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  • Conagra Brands Expands Addressable TV Cross-Platform With AT&T

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    Addressable TV has earned a rep for being expensive and not all that scalable.

    But for early adopters like Conagra Brands, the channel does have its perks.

    Advertisers that invest in addressable TV alongside their larger broadcast buys view the format as a vessel for reducing waste by being able to more effectively zero in on a target audience segment.

    Another benefit of addressable TV is the ability for marketers to perform a household match, so they can precisely determine the percentage of sales lift attributable to new buyers.

    Conagra has been investing in addressable TV since 2010.

    To start, Conagra’s early addressable TV activations included basic demographic targeting. But more recently, it’s expanded to richer targeting parameters, including interest-based, behavioral and purchase data in partnership with AT&T AdWorks, which it’s partnered with since 2013, and its agency, Mediavest Spark.

    “With the migration from demo targeting to more precision targeting, we’re using our DMP to use both behavioral and purchase attributes to build custom segments,” said Erin Kuhlmann, a media manager at Conagra.

    Conagra has mostly leveraged third-party data via Nielsen Catalina Solutions to reach people who had purchased products from some of its brands within the past six months, including Bertolli, Marie Callender’s and Hebrew National.

    But lately, to reach consumers across platforms, Conagra has begun to augment its efforts with more first-party data from across its collective brand footprint, as well as by expanding its use of AT&T AdWorks’ addressable TV offering. 

    Conagra’s goal is to drive one-to-one targeting with consumers “that goes beyond age and demo,” according to John Muszynski, chief investment officer at Mediavest Spark.

    Because AT&T can associate 15 million addressable TV households to 30 million mobile devices, it claims that it can be more effective at matching the same consumer across different devices than non-carrier TV supply sources.

    “We’re not just doing lookalike modeling,” said Maria Mandel Dunsche, VP and head of marketing at AT&T AdWorks. “We’re [anonymously] matching TV viewing to mobile devices to really determine the impact of reaching the same consumer across TV and mobile.”

    Beyond improving targeting precision, having more access to deterministic data should help the CPG conglomerate get better at frequency capping and creative messaging, said Conagra’s Kuhlmann.

    Having more insight into identity also helps take care of addressable TV’s scale issues.

    The fact is, an advertiser can only reach an addressable household so many times, and message cadence is critical.

    “This is where we think cross-platform will be really helpful, since it will allow us to serve more messages to a household that speak to different product attributes for our brands,” Kuhlmann said.

    For instance, CPG marketers used to model consumers using common attributes, such as: “Jane represents the Hunt’s ketchup consumer and how can we better serve Jane?”

    But the evolution of digital data in programmatic targeting has helped marketers “migrate to where we see our consumers as not just having one, but many different attributes,” Kuhlmann said.

    Addressable TV allows a CPG like Conagra to reach more of its target audience by customizing segments based on different “need states,” she added.

    For instance, Hunt’s might want to differentiate creative for Jane depending on whether she falls into an organic, sustainability-minded segment or a recipe segment.    

    Although CPGs like Conagra traditionally used very bottom-of-the-funnel KPIs like sales conversions and lift to measure their addressable TV buys, increasingly that’s changing as addressable TV scoots up the funnel.

    Even the most mass-market types of products that “target everybody” are now benefiting from addressable TV because measurement is improving and there’s more data to work with, said AT&T’s Mandel Dunsche.

    And that is a welcome departure from the past, when niche – and pricy – product categories, such as luxury automotive, were the largest users of addressable TV.

    “People are starting to see that addressable TV can be effective for mid- and upper-funnel tactics, too, because you’re not just reaching a broad base of heavy TV viewers,” Mandel Dunsche added. “It’s an opportunity to reach even light TV viewers or different segments using more data.”