All About ACR Data: Your TV Campaign’s Missing Ingredient

Marketers today have access to more data than ever before — generated from so many sources — that can be used to power their advertising campaigns. One lesser-known category of data making its way to the forefront of healthcare marketing is ACR television viewer data, which is now being used to address some of the unique challenges that are specific to pharma TV advertising.

For years now, pharma brands have been some of the biggest investors in TV advertising. Given the shifts we’ve seen over the last two years, the TV advertising landscape is far from what it used to be. With the overall decline in linear TV viewing and the unprecedented explosion of free and ad-supported players in the streaming space, connected TV has emerged as an effective alternative for delivering one-to-one targeted TV advertising messages to qualified patient audiences.

As more advertisers continue to incorporate CTV advertising as a complement to their linear campaigns, the industry has identified a need for measurement, tracking, and reporting. While we still have a ways to go in terms of defining an industry-standard approach, ACR data is the missing ingredient that can provide the insights needed to improve your campaign reach and frequency.

What is ACR data?

The ACR acronym stands for automatic content recognition, which is a type of technology built into smart TVs that identifies what content is being viewed (e.g., TV shows and ads) using both the TV’s linear TV function as well as its smart TV applications. In the old days, research companies would have tiny panels that would provide viewership information, and sometimes even rely on surveys, to identify if an ad was viewed. This was better than nothing, but technology today affords us much greater accuracy and granularity.

Enter ACR data. The reason why it’s considered such groundbreaking technology is its ability to show researchers details that weren’t available before. We now live in a world where we can know the exact frequency at which an ad was viewed by an individual and which channels and apps it was viewed on. And this can all be matched on a one-to-one basis to transaction data, or in the case of pharma, anonymized claims data. This allows marketing scientists to quantify campaign performance for both linear and CTV media buys.

ACR data can help marketing scientists finally have a single source of truth about how many times households are reached across linear TV, CTV, and other digital media.

Why does it matter to pharma marketers?

ACR data is the missing link between linear TV and the digital world. It essentially crosses the digital divide and offers the best complete view of ad exposure across both linear TV and CTV. In the hands of a savvy marketer, it can identify areas where CTV can reach audiences that linear TV does not (and vice versa). This comes in especially handy for pharma marketers looking to target clinically relevant audiences on both platforms, enabling them to adjust their targeting based on the insights from that complete view.

When it comes to campaign measurement and optimization, ACR data helps marketers quantify the degree to which a campaign reached a defined patient audience and assess the overall impact of the campaign on key metrics like audience quality and script performance using the same methodology as the digital portion of the campaign.

In a recent analysis of ACR data across three different pharma campaigns run on our platform, we found that CTV delivers up to four times the audience quality of linear TV, and it converts at a rate of up to five times that of linear.

Only once linear TV measurement is measured exactly as CTV and other digital placements can a marketer compare the results, optimize media dollars between these channels, and maximize the positive health outcomes of each campaign.

To learn how ACR data can improve the reach and frequency of healthcare CTV campaigns, download our latest whitepaper.

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