December 13, 2018
To better understand this post, we recommend the reader to first familiarize him/her self with the basics of TV media buying.
To better understand this post, we recommend the reader to first familiarize him/her self with the basics of TV media buying.
At Tatari, we often get the question “when is the best time for being on TV?”. There is no good answer because every company is unique, and each will have its own best timing. However, there is one general exception: the two or three weeks right after Christmas. During those weeks, advertisers pull out of the market as budgets are closed for the year and CMOs check out of the office on vacation. Inventory becomes widely available and with that, pricing craters. The network reps are people with holiday plans too, so they're more likely inclined to accept offers that they normally wouldn't.
In TV (and other advertising channels) not all impressions are priced the same. The variance in value, expressed as CPM or Cost per Thousand (impressions), can vary from less than a dollar to $100 or more.
The following post was written by Tatari's CEO, Philip Inghelbrecht.
Turner is a global media company that creates and programs branded news, entertainment, sports, animation and young adult multi-platform content for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses are some of the most valuable in the world and include CNN, TBS, TNT, TCM, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, Turner Sports, Bleacher Report, iStreamPlanet and ELEAGUE.
Dear readers - today is another important day in our short history at Tatari. We have hired a real head of marketing, Amit Sharan. Our growth today was purely organic and we can't wait to see how Amit will help us double-down, especially as it relates to OTT and Connected TV advertising. Fittingly, we have also put out our first press release. Enjoy - Philip Inghelbrecht, CEO, Tatari
This blog post is written by Joel Lander. Joel holds a PhD from UCLA and is an economist at heart. Prior to co-founding Tatari, Joel served seven years at the Federal Reserve where he co-authored a seminal white-paper on asset pricing (“Earning Forecasts and the Predictability of Stock Returns”). Even Alan Greenspan was bedazzled and quick to translate Joel’s work into two famous words: “irrational exuberance”. Joel’s smarts are now put to work for Tatari clients.
Ro is a mission-driven healthcare technology company where doctors, pharmacists and engineers are working together to reinvent the way the healthcare system works. We have two verticals: Roman, an end-to-end service for men's health starting with erectile dysfunction, often the first sign of a far more serious underlying health condition, and Zero, an end-to-end service to help people quit smoking, the leading cause of preventable death worldwide.
Last week, Tatarians from our San Francisco office volunteered at ShelterTech, a non-profit organization focused on solving technology challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness.
The march of over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) has been unstoppable. The number of OTT and CTV viewers in the US will soon surpass 200 million, or more than half of the US population, according to eMarketer.
Undeniably one of the most asked questions in the run-up to a TV pilot is “What Cost-per-Visitor (CPV)” or “What Cost-per-Sale (CPS)” should we expect, and “what have you seen in other campaigns?” It is a completely normal and fair question. Even a modest $100K TV pilot is a sizeable bet for most marketing people. Furthermore (and particular in technology circles), TV suffers from a stigma of wasted spend, and therefore gets deeply scrutinized at either the CEO or board level. The answer is unfortunately not straightforward.
Turo is the world’s largest peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace, allowing private car owners to share their vehicle with travelers via web and app services. We recently talked to Adam Miller—Senior Manager of Marketing, Growth, and Analytics—about Turo’s experience with TV advertising. Adam has been working with Tatari for almost a year now, from Turo’s initial pilot to today’s scaled-up campaign. Having grown into a TV advertising expert, his perspective is unique and a recommended read for any novice TV advertiser.
The NFL season kicked off last week, and it wasn’t a particularly strong start for TV’s most watched program. The Falcons vs. Eagles rating was down 11% from last year (when the Chiefs handsomely beat the Patriots) and in fact, it drew the lowest rating for an opening game in a decade. NFL pundits will cite a lackluster game that had a delayed start, and therefore late finish, on a week day.
Since 2016, we’ve learned a lot, accomplished many goals and maybe had a couple shenanigans along the way. And we wouldn’t have had it any other way! Thank you to our clients, partners and team members who continue to further our goals.
Austin joined Tatari in May for a summer internship. From first business trip to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, we thought it would be fun to get his take on new experiences.
As discussed in a prior article, clearance in remnant TV buying is influenced by various factors. Timing is one of those factors, and often manifested in patterns of seasonality. We will demonstrate this with real data between 2016 and 2018. To generally learn more about media-buying, and what the term “clearance” means, we refer you to this blog post.
Katie joined Tatari in July this year. We thought it would be fun to get her first impressions of working at the company. And perhaps have her share a word of advice for college students, too.
Pricing and clearance are two pillar concepts, deeply intertwined, in remnant TV media-buying. This post will focus on the former, and in particular the challenges that come with predicting clearance.
Last week, some of our SF team decided to surprise one of our remote colleagues, Koosh, in Capitola CA. Koosh is an early (!) Tatari software engineer and the person behind quite a few essential features, such as our pixel technology and related data warehousing, from setup to scaling (just to give you a taste, Tatari captures over a billion events monthly).
It was Thursday, October 19, and Ben and Jesse, founders of Hubble Contacts, had just come off their weekly call with Tatari. They had been running TV advertising since spring that year, and that day presented a defining moment: Tatari had recommended that Hubble Contacts purchase spots on the World Series. The Astros were playing the Dodgers in the first game the following week, on Tuesday, October 24. With each spot commanding a near 6-digit-dollar figure, this would be the biggest and ballsiest play yet for Hubble.
On June 13, during our mid-year company get-together, Tatarians volunteered at the GLIDE Foundation and participated in the "Daily Free Meals Program," preparing and serving food to the community of San Francisco.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Tatari exhibited at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition in Chicago—its first trade show since launching in 2016! We had a great time talking to advertisers and demoing our product to companies who were interested in launching TV. We had a small, but wonderfully designed, 10x10 booth that was a frequent stopping point for both the exhibitors and the retailers attending the conference.
In the remnant TV market, advertisers typically place media buys on a weekly basis and have no guarantee of clearance. Furthermore, spots aired are seen by all viewers, as opposed to online ads in digital marketing in which random samples of viewers see different ads. This makes it difficult to execute a perfect creative test construct. What usually happens is that different creatives end up being distributed across different networks, and occasionally with different spend. Furthermore, with the introduction of new creatives in the mix, advertisers often encounter a scenario in which some creatives aired on certain networks, while the newer ones did not (or vice versa). The impact of network-rotation variability and imperfect creative split should therefore not to be ignored, as it can greatly affect the measured performance of creatives. This is what we refer to as ‘creative bias.’
Advertisers often assume that airing on local TV is cheaper. While local spot costs are indeed less expensive than national buys, the number of local impressions aired is much smaller. To address this difference, a good apples-to-apples comparison can be made by quantifying both type of buys as a CPM (cost per thousand impressions). This comparison is insightful because local TV CPMs tend to be notably higher than national TV CPMs, often by orders of magnitude. For the sake of completeness, we should point out that there is no universal local CPM. Local CPMs vary by geography since audiences can be vastly different from one location to another (e.g. different average household income).
In advertising, conversion is a step in the marketing funnel during which website (or app-store) visitors perform a desired action (e.g. they purchase a product, become subscribers, etc.). It is usually expressed a percentage. For example, a 5% conversion rate means that for every 100 website visits (or app downloads), 5 people will purchase a product. Because it directly shows how many people became customers as a result of being exposed to an ad, it allows for calculation of the customer acquisition cost (CAC), and every marketer therefore wants to measure it correctly.
TV ads so far have always been classified as either brand or direct-response (DR). We will discuss the typical features of both types and show that a third (hybrid) option is also feasible.
When starting TV advertising, it is important to allocate enough time for creative production. This is the biggest bottleneck in TV as the production process easily takes between six to eight weeks. Once the ads are produced, it takes less than one week to be on TV. In this article, we will provide a few suggestions and pointers to successfully manage creative production.
If there’s one certainty in the Silicon Valley, it’s that the success of a startup highly correlates to its people. I didn’t realize this when I started my first company, Shazam, in late 1999. Our initial team of twenty was mostly hired from inside our network, and I would generally describe them as top-performers (and many of them have indeed gone out to start their own companies). The next set of hires at Shazam came through traditional recruiting and interviewing. This process, however, did not allow us to separate the A+ players from the A players, and the difference was meaningful. For example, I have firsthand seen how an A+ software engineer will easily do the work of three A-caliber engineers. Only when a person was six months or so in the job, we would be able to tell whether he or she was “the best” or “great” (“good” would not be hired), and the outcome felt like a mere draw of luck.
In one of our earlier blog articles, we discussed why TV advertising is immune to bot traffic issues that affect many digital platforms. Bots generate fake clicks on websites and never lead to sales (as there is no human behind these clicks), and therefore falsely suggest that a marketing campaign is performing. TV, on the other hand, isn’t impacted by bot traffic for two reasons: (1) bots can’t generate fake TV ad impressions, and (2) they don’t fake traffic on the advertiser’s website at the exact time of a TV ad airing.
To date, TV advertising campaigns have been bucketed in two groups: either direct response (DR) or brand. The general opinion was that campaigns must exclusively belong to one or the other. Many advertisers think that DR ads are meant to drive responses and cannot build brand, or vice versa. This is, however, an antiquated notion. DR and brand can live within the same campaign or creative, and each can be objectively measured.
Last week, on March 8, Tatari threw its Industry Party for all our networks at the Union Fare in NYC. But, as can be seen from the photos, it was not just a party: everyone came dressed as their favorite TV characters (including us), which means hilarity and fun ensued.
If you are new to TV advertising, learning the ropes of media-buying can be intimidating. In this article, we explain the basics of TV inventory and describe how media-buying works in today’s market. This summary will equip every novice marketer with the vocabulary to start navigating the world of TV advertising.
In this edition of Tatarians in the Spotlight, we talked to Fred Li, our Junior Software Engineer, who first joined the company as an intern. He told us about his unconventional background as a chemical engineer and how he ended up at Tatari.
Advertisers often wonder when the right time is for going into TV advertising. Sadly, many wonder if TV even makes sense at all because it is often assumed to be a big-budget brand privilege. Worse, many think the answer is “never.” In this article, we hope to debunk these myths by highlighting indicators of the right time to go into TV, and by showing that TV is usually appropriate earlier than most advertisers assume.
To date, TV has mostly been measured through a baseline and lift model. It is a framework that works well for linear TV, since many people watch the same program and advertisements at the same time. As such, even if only a small fraction of viewers responded to the ad, the lift is still visible and noticeable above the baseline.
TV advertising used to be a “spray and pray” process. Advertisers would purchase very expensive spots based on intuition (for instance, buying networks and shows simply because they are popular) without knowing whether these spots would work for them. Media agencies did not offer continuous testing and measurement, so advertisers had to stick with the same choices (and financial commitments) and hope for the best.
Tatarians in the Spotlight is another one of our blog series, in which we feature our own employees and have them share stories about their work. This week, we talked to Patrick Stein, our VP of Engineering, about his team and Tatari’s technology.
Marketers who are considering TV as a potential advertising channel sometimes ask: “Why should we even go into TV?” A common misconception is that TV advertising has become a defunct marketing channel with the rise of digital platforms. According to Nielsen, however, 226 million people watch TV on a monthly basis and spend approximately 5 hours a day on TV. With such audiences, TV advertising is not dead and can be an incredibly effective marketing channel for companies in all stages, from early-stage advertisers to marketing veterans. There are three reasons for this: reach, scale, and the power of TV ads.
Last week, we talked to Clem Bason, the CEO of goSeek, an online travel service that helps people find the best hotel deals. He told us about his experience in the travel industry in addition to describing how advertising has advanced over the last few years.
As we approach the end of the year, the fourth broadcaster quarter (Q4) is always an interesting period to analyze TV performance and media-buying. Running from beginning of October to end of December, Q4 starts off like other quarters: loads of inventory, good clearance, and softer pricing resulting from the ability to negotiate with networks.
In our earlier articles on marginal costs and incrementality, we talked about the importance of these concepts when comparing digital platforms to TV. We showed how marketers can evaluate their advertising campaigns at the margin and measure cannibalization to calculate the campaign’s true cost and perform an apples-to-apples comparison between digital and TV. Of course, after doing so, every marketer would rightfully ask the question—what’s next?
Hubble Contacts is an e-commerce, subscription-based company that sells contact lenses directly to consumers. Last week, we chatted with Jesse Horwitz—the co-founder and co-CEO of Hubble Contacts—about the beginnings of Hubble and his journey with TV advertising.
In the world of advertising, Facebook and TV are two similar customer acquisition channels, despite one being “online” and the other being “offline”. Both platforms allow advertisers to specifically target certain demographics and interests by selecting audiences (Facebook) or combining networks, rotations, and programs (TV). When TV and Facebook are less targeted, they tend to compel people to buy products or services that they may not have identified or considered as a need. In essence, they are both demand-generating, as opposed to Search Engine Marketing, which is demand-harvesting.
Last week, The New York Times reported that The Weather Channel, a cable and satellite channel focused solely on weather forecasts and hurricane coverage, averaged almost 1.3 million viewers during prime time over the first half of the week—a sizable increase from the average 150,000 viewers.
One of many benefits of TV advertising is that it is not impacted by fraudulent traffic in the same way digital advertising often is. We have already compared digital and TV platforms in one of our earlier posts and explained that TV, unlike digital, excels at offering scale because advertisers can increase spend on TV without quickly escalating marginal costs. It is equally important to mention that television is not affected by fraudulent traffic, because this benefit of TV advertising often goes unacknowledged.
When marketers talk about the cost of advertising campaigns, they usually think of customer acquisition cost. It is a simple metric that can be obtained by dividing the total cost of advertising by the total number of acquired customers. For instance, if a marketer spent $100,000 on an advertising campaign and acquired 100,000 customers, the customer acquisition cost would be $1.
For years, Nielsen has been used as the go-to audience measurement tool despite continuous criticism against its inherent flaws. Particularly, because Nielsen ratings are determined based on a small fraction of the population that accepts to participate in the evaluation process, response bias can be a significant issue, in addition to the fact that the population sample might not be statistically random and large enough.
Most companies in the TV measuring space have chosen names that hold a great dose of industry- and business-like slang, like “convert”, “insight”, or “metrics”. We, however, always wanted something that feels more playful and more reflective of our culture. Our team members and clients are people—not just employees and companies—so we wanted to build and name something that appeals to them.