Tru Optik, Kantar Millward Brown can now track real-world purchases by individuals to OTT TV ads

Companies say this is the first attribution chain from OTT TV ads to offline purchases.

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Let’s say you’re watching “This Is Us” through NBC Now, the OTT outlet for the network, on your connected TV through a streaming TV Roku box.

An ad comes on for red sneakers. You’re inspired, and you go out the next day and buy a pair at the local mall.

This week, OTT audience measurement firm Tru Optik announced a partnership with global research agency Kantar Millward Brown that allows an advertiser to track your offline purchase to the serving of that ad on your connected TV.

Tru Optik Chief Strategist David Wiesenfeld told me this is the first such ad-to-offline-purchase attribution system for OTT television. He noted that Tru Optik has had the ability to track purchases through online retailers.

He also said that, to his knowledge, this provides a level of offline purchase attribution that is not possible when the same ad is seen on cable or on-air TV.

In other words, if you had seen the red sneaker ad on “This Is Us” when it was shown on NBC cable, and then went to the mall the next day and bought it, the attribution of this sales lift would be much more broad-brush.

It might, for instance, note that there was a general sales lift in the geographical area after the ad had been shown. This is instead of noting that it was bought by User 123, whose Roku box had been served the ad for an episode of “This Is Us,” which was shown via Roku the night before.

Linked through a key identifier

Through this partnership, a campaign’s success is measured by comparing the relative lift of sales for a given advertised product in a given location among OTT viewers whose devices had been served the ad, versus a similarly-sized sample OTT group in the area to whom the ad had not been served.

Kantar Millward’s Ignite Network provides the offline purchase data of credit card transactions, loyalty card data and point-of-sale records. Tru Optik tracks the serving of the ad to a specific OTT device, such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, a connected videogame console like Xbox or a smart TV that’s connected to the Net.

Tru Optik’s OTT Data Cloud follows OTT advertising across connected TVs, mobile devices and desktops that have been identified as belonging to a single household or individual. It overlays third-party data on these cross-device profiles, such as number of children or household income.

The two datasets — Kantar Millward’s and Tru Optik’s — are anonymized, Wiesenfeld said, and linked through a key identifier, such as the same IP address for the Roku box and the loyalty card, or the same physical address, or the same email.

He noted that this onboarding to match offline and online data is conducted by Kantar Millward or an onboarding provider, such as Acxiom’s LiveRamp. Although the individual remains consistent via an anonymized tag, their actual identity remains hidden.

While much of OTT programming is ad-free, such as Netflix and Amazon, many of the on-air or cable ad-supported networks have opened or are opening ad-supported online outlets, such as NBC Now. There are also lesser known OTT-only ad-supported programming services, including Pluto TV, Sony’s Crackle and Tubi TV.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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