February 17th, 2014 | Chris Lloyd

TV building “smart profiles” of viewers

TV hopes to build smarter targeting

CMO of DirecTV, Paul Guyardo is a veteran user of big data. You may not think that big data and cable TV are obvious partners… but with 5 million users (10 million eyeballs) moving to services like Netflix and Hulu in the last 5 years, Guyardo knows thinking digitally is an essential part of his advertising strategy moving forward.

Late last year DirecTV rolled out a new voice feature that allows viewers to search for programs by speaking into their mobile phone. Cool right? Well it’s not just a useful consumer feature. The cross-screen technology allows DirecTV to gather additional data points for each user. For example, when dad tells his phone to flip on ESPN, DirecTV can build an accurate profile of what he is watching, when, and from where. By building these accurate behavioral profiles, advertisers can gather more data that allows them to to target their spots more effectively.

A little too NSA for you? Perhaps. However, if the technology does its job and you’re a single male who just happens to watch the Antiques Road show more often than your demographic profile assumes, you may be excited to see that ad announcing they’re visiting your town soon! Now you can dust of Grandma’s china and everybody wins.

The point is, data is becoming a necessary tool, one that is impossible to ignore even beyond its original digital marketing sphere. It’s time to make sure we’re considering it in our plans at every junction, and using what we learn from it to craft more targeted consumer messages.


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