5 Priorities for Improving Local OTT Measurement

5 Priorities for Improving Local OTT Measurement

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A recent BIA report stated that “local OTT ad spending would top $2 billion in 2022, making local OTT competitive with, but also complementary to, both linear TV and digital advertising.” In other words, there’s a clear interest and value in reaching customers locally via modern viewing platforms. But how does that interest translate to modern measurement tactics for local campaigns? 

The refinement of local OTT measurement tactics should not take a backseat to the development of national approaches. Rather, to truly unlock the power of TV for advertisers—local and national, linear and streaming alike—measurement innovation should be a priority across the board. 

Here are the areas where local OTT measurement improvements should be focused, along with the initial steps that can pave the way to a more sophisticated future for local TV buying and measurement.

1. Local Enhancements

It’s high time for local OTT buys to have access to measurement methods and insights that have, to date, been reserved for advertisers making national buys. Incorporating visitation and purchase data into local OTT measurement would be a huge boon to advertisers. 

After all, it’s often the local advertisers and campaigns that stand to benefit most from granular insights into foot traffic and conversion data, as these are the brands for which careful optimization of TV spend can significantly move the needle. 

2. More Granular Data

The industry needs access to first-party data to bring scale to local OTT measurement. In some cases, such data is available, but we haven’t yet made it a part of the usual local OTT buying conversation. From the advertiser standpoint, it’s useful to talk to your partners about what level of data is available to inform their measurement in a privacy-compliant way. 

As an industry, we’re continuing to find novel ways to safely, securely, and transparently share audience intelligence to better inform and measure OTT advertising, and it’s important that these enhancements that enable more granularity be harnessed for national and local campaigns alike. 

3. Relative Cost/Methodology Balancing

Measurement costs can add up quickly, which is a challenge especially when it comes to local advertisers with limited budgets. Measurement solutions must be able to scale accordingly, and that means measurement partners need to think beyond a one-size-fits-all model to serve a larger swath of advertisers. 

Not every campaign will need to crunch terabytes of data like the ones that might be required by a national QSR campaign. Methodologies—and most importantly, pricing—should reflect these differences in scale. 

4. Cross-Platform Measurement

Advertisers need to be able to connect the dots between their linear and digital spends. That is possible, even on a local level, via the right networks of partners with visibility into different pieces of the linear and digital ecosystems. From an advertiser standpoint, that means identifying the partners that have built these networks and capabilities when deciding where to allocate spend. Ideally, advertisers should seek platforms that can execute local buys that blend linear and digital elements. After all, if you buy more holistically, you can measure more holistically. 

5. Simpler Workflows

Simpler workflows and tech stack integrations for local OTT measurement will help drive adoption. For measurement companies, easier execution needs to be a priority. At the same time, advertisers should be seeking enhanced media platforms through which to run their spending in order to gain access to enhanced reporting. After all, what you put in is what you get out. If campaign elements are approached on a one-off basis, their measurement will reflect that. 

As an industry, we need to call on providers to create more parity between today’s national OTT measurement capabilities and those available for local campaigns. Regardless of budget, advertisers must be able to understand the impact of their TV spends in a holistic, cross-channel way. Producing these insights for all advertisers will drive greater optimization across TV advertising efforts as a whole, enabling greater spend and value for all. 

Sona Pehlivanian is Vice President, Addressable Campaign Management and Operations, at New York Interconnect.