3 Best Practices for Planning a Data-Driven TV Ad Campaign

3 Best Practices for Planning a Data-Driven TV Ad Campaign

Guest Author: Brett Sanderson, Sr. Director, Product Marketing, Cadent

Over the past few years, the TV ecosystem has evolved significantly. From the rapid growth of streaming to massive fragmentation of publishers, to technological transformation in both targeting and attribution, it’s no wonder that advertisers are wrestling with uncertainty when it comes to building new strategies for their TV advertising campaigns.

Yet despite the industry-wide change, a major challenge facing TV advertisers stems from confusion around terminology. For instance, what do we mean when we say OTT (over the top) or CTV (connected TV)? While these words are often used interchangeably, they have unique definitions. OTT includes any type of long-form video programming, regardless of what device it is being watched on. CTV is a subset of OTT that is watched on a TV set, either through a smart TV or a streaming device, as opposed to a laptop, mobile phone, or tablet. To complicate matters further, Addressable TV isn’t a “type” of TV at all and instead refers to the method by which you can target specific audiences and measure campaign impact in terms of business outcomes.

Now that you have a better understanding of the advanced TV landscape, it’s time to build your media plan. To help you kick off your next campaign, we are sharing three best practices for leveraging data-driven TV advertising.

Activate Third-Party Audience Segments to Reach Audiences at the Household-Level

Today’s TV advertisers are faced with several challenges as a result of increased fragmentation. Consumers are spending more time watching OTT/CTV, with some choosing to “cut the cord” on linear TV. As viewership trends change, marketers need to change their approach to TV advertising. One way to reach your target audience is to use third-party data from premium partners like Alliant. By expanding targeting beyond traditional demographics, advertisers can capture the attention of in-market viewers, reaching the right audience with their cross-screen TV media plans. Cadent Aperture platform enables advertisers to build audience segments using first- and third-party data and activate across all TV screens.

Use Addressable TV to Amplify Your Message

Brands that invest a significant portion of their advertising budget in digital media should also explore the possibilities offered by advanced TV. The advanced TV footprint continues to grow, pushing advertisers to find new and innovative ways to engage consumers. So, while digital advertising enables a direct response, like visiting a website or making a purchase, Addressable TV empowers advertisers to boost reach and drive brand awareness, while simultaneously targeting high-value audiences at the household level to influence decision making. By using Addressable TV to amplify their message, advertisers can receive digital-style reporting and attribution that gives insight into both upper-funnel and lower-funnel KPIs.

Implement a Full-Funnel Approach with Cross-Screen TV Advertising

Now, this may come as a surprise, but most TV viewing still takes place on linear TV. According to Nielsen, at least 63% of the Total Usage of Television remains with cable and broadcast – 40% and 23% respectively, as of June 2021. Changes in consumer viewing habits show that the needle is moving toward CTV, but many consumers are not yet ready to give up linear altogether. So, while CTV may be the most buzzworthy, it isn’t necessarily the best way to reach your target audience. By activating their message across all TV media – cable TV, broadcast TV, indexed TV, Addressable TV, and OTT/CTV – advertisers can better engage their target audience at key moments throughout the shopper journey, driving greater return on ad spend and other KPIs.

The expanding media landscape shows no signs of slowing down. Advertisers need to evolve their TV advertising strategies now, as consumer viewing habits continue to shift and the death of the cookie looms. With trusted third-party audience segments, access to Addressable TV inventory, and partners to support activation across screens, advertisers can prepare for the future while driving today’s business outcomes.

Want to learn more about Addressable TV? Download our new guide, Making Addressable TV Deliver for You.


Sr. Director, Product Marketing, Cadent 

Brett Sanderson is Sr. Director, Product Marketing at Cadent where he drives the go-to-market strategy for Aperture platform data and identity products as well as Advanced TV media solutions. Before joining Cadent, he has held various product marketing roles at Bazaarvoice, Eyeview, and Sizmek. Brett started his career at digital agencies Digitas and 360i, producing digital and social media marketing experiences for clients like Comcast, Oreo, Coca-Cola, and American Express

What Would a First-Party Data Only World Look Like?

What Would a First-Party Data Only World Look Like?

For years, well-respected industry leaders, from brands and agencies, have been proclaiming that third-party data was a thing of the past. The thought was that first-party data was performing better, and the focus was pivoting away from third-party data. This was common even before Google formally announced its plans for Chrome in 2020. Fast forward to the present day and the proclamations have become more pronounced. Big brands are doing everything they can to amass troves of first-party data, out of an intensifying fear that third-party data is dead.

Focusing on first-party data is paramount for future success, but to say that first-party data is the only data type going forward is false and does a disservice to the industry. It’s factual to say that third-party cookies are going away, but that should not be conflated with third-party data. In fact, despite all the attention on the issue, it’s not always clear when data should be classified as first- or third-party.

Pivoting away from all partner data completely limits how brands can use insights to grow their businesses, and potentially leads to walking away from healthy partnerships that have been a key part of their success.

Of course, money never lies, and it shows a disconnect between what advertising leaders are saying and what they are actually doing. Spending on third-party audience data continues to trend upward, amounting to a $12 billion market, according to the IAB. When someone tells you a growing multi-billion-dollar market is “dead,” it should give you reason to pause.

Just how vital is third-party data? Let’s examine what the ad world would look like if first-party data was the only type to exist when we wake up tomorrow.

Increased customer acquisition costs

Strong first-party data is a critical asset for curating and building lasting relationships with existing customers but has limitations when it comes to acquiring new prospects. Look-alike modeling is incredibly popular, but many platforms that offer this service rely on third-party data to model effectively. We’re already seeing companies like Facebook suffer due to restrictions like ATT, and a complete lack of third-party data would diminish their ability to power analytics. As powerful as first-party data is, there are gaps in the data set.

Inconsistent Cross-Channel Targeting

As mentioned, there is often conflation between third-party data and third-party cookies. Despite a reliance on third-party cookies in some channels, brands currently use third party data sets that are not tied to cookies to reach consistent audiences across screens and offline channels. Working only with first party and publisher data limits reach by reducing the ability to activate data in other channels. As a result, scale and accuracy will be different in each environment, whether a brand partners with a digital publisher or a CTV provider. Without supplemental data to build their graphs, match rates will decline across the board for pubs, platforms, and onboarding services.

Decreased Analytics/Machine Learning Performance

Modern advertising is dependent on machine learning and AI, and those tools are dependent on data flowing into predictive models. Limiting these technologies to first-party data results in predictions based on a narrow view of customers. Cost-conscious brands may find that the juice isn’t worth the squeeze of investing in AI.

Faster Data Decay

The pandemic threw a wrench into historic ideas of the customer purchase journey, resulting in a lasting change to the way that people buy things. Trying to stay up-to-date with trends requires up-to-date data. Certain attributes are steady, like age or gender, but others change frequently. If you only have first-party data, the likelihood of data degradation increases because brands can only update data when they capture or observe a change within the context of their business. Especially in the case of inactive customers, being able to access accurate third-party data to validate first party data will enable optimized re-engagement efforts.

Dispelling the Myth

While the rhetoric continues, it’s clear that third-party data enhances the entire ecosystem. Anything close to the “death” of third-party data eliminates much of the functionality that marketers rely on across channels, not to mention millions of dollars in healthy business partnerships and jobs across the ecosystem.

Properly sourced, privacy-compliant third-party data is exceptionally valuable to the success of modern marketing efforts. When it is taken out of the equation, the marketer is left with data that can be thin, impacting campaign accuracy and scale. While a strong first-party data asset is key to future success, modern data strategies mix first- and third-party data to deliver more impactful advertising.

Interested in learning more about how Alliant’s DataHub brings together the power of first, second and third party data?  Reach out to our team of data experts!


President & Chief Executive Officer

JoAnne is the founder of Alliant – and the architect of our vision to deliver innovative consumer targeting solutions powered by the aggregated purchase transactions of multiple direct-to-consumer marketers.

A lifetime marketer, JoAnne’s career includes positions at Time Life, The Norman Rockwell Museum, and Mal Dunn Associates. She is a committed advocate for development of comprehensive data governance and security standards, and has a long history of industry service. She is also an expert baker.

Highlights from Winterberry Group’s 2022 Annual Market Outlook

Highlights from Winterberry Group’s 2022 Annual Market Outlook

The Direct Marketing Club of New York kicked off the year hosting the 2022 Industry Forecast Annual Outlook event. As a proud sponsor, Alliant joined fellow marketers and industry leaders to hear Winterberry Group’s Senior Managing Partner Bruce Biegel review the top trends coming out of 2021 and his cross-channel U.S. marketing spend predictions for 2022.

The rebound of US marketing spend through another pandemic year was significant in 2021, up 21.6% compared to 2020. That is a whopping $77.4 billion increase – largely driven by gains in digital spending. Growth is expected to continue in 2022 with a forecasted 11.8% increase.

Here are some of the key trends that will influence performance in the year ahead:

Spending on Data, Identity and Data Services Increases Across all Channels

Omnichannel strategies to deliver consistent experiences across all touchpoints is more important than ever – and data serves as the foundation. In 2021, the use of data was up in every marketing channel with spend on data, data services, identity and platforms growing by 26.4%. The largest spend gains were seen in digital media, web personalization and TV (addressable, CTV and linear).

For 2022, overall data spend across all channels is expected to grow 13.1%. TV data usage will see the largest percentage increases at 19.2%, representing $5.1B total. While expected increases aren’t as high for digital media and direct mail, they still take the number 1 and 2 spots respectively for total data spend.

TV and Video Everywhere

Video formats across devices were a catalyst for growth in 2021 as budgets shifted towards Connected TV to align with changing viewership habits. CTV has proven to be a must-have component of a marketer’s strategy, and it expected to grow by another $5B in 2022. Additionally, video strategies across linear, advanced TV (CTV/OTT) and digital will continue to converge, with total spend reaching $130B.

Direct Mail is Making a Comeback

2021 was a big year for direct mail, up 10% YOY with total spend at $41.9 billion. In addition to spend, direct mail volume also increased by 4.7%. So what is leading the comeback? Most direct mail marketing, 80% to be exact, now supports pure customer acquisition. Cross-sell and loyalty initiatives lead growth in retention mail, which saw an increase of 7.9% for the year.

Direct mail and other offline marketing spend will continue to benefit from omnichannel commerce strategies and solutions. Direct mail marketing spend is forecasted to grow 3.5% in 2022.

Challenges are Changing DTC

Retail commerce is integrating digital and physical shelves as inventory challenges continue. With retail marketing spend projected to double to $40 billion in 2022, a DTC marketer’s budget should remain elastic as spend moves to and from media marketplaces. Marketers need to consider outcomes over impressions, closely monitoring how performance is tracked to ensure the greatest ROI.

Changes Around Identity Standards and Regulation Continue

Third party cookies received an extended lifeline in 2021, but that doesn’t mean marketers should pause preparation for the future. Privacy and data regulations will continue to expand in 2022, mostly at the state level as no national privacy legislation is likely in an election year.

Identity solutions will evolve as the competition and control dynamic across varying channels continues. In addition to regulatory decisions, browser developers, device manufactures, and consumers all influence emerging targeting and measurement solutions. Marketers will need to maintain a flexible approach to effectively reach consumers.

After a tremendous year in advertising and marketing, the rally is expected to continue. Marketers are diversifying their marketing channels and strategies are increasingly data-driven. Alliant is committed to providing a collaborative data environment to help our Members and partners grow in a constantly evolving ecosystem. Reach out to our team to learn more and check out the full report to see all Winterberry Group 2022 predictions!

Source: Winterberry Group “Outlook for Advertising, Marketing and Data 2022”

Key Takeaways from RampUp 2022

Key Takeaways from RampUp 2022

The Alliant team eagerly dusted off our suitcases last week to head back to San Francisco for LiveRamp’s RampUp 2022 conference. It was an engaging experience where we had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, foster new relationships, and discuss the year ahead for marketing data.

The conference also allowed us to reflect on the current state of the industry, and how to best prepare for the future. Driven by consumer motivations now more than ever, it will take industry effort to unlock value in the data and empower consumer education – and control – for a post-cookie world. The solution to these challenges and complexities in ad tech will require commitment and collaboration by industry partners.

Couldn’t be there? Here are a few key takeaways from RampUp 2022:

Build for the future through data partnerships

The ad tech ecosystem is entirely built from partnerships and cooperation is necessary to overcome fragmentation and build the right ad experiences for consumers. While there is still a ways to go, it is something the industry can agree on.

Data partnerships provide opportunity for innovative ad formats and how data can do more to enable marketing goals. With data privacy and evolving consumer expectations at the forefront, giving consumers control of their advertising can lead to better outcomes.

Let us not forget – the way we collaborate on data has evolved as well. Through clean room technology, data can be assessed, optimized, and standardized to be used for targeting and measurement.

Digital transformation in consumer journeys, not just technology

Marketing is a two-way street and data is another form of communication with consumers. How marketers think about consumers and their own role in adding more value than they extract are paramount in accelerating trust and meaningful connections.

Among the RampUp 2022 discussions, importance was placed on beginning with the consumer journey and work backwards to understand how to fuse the data to drive modern ad experiences. It feels a little like the chicken or the egg dilemma – but when you think about it, it makes sense. The dialog facilitated by the data allows brands to accommodate and lead consumers through their journey more seamlessly. The industry should be focusing on win-wins and holistic consumer views, while respecting their privacy.

First-party data enrichment opportunities are calling

The depreciation of third-party cookies has magnified the value of first-party data and identity. To achieve scale and cross-channel measurement, first-party data consolidation and enrichment are key.

Accurate, robust first-party data improves content agility and personalization at scale.  Simplifying data-backed personalization cross-channel with first-party data will be a significant competitive advantage for marketers, if not already.

Fun was also had…

Alliant sponsored a special event at RampUp 2022, which featured the world famous Señor Sisig food truck. Known for their unique Filipino fusion flavor, Señor Sisig burritos and tacos are local Bay Area favorites. We were happy to bring the experience to RampUp attendees.


And the fun does not stop there! Alliant hosted colleagues and partners for conversations and cocktails at San Francisco’s Top of the Mark. The spectacular view was the cherry on top of a fantastic night.

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The reinvention of the digital economy is clearly underway. Alliant is committed to industry collaboration and innovation – to build future-proofed cross-channel solutions for our Members and partners. 

Thank you to our colleagues and partners who joined us RampUp 2022! We look forward to many more discussions and collaboration at in-person events this year. Want to connect before the next event? Reach out to the team!


Mareena Maki, Marketing Manager

Mareena supports Alliant’s Marketing team in developing engaging content, lead management, and event sponsorships. Prior to joining Alliant, Mareena served as the Business Intelligence Manager for NBC Sports Group and has experience leading a digital engagement team in pharmaceutical marketing. Mareena earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Economics degree with a minor in Business Administration from Colorado State University, where she is currently working towards receiving an MBA degree specializing in Marketing Data Analytics. When she is not studying, she enjoys long walks at the beach with her pug Quasi.


The Marketer’s Guide to Audience Modeling

The Marketer’s Guide to Audience Modeling

Marketers are surrounded by predictive modeling and machine learning that helps shape the audiences included in their campaigns.

Predictive modeling is informing audience selection just about everywhere. Whether it’s audience recommendations in marketing automation platforms, underlying algorithm(s) powering campaigns in DSPs, or a 1st party data look-alike modeling feature.

While a marketer doesn’t have much control over the stock algorithms or modeling capabilities within their platforms, they do have a say once they start entertaining custom audience solutions. And it wasn’t until recently that anyone outside of analytics-related roles really questioned the specifics of their modeled solutions.

Marketers upping their analytic game will help with solution evaluation, foster more strategic discussions with a broader group of teams, and drive better results.

This guide provides the foundation for a deeper understanding of custom audience modeling.

A Quick Look Back at 2021 Product & Solution Updates

A Quick Look Back at 2021 Product & Solution Updates

A lot happened at Alliant over the past year. Here are some quick highlights to help you and your business take full advantage of DataHub Membership!

  1. Reaching quality consumers across all channels is foundational for marketers so we released 350+ new Brand Propensity audiences built from activity across 175MM credit and bank cards
  2. Data collaboration is an integral component of a holistic strategy going forward, so we’ve extended our own collaborative environment through integrations with platforms like Snowflake, AWS Data Exchange and Karlsgate
  3. Connected TV (CTV) viewership has surpassed traditional TV, so we expanded audience distribution with leading CTV platforms like Cadent
  4. Third-party cookies are going away in 2023, so we future proofed the DataHub identity map with refined hygiene rules for hashed email and IP and integrated with leading unique ID frameworks such as UID2.0 and RampID (check out our webinar on how to prepare for the cookie-less future)
  5. The marketing landscape is changing faster than ever so we published 40+ new pieces of content across the quarterly Member newsletter, the Alliant blog and industry publications to help Members develop, activate and refine multichannel data strategies
  6. Data quality matters to all of us so we completed the first full year of partnership with Truthset, adding new data sets for quarterly scoring and improving Alliant Audiences based on report results
  7. Marketers need to have confidence in their partners, so we’ve continued our commitment to transparency and trust with renewed certifications for SOC 2 and IAB Tech Lab Data Transparency
  8. DataHub Members require fast and forward-thinking solutions, so we made significant upgrades to our technology stack that enables our data scientists to leverage even more data with the latest machine learning methodologies

If you’d like to learn more about any of the 2021 updates, or what we have in store for 2022, please reach out to your account manager!