sell model and some advice for the next generation of media executives.

There are four videos in the interview:

Subject                                                                 length (minutes)
Background and Local TV                                   5:49
Marketo and Addressability                               5:34
Legacy systems                                                     5:18
Predictions                                                            5:14

Charlene Weisler interviews Ellen Weinstein about her background and how local TV has evolved over the years in this 5:49 minute video:


CW: Agencies are on the forefront of change. How are the agencies de-siloing their functions to become more nimble?

EW: A number of agencies have recognized that technology is very important in how one evaluates and makes media decisions. Among the big agencies, many have acquired or formed smaller companies that can be more flexible in the digital space. And I think that you will start to see consolidation where all these smaller entities are subsumed into the larger agency. In terms of reaching the consumer, a lot of the agencies have formed divisions that are essentially internal consulting divisions that use a lot of these different technologies – it’s usually three or four or for individual channels – and then they can consult with the brand executive on what would be the best combination of technologies to use to achieve those goals. 

Charlene Weisler interviews Ellen Weinstein  who talks about her work at Marketo and how it can facilitate addressable marketing in this 5:34 minute video:

Ellen Weinstein shares her views with Charlene Weisler about how legacy measurement systems have got to change in this 5:18 minute video:

CW: In terms of legacy systems and legacy measurement, what do you see as their role in the new media landscape? 

EW: Many years ago I was selling Birch radio which was a competitor of Arbitron. It was a very difficult sell because so much was and is based on history, historical data and the prices everybody pays.  So to introduce a new way to value-ate all of this would take a lot of time. The legacy systems really do not have a quick way of bringing new data in so I think there will be other vendors that may sit between legacy systems to allow agencies to quickly evaluate but they almost need to take all the data they have and be able to translate it into a different base because today they are just taking what they did last year and doing it again this year. At some point that is not going to work anymore. 

CW: What about legacy TV measurement data compared to other viewership measurements?

EW: If you are basing your decisions on Nielsen data, there is a huge history there. If you wanted to look at Rentrak data, you must figure out how to do that and how to make the client feel comfortable in deciding which numbers are more realistic of what is reflected in the marketplace. I think it has to be done and I think different agencies are moving in that direction. But it will take a long time. Some legacy systems don’t have access to Rentrak data. Clients are requesting Rentrak data and they are manually building it into their spreadsheets. That will change eventually but we need to move quicker. I believe that legacy systems are impeding our movement.  

Ellen Weinstein shares her predictions of the media landscape with Charlene Weisler in this 5:14 minute video:

CW: There is more use of segmentations to target consumer but when it comes to posting, we still use age and gender as proxies. Do you see this changing?

EW: I think we have to. People are using that data to post but when they are negotiating they are using qualitative data and they are using purchase data. They are making decisions on what to buy using much more detailed data than what they are posting against. And it really comes down to the price trending. There has to be a way to start to look at how the industry can move from age sex to actual consumer data. It’s available. Many agencies are collecting detailed data that is not age sex and they may be using that for buying decisions. But the seller is using age sex and the client is asking for age sex. It may be an educational process. 

CW: How do you track marketing campaigns at Marketo?

EW: Marketo shows you what marketing programs are working and what is not working and you can slice and dice the data in many ways to understand the marketing impact on the customer journey. Because Marketo connects to your customer database, the system already knows a lot about your website visitors and you can use that data to personalize what you show them so you are always improving your campaigns. We also integrate with a number of DMPs where you use your own secret sauce to create customer profiles and target customers smarter and sooner in the customer lifecycle.

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