4C, a global data science and marketing technology company, announced that it has been featured as a Representative Vendor in Gartner’s new Market Guide For Integrated Media Planning Tools1. Gartner estimates that there are at least 50 vendors in this market. From 4C’s perspective, being selected for this report underscores its emergence over the past decade as a leading innovator in cross-channel marketing software.
Gartner’s report outlines the challenges that exist for brands operating in today’s multimedia world: “Advertisers face a dynamic media environment that seems to be in a state of perpetual flux. Audiences coalesce rapidly around new platforms, from streaming video to social. Outmoded publishers find themselves with eroding, aging audiences, and often archaic advertising workflows.” And the report comes at a time when “vendor innovation and market demand are coalescing around integrated video ad planning across TV, over-the-top (OTT) streaming, social and other digital video formats.”
“We think that the challenges identified by Gartner are precisely the issues that Scope by 4C was built to solve,” said Aaron Goldman, CMO at 4C Insights. “We believe strongly that advertisers should be able to plan, buy, and measure media particularly video the way that consumers consume it, which is seamlessly across an ever-growing field of closed ecosystems.”
Gartner’s report found three key characteristics of an integrated media planning tool:
- A self-serve user interface. Commercial software tools should provide a stand-alone user interface, not just consulting services or tools designed for seasoned professional media planners.
- An independent, stand-alone model. For good reason, buyers prefer planning tools that are not beholden to any particular ad seller or available only through a particular agency.
- Reference data. To plan, it helps to know what media is for sale what ad inventory and audience data can be purchased, at what price, and on what terms?
4C believes its Scope platform delivers on all of these criteria, while also showcasing other characteristics identified as important for planning, buying, and measurement in the new cross-channel age. Gartner’s report states that media planning software tools offer a range of functionality including:
- Audience definition. These features load, integrate, access and manipulate (e.g., segment) audience data. Data inputs may include big data sources, like TV viewing data from a set-top box or smart TV, panel data, and granular household-, person- or device-level data from third parties or internal sources. Potential reach, frequency, and overlap may be calculated. Audiences may be denominated in households, people, device or other digital IDs.
- Workflow. Process management and flowchart functionality manage the routing of tasks and deliverables for budget, creative, and audience approvals and authorizations. Tools may facilitate workflow across internal and external (e.g., agency) users, and support audit trails.
- Reporting and analytics. Scheduled and ad hoc reporting capabilities range from simple tables to sophisticated visualizations and ad hoc query interfaces. Report content may include financial metrics, plan KPIs, media rankers and audience profiles. Shared and private dashboard views may be available.
4C was recently named a leader in “The Forrester New Wave: Cross-Channel Video Advertising Platforms, Q3 2019.” The report stated that 4C “leads the pack with extensive linear and OTT/CTV inventory” and “is the best fit for companies that need a pure self-service tool.” Pluses identified by Forrester include “a strong identity graph, sophisticated data science, and additional TV data from Inscape, Nielsen, and others.”