NRMA, GroupM share how they're working to use addressable TV

IAG media lead details how the NRMA brand has advertised through connected TV and lessons learnt, plus the latest insights into the addressable TV space and utilisation

Building the right creative approach and assets required are the biggest challenges NRMA has faced in taking advantage of smart TV advertising, its media lead says.

Speaking on a panel at a GroupM/Finecast virtual event this week about the opportunities presented by the growing addressable TV marketing, IAG media lead, Tom Dodd, shared insights into lessons learned as the NRMA brand works to embrace connected TV advertising. The key has been in recognising addressable TV’s potential to target specific audiences and approaching it with an audience- first mindset, he said.

“We have home, motor, renters, caravan audiences, and the audience make-up is very different for these,” Dodd said. “This [addressable TV advertising] is allowing us to be much smarter about how we target audiences and our comms. It’s ensuring we make our dollars work harder for us where possible. And it’s changed the way we tell stories across brands and portfolio.”

As an example, Dodd said NRMA had used addressable TV advertising to promote its contents insurance offering, a product with limited audience appeal.

“What we did is work with our portfolio guys to break down audiences by postcodes, right down to knowing where high-value audiences sit, for example, in NSW,” he explained. “You don’t want mass TV for this, but instead to use smart devices to connect to these audiences and reduce wastage.”  

While the ROI is clear cut, Dodd said the biggest challenge has been with creative agencies and asset management.

“We produce awesome media thinking, but the hardest job is engaging internal stakeholders to create the right types of assets to hit the right audiences where relevant,” he said. “What we are doing is creating a single asset, smashing it out on single platforms and not thinking about where the audience is and is turning up, and the value exchange we’re having off the back of it.

“It’s been a big thing to build and serve in that creative story to make the right assets to suit the platform.”

During COVID, also IAG increased investment into ‘screen-based advertising’ by 68 per cent during the three months of March – June. To do this, it looked at audience behaviour and where different audiences are – the older plus younger audiences it wanted to attract - and their behaviours and time on platforms, then built a whole investment across screens to reflect where audiences were.

“By taking that strategy and increasing investment within digital screen channels, especially across things like smarter TV, over the three months we started to see pre-COVID profits start to come back to somewhere where it was before COVID really hit hard,” Dodd said. “We’re proud of that strategy as we managed to not only increase spend, but we did it in the right space to reflect where audiences were, and we focused in on driving that brand message as strong and hard as we can. Understanding the audience first and foremost is the way we’re looking at screens moving forward.  

“And short-term, where we have niche campaigns, the data now available we have firsthand plus in the platform with regards to audiences allows us to be more effective in driving outcomes.”  

Fellow panellist and GroupM chief investment officer, Nicola Lewis, agreed the key to embracing addressable TV is embracing that fundamental change in consumer behaviour. This has become even more pronounced as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

For example, as noted by Ampere Analysis leader, Guy Bisson, during the GroupM event, all forms of digitally-oriented content viewing, from catch-up TV to on-demand streaming and paid on-demand offerings, saw increased viewership between Q1 and Q3, 2020. Just shy of 30 per cent of Australians watch both national broadcasters plus their on-demand services, while 4 per cent watch BVOD only.

In addition, Ampere Analysis found 66.3 per cent of Australians had smart TVs in Q3, 2020, 65.1 per cent had connected gaming consoles, and 50.7 per cent were using a streaming box or stick.

“In Australian media, agencies still invest 41 per cent of marketing dollars in TV. We do that because it’s an effective channel and drives ROI for clients,” Lewis said. “At the same time, smart TV as a trend has undergone positive acceleration. That’s because it’s a medium that’s got more complicated with more providers, more distribution platforms, devices and screens.”  

In approaching this connected TV ecosystem, Lewis said the brands doing it well have approached it with a TV mindset.

“It’s about being able to be ruthlessly focused on using connected TVs as method of pushing brand message through while using data,” she continued. “But importantly, these brands are using the screen sitting in the lounge room as well. It’s about applying TV principles in world bringing a degree of digital through to it.

“They’re also coming to it with an open mind with agency partners. Working on a true screen strategy is incredible important. Demos across screens for example aren’t created equal.”  

Lewis said 68 Finecast clients have taken advantage of addressable TV this year. One was Uber, which targeted household with high-growth potential in inner-west Sydney and northern beaches. Through the campaign period, personalised messaging was delivered based on viewer suburbs, ultimately resulting in 96 pieces of creative.

“That’s no mean feat but a really smart way to access connected TV,” Lewis said. “Dell also ran several campaigns and saw significant uplift in consideration – for Dell Cinema Screen 3.0 plus also Dell SV transaction. These saw 34 per cent and 49 per cent uplift on consideration, respectively.”

The QSR category has also embraced addressability, and KFC recently worked to deliver a consistent presence within BVOD platforms, connecting with key audiences throughout the day and creating its own primetime in the process. Lewis said that generated 76 per cent uplift in purchase intention.

Addressable TV advice

As for how other brands can get on-board, Lewis shared three key areas pivotal to getting ahead with connected TV. The first is accessing the right quality of BVOD inventory supplied across major platforms that’s brand safe, viewable and premium.

“The second area is targeting and really understanding what data sources are available and what you’re partnering with,” Lewis said. “Measurement and evaluation are also key, but appreciate it’s a journey right now. In a world where we are embracing fragmentation, because it’s about reaching the consumer and pivot and follow them, you have to appreciate measurement and evaluation is a journey and not 100 per cent perfect at the moment.”

What also became apparent with the arrival of COVID-19 is people spending more time at home, experimenting with new genres across platforms and devices. Therefore consumers behaved differently, Lewis said.  This ultimately impacts planning.

“You need flexibility, to move quickly and follow the consumer in order to drive the outcome you want as a brand,” she said. “That might mean experimenting with new genres, mediums and channels, but also understanding what you want to achieve within that.”  

Lewis’ final piece of advice was to “be bold”. “Test-and-learn is fantastic, but make sure you know what you are learning, and you set those goals and benchmarks. And importantly, take learnings forward,” she added. “That is how you gain a flexible, innovative approach to planning.”

Read more: What CMOs need to know about addressable TV

VOZ first insights show younger BVOD audience delivering incremental TV reach

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