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Data Plus Math Seeks To Provide Fast, Low-Cost TV Attribution

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—Attributing business outcomes to television advertising campaigns should not be just a “report card” after those campaigns are completed, according to Data Plus Math’s John Hoctor. This concept is what’s driven the company toward partnerships like its recent one with Millward Brown to provide full sales funnel attribution for TV and premium video.

Data Plus Math has also partnered with Inscape, IRI, LiveRamp, Verance and others in its quest to supplement expensive post-campaign analyses with in-flight learnings that can be used to optimize campaigns on the fly.

When the company was launched in 2016, with investors that include Comcast Ventures and Greycroft Partners, it saw an opportunity to bring attribution to TV.

“Our main idea was that TV advertising works and the data would tell a good story if someone would go in and actually analyze it ad show that television is driving real world outcomes for marketers,” CEO & Founder John Hoctor says in this interview at the recent Beet Retreat 2018.

Data Plus Math started by building a signal graph that uses advanced data science and automated machine learning techniques to map actual ad exposure data to consumer behaviors.

“There’s been lift reporting and consultants and expensive studies. These studies usually take weeks to do. You usually get them weeks after a campaign is over. We wanted to have fast, low-cost attribution,” Hoctor says.

Going beyond consumer panels, the company prefers to work with “more of a footprint” of TV viewing data from set-top boxes, smart TV’s and streaming. “We have our own impression tracker that gets trafficked along with the creatives and can bring back exposure data from OTT or full-episode players,” Hoctor adds.

“It really helps TV get the full credit. If an advertiser’s trying to drive a certain attitude toward their brand or show that their brand is a fun brand, for instance, Millward Brown’s panel is really good at doing that.”

Describing A&E Networks as “great, forward thinking partners,” Hoctor says Data Plus Math is helping A&E to use attribution “not just as a report card. Attribution sometimes can be seen as you run the campaign and attribution will tell you if it worked.

“What really gets me excited is closing that loop and being able to not just measure whether something worked after it’s over, but measuring it in flight and providing back levers to help optimize for it while the campaign is still in flight.”

This video was produced in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Beet.TV executive retreat. Please find more videos from the series on this page. The Beet Retreat was presented by NCC along with Amobee, Dish Media, Oath and Google.