egtabite 322: Bell Media’s SAM platform measures the drive-to-web effect of TV campaigns


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Background information

In this week’s egtabite, we take a look at Bell Media’s Strategic Audience Management (SAM) data-driven ad targeting tool. The Canadian media company introduced SAM, the Strategic Audience Management platform, in 2019 to help advertisers and agencies address specific audiences to deliver more targeted media campaigns. It has since been improved and updated, adding more granularity to the ad buying process.

Powered by Bell, Canada’s largest communications company, SAM helps marketers and advertisers identify, understand and connect with the right audiences on the right platforms – from TV to digital to out-of-home. Bell Media regularly uses its proprietary data to build segments that are based on current trends in order to target various groups of consumers and their behaviours.  For advertisers, tailor-made and precisely targeted segments can be created across Bell Media’s national English entertainment network with other channels, such as TSN, RDS and French-language specialty channels coming soon to the platform.

First-of-its-kind attribution in linear TV

Recently, Bell Media launched attribution for linear TV – a first in Canada.  SAM’s attribution feature shows the drive-to-web performance of TV campaigns by comparing the online behaviour of consumers exposed to TV advertising vs. those not exposed. With attribution, SAM is establishing a direct cause-to-effect relationship (lift) between advertising and consumer response.

Mark Finney, VP of Strategic Sales at Bell Media, points out that the attribution option is one of the advantages of being a vertically integrated company, with access to data on both TV viewing and web traffic. “We are able to isolate the households in which ads have been delivered – all aggregated and anonymised – and look at how those ads affected web traffic from those households,” he says.

Ready. Aim. SAM.

SAM looks at both household and behavioural data and then includes TV viewing data to determine high-indexing TV audiences across Bell Media’s networks and programs. The inventory is sold on a first-come, first-serve basis with a minimum period of 2 weeks in advance. SAM has a large variety of audience segments to choose from, including:

  • Pre-built: A selection of 70 consumer segments across all major categories, ready to be used on TV, digital and Astral (the out-of-home platform), based on actual consumer digital behaviour
  • Build your own: A selection of hundreds of data options to choose from to craft a unique custom-made segment which has precision and scale
  • Bring your own data: Allows for even more precise targeting by building segments in SAM using advertisers CRM data
  • Industry: A group of popular segments which can also be used on other broadcasters’ platforms
  • Numeris: Audience options built with data from Numeris, the Canadian broadcast measurement and consumer behaviour data company, to target Numeris segments more efficiently

Future platform for all kinds of campaigns

Since its launch in 2019, SAM has gone through significant updates, and Bell Media continues to make improvements to its customer experience as well as targeting and measurement capabilities.

SAM is not only a tool for targeted ads, but in fact all campaigns. “The future vision of SAM is to see it as a powerful buying platform with a client-friendly user interface.  The ability to track tangible performance of a TV campaign is a game changer in the Canadian media marketplace” said Darryl Coburn, VP of National Sales for Bell Media.