Gert Marien, Corporate Innovation Lead at Proximus, revealed that the reach of a campaign the company ran for SOLO – a Belgian bakery product – was increased significantly by limiting the frequency of linear ads and targeting ads to viewers who had not yet been exposed. He said: “Basically it was a success. We really increased the reach of the campaign by having less frequency and more targeting, and calculated that, budget wise, to achieve the same reach [without targeting], you would have had to spend 163% of the budget we spent on this campaign.”
Speaking at Connected TV World Summit last month, the Belgian telco noted that by tagging data streams and tagging the video in which the ad is played, it knows which viewers have watched any given linear ad. As Proximus moves towards linking both linear and digital with addressable, the ability for the company to track which viewers have not been exposed to certain ads allows for addressable campaigns to run across devices.
He remarked: “If you saw certain ads on TV – addressable ads on TV – a little bit later you could come to your PC environment and see a follow up ad.
“We don’t do this today, but as a telco we are really rich with traffic data. We know all the websites which you [visit]. Unlocking all that traffic data would mean consumers could go to a website about house renovations and we could link that on TV with an addressable spot for a new refrigerator or something for the bathroom.”
Marien believes merging the linear and digital worlds will come with a learning curve due to differences between the two domains – such as the CPM on digital being significantly lower than for the TV world. But he noted that Proximus has already begun the work of linking the two, establishing a joint venture called Ads and Data, to explore how addressable campaigns can be coordinated across linear and digital.
A significant challenge involved in targeting ads across these domains is consent gathering and privacy, according to Marien. He commented: “We are the tech provider but we are also the data provider. We gather our data and we create different segments of the data which are available to broadcasters. This is not just our data but also third-party data that we integrate in an anonymous way through a sort of bunker system, where we can create even larger segments or have data from advertisers in there. Everything has to be privacy, privacy, privacy.”
To tackle consent gathering, Marien said that Proximus built a very large, GDPR-compliant consent engine which the company uses, not only for advertisers, but at other points where people should give their consent.
He noted that Proximus was the first IP TV operator worldwide to introduce addressable: “At a certain moment, we saw the tech became available to do addressability, we saw that broadcaster and advertisers were willing and starting to adopt it. So, we started a project – not on the big screen at first – but on smart phones and tablets because there the tech integration was much easier. We learned a lot and did a lot of trials. We then moved that implementation to set-top-boxes (STB) because we work with STB.”