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  • Steve Poulin

Do you need an optimizer for your local TV advertising?


TV buyers pride themselves on their ability to create buys for their brands that deliver value and efficiency. As well they should, buyers know their clients inside and out. They know their brand’s subtle needs, their clients’ preferences, likes and dislikes. They also know what will get them a nasty phone call should it show up on a schedule.


For these reasons many buyers are reluctant to use an optimizer to help them create their buys. They believe that optimizers can’t possibly take into consideration all the nuances that buyers require in a schedule. Whatever the optimizer spits out will have to be redone, or so the thinking goes. Adding to this notion is the idea that a “hand crafted” schedule will provide more value while still delivering the most efficiency. Many buyers have tested optimizer tools only to have these notions affirmed.


To these buyers I say, you have been testing the wrong optimizer.


It’s true that most optimizers in the TV space have not been designed to allow the buyers to input ALL of their client’s needs directly into the buy spec. Most TV optimizers (particularly in the local space) are designed to deliver the lowest CPM within a certain daypart and budget parameters with maybe a few guardrails thrown in.


If their clients are like 99.99% of all advertisers, buyers will be expected to do much more than deliver the buy on budget. They expect a certain average rating, an audience skew that looks more like their target than a generic W18-49, programming environments conducive to brand acceptance, participation in premium programming. They expect that buyers will use their third-party data insights to stockpile particular programs and genres. They expect buyers will know just when enough spots become too many. They may even be expected to buy spots in the show their clients watch at the gym. The list is practically endless. The result: buyers are understandably skeptical that a machine can help them.


To those buyers I say, ProVantageX has just the optimizer for you.


The PVX approach to local is to put buyers’ and clients’ needs front-and-center in the process. PVX empowers buyers to create buy blueprints that will establish the campaign they want from the very first step. Every nuance, every guideline, every preference, every metric will be programmed in as part of the buy automation. An architect doesn’t need to lay every brick to create a beautiful building. The same goes in media. Every buyer should be able to express their craftsmanship and ingenuity at the highest level, not by selecting individual units but rather, by designing the perfect schedule from the start.


It’s with this philosophy at our core that we built PVX. Our state-of-the-art pre-buy and execution tools provide the palette for the buyer to add the color and tone and personality to the buy right from the beginning. PVX will help them gather and assemble the inventory they need quickly. PVX provides tools that help analyze scenarios in such a way that value and cost are accurately measured and considered. With our platform doing the heavy lifting on the technical front, we can elevate the buyer above the fray of the schedule building grind and return the focus back to their expertise.


So, back to the central question: will you really need an optimizer to execute your buy? Sure, a buyer can execute a mid-market buy with four viable stations in an afternoon. PVX can build that buy in seconds. A buyer may believe, “Okay, PVX can get me out of the office a little earlier, but do I really NEED it?”


The truth is that the only way you can be sure that you have the best schedule is to look at a wide range of scenarios and trade-offs. PVX can create more scenarios for a campaign during a lunch break than a buyer can create in a year and it will select the best unit to serve a specific desired outcome that the buyers seeks. The question is not: “Will this unit satisfy my needs?” The question is: “is this the BEST unit to satisfy my needs in relation to all the other units available?” Even if they only need to select 10 units out of 100 available, you have over a trillion different possible schedule combinations. Many of those schedules would be pretty similar, but only one is optimal for their needs. In today’s media world, every dollar matters. As I used to say to young buyers who poo-pooed a misspent thousand dollars, “Do you realize how may tubes of toothpaste our client has to sell to earn a thousand dollars for their ad budget?” PVX can help you create the optimum schedule for each scenario and serve them up to you to decide whether or not that extra thousand dollars is worth the cost.


Combining value and efficiency technology is what we do at PVX, understanding the balance of value vs efficiency is what PVX buyers do. That can only happen by using the right optimizer.