To be part of TV’s future, you’re going to need to change your company’s culture - ITV
Lara Izlan – ITV Director, Advertising Data & Analytics
Will Tapp – ITV Client Strategy and Planning Controller
With the growth of connected TVs, it’s inevitable that all TV advertising will become addressable. It’s a question of when, not if.
‘Take-up of smart TVs has risen sharply - from 5% of households in 2012 to 47% in 2019. Additionally, the use of a device to connect a TV to the internet has also increased from 28% five years ago to 41% in 2019. In combination, more than half (53%) of TV households have a connected TV.’
With the excitement around addressable TV many commentators have become fixated with the technology involved - but technology is only one aspect of transformation.
‘Mastering technology is not the only criterion for success in the modern marketing era — the right people and processes must also be put in place to properly develop, manage, and nurture the benefits of that technology.’
Marketers also need to re-examine their ways of working to take full advantage of the coming revolution in TV. As already seen in other media channels, data and automation will change forever the way TV advertising is created, traded and measured.
Figure 1: Addressable TV Advertising – A Marketing Transformation
Marketers need not passively wait for this tipping point. Although addressable TV doesn’t yet have the scale of broadcast, it presents the ideal environment for the marketing experimentation so central to this new future.
Figure 2: The Ideal Environment for Marketing Experimentation
This shift to experimentation may sound easy in theory but when you consider the ‘industrial marketing complex’ that’s developed around TV advertising it becomes a herculean task. Everything from media planning to creative development must change.
However, digital native brands are emerging as an unlikely example (not to mention a threat) to more traditional TV advertisers.
Beginning life as scrappy start-ups, these brands were forced to experiment in-house with digital advertising as the cheapest option available to them. Meaning, test and learn is baked into their marketing DNA.
As these digital native brands mature they’re now beginning to turn these skills to TV advertising. In 2019, digital-first advertisers were the fastest growing category on ITV, with 47 brands spending over £500k.
Figure 3: Mini Case Study – Experimentation Driving Conversion
Fully addressable TV advertising will accelerate this trend, with digital native brands increasingly competing on the ‘home turf’ of their more established competitors.
But, it’s important to recognise that there’s still time for all brands to react.
Addressable TV advertising is a work in progress and smart marketers can still build-up a competitive advantage by running early experiments and gradually restructuring their marketing operations. Get all of this right, and as Mark Ritson has said, ‘VOD is going to be every smart marketing person’s new best friend’.
 Ofcom Media Nations Report, 2019  ’10 Principles of Modern Marketing’, Ann Lewnes and Kevin Lane Keller, MIT Sloan Management Review, 2019  ‘Commercial TV’s Decline is faster than we thought’, Mark Ritson, Marketing Week, 2020 (PayWall)