Addressability is the concept at the centre of media change. Addressability is a binary characteristic of a media channel. Can a message be delivered to a known individual or household and does that individual or household have the opportunity to respond or interact with that message in a way that allows them to be identified?
Addressability thus far is limited by and large to the web and is manifested by myriad targeting options created by the level of cookie level data which simply does not exist in print, radio or television.
The value premium of addressability is realised in three ways:
- The abililty to eliminate wastage from media targeting
- The ability to (quasi) customize message based on the actual, declared, or inferred behavior of the recipient
- The ability to close the response loop
It is these three factors together that make the prospect of addressable television tantalising to brands, content owners and infrastructure owners and why the Project Canoe initiative in US cable is so important. What Canoe will do is allow advertisers to buy inventory at the set top box level. In boxes enabled by an inference technology such as Invidi they will be able to get closer still to the individual.
As and when advertising can be delivered this precicisely in the wrapper of high quality content and with a return path that captures intent and interaction many of the mediums current shortcomings in terms of the value exchange between advertiser and consumer become at least partially resolved.
A great step for sure but not a cure all. Consumers will continue avoiding ads and will continue their slow drift away from television to other forms of entertainment and entertainment delivery. However the growth in those areas will offset the decline elsewhere and present a rich portfolio of reach and engagement opportunities for brands to reach those that they really want to.