Tag Archives: attribution

IAB’s David Cohen with the Pulse of Digital Media & Marketing



When David Cohen joined the IAB as President, the US was two weeks into stay-at-home mandates. While that may have curtailed in-person conferences the industry association is known for, it upped the focus on all things digital. Not long after, the ante was also upped for Cohen personally when he was named CEO following the 14 year run of Randall Rothenberg. Pressure? Not to hear Cohen, who has helmed major agency divisions and had $20B in media spending under his purview during his days at MAGNA and UM. But pandemic-influenced strategy changes? Definitely.

In support of its mission to “empower the media and marketing industries to thrive in the digital economy” – let alone during a COVID economy — Cohen has “brought an unprecedented number of industry captains into their leadership councils and transformed the timeliness of their strategic initiatives.”

Those words from Rothenberg’s commendation of Cohen on his promotion sparked a song from me. Of course. No one is safe. But that didn’t curtail a compelling conversation about more serious matters, such as Cohen telling me about the advantages that came with adapting to the digital world as early as the 90’s and how he – and the IAB overall – are continuing to innovate with today’s current technologies for marketers. I also put Cohen in the same hot seat he put recent panelists in when moderating a Reach Conference talk himself, asking what he would most like to see fixed in our current digital eco-sphere.

Cohen moderating Reach Conference panel

We also discuss:

  • Cohen’s A-ha! Moment – from the Yellow Pages!
  • The lessons he learned after joining the IAB family that every marketing agency should know
  • “Pulse studies” on changes in consumer consumption trends to media buyers/seller polls
  • The IAB’s Brand Disruption Summit
  • How to navigate through your Brand and Demand goals
  • The shift in how digital engagement is being accomplished
  • How IAB is helping in pushing cross-platform forward
  • Like his friend and recent Insider Interviews guest, Carl Fremont, Cohen has a pro-social personal mission. Hear how he — and ANA’s Bill Tucker — are helping push support of disadvantaged children.

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Understanding TV Ad Targeting – “Precision + Performance” with A+E’s Heftman



These days, every video provider is looking to land ad dollars with a one-two punch of broad but targeted reach for brand awareness, matched with proof of performance — or business outcomes — via addressability or attribution. A+E Networks calls the combo “Precision + Performance.” In this bonus episode of Insider Interviews I thought it was important to get some terminology down for future episodes dealing with the business of television today. So, Ethan Heftman, senior vice president of Precision + Performance took me through the group’s approach to me and also discussed A+E’s first-to-market guarantees to advertisers of some select business outcomes. (The following overview of the conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.)

I asked Heftman for specifics, starting with the way A+E defines attribution. “For us, it’s … tying a media exposure on A+E Networks to a specific business outcome,” he explained. “It’s going beyond simply the discussion of what type of media metric we delivered [like an “impression”] to what type of action or behavior that impression caused. For example, is it fueling a behavior at the top of the funnel — the awareness area — or the middle, the consideration area. Or, is it impacting the bottom of the funnel, a sale or specific outcome type?”

A+E markets its Precision + Performance product as impacting outcomes in each of those three areas, versus just the expected top-of-funnel. Historically, “television hasn’t been properly credited with outcomes in the real action area: driving a web visit, driving a store visit, driving a specific sale,” Heftman said.

Next, Heftman explained A+E’s view of precision and performance. “Precision is our advanced audience targeting tools; that is, through the use of advanced data sets — whether it’s MRI, set-top-box data from an MVPD…, Axiom or Polk data, or first-party data that an advertiser provides us,” he explained. “Performance are the tools that we use to discuss, find, and prove specific outcomes within that purchase funnel. The better job you do of identifying and finding those discreet audience segments, the better job you do of picking dayparts and programs that deliver against them, the better outcomes you will have.”

Sort of like this: If I’m watching Married at First Sight on their Lifetime network — and I’m not saying I do…well maybe I do — A+E is willing to guarantee to the national retailer that advertises in that show and other Lifetime or A+E programming, that by precisely targeting people like me with some fancy data they can show that people like me went into that store or visited the retailer’s site (performance). Guaranteed.

You really should listen to the entire episode for Heftman’s explanations and insights. He also shared the categories that perform well and which platforms A+E can precision target (hint: all) and measure performance across (ditto!): “We’ve always been able to talk about performance outcomes in the digital space, in the OTT space. We believe that the real game-changer is being able to have that conversation in the linear space and then marry that with the existing conversation in digital and over the top.”

A version of this bonus episode of Insider Interviews with E.B. Moss originally posted on MediaVillage 3/5/20.