Ask Doug Ray about one of his proudest business innovations at Carat, and he’ll immediately answer, The TV Stack. He describes it as a “game-changing” approach to planning TV as it solves a fundamental industry challenge associated with media convergence and rapidly shifting consumer behaviors.
Inspired by mounting evidence of the interconnected and interdependence of media, The TV Stack brings together previously disparate data into a proprietary tool available today in more than 50 markets around the world. The data that underpins audience response curves includes local TV and digital video data, but also—importantly-- YouTube and Facebook data. The latter were critical given the scale of these platforms worldwide and absence of their inclusion in local market tools.
At the time of concept, though, YouTube and Facebook had not leveraged their data to address such a business challenge. “Therefore,” says Doug, “we pioneered a new type of relationship with them, which provided access to these partners’ data in a way that is now much more common in the industry.”
The output of The TV Stack allows Carat teams to illustrate the impact of a client’s media investment across different video platforms. In every case, whether for consumer packaged goods, automotive, entertainment or retails audiences, metrics such as unduplicated reach, awareness, or purchase intent improves (often significantly) and, with greater efficiencies (CPM) and effectiveness (ROI).
“We have trained thousands of employees to leverage this approach and now operate in a fundamentally different way than we did less than two years ago. We also continue to innovate this product, adding search and social data to further exploit the relational impacts between these media for our clients’ benefit.”
Doug Ray emphasizes, “At Carat, we believe innovation is everyone’s job. Whether it is incremental or transformational in nature, innovation must be part of every solution we bring to our clients. However, there is a growing need among clients to leverage disruptive innovation to future-proof their businesses. That’s why we launched the Carat Catalyst group, a multi-disciplined group of communications, content, creative and technology strategists. Working together with clients, we are setting a clear innovative agenda that ensures sustained business growth.”
He adds, “I recently read that 50% of the world’s top 100 advertisers are either not growing or going backwards and 40% of the world’s top 300 companies will no longer exist by the year 2025 (source: World Economic Forum). Given this, marketers have no choice but to innovate. Legacy business models are failing as digital becomes the dominant economy.”