CTV has changed the marketing game, bringing brand and performance together

The lead image shows an illustration of a TV connected to a WiFi symbol and an eyeball.

Between the shift to digital-first marketing and the addition of many new tools and platforms, marketing teams and the way they approach TV advertising has changed — and will continue to change in the near future. 

“The brand team is usually looking for the lowest CPM and the performance team is looking for the highest ROAS,” said Ali Haeri, vice president of marketing at MNTN. “This is seemingly two different ends of the spectrum,” but the emergence of CTV is prompting each marketing team to address campaign outcomes in ways they weren’t able to before. 

With many performance marketers dipping their toes — or diving — into the CTV space, the new environment and the addition of performance capabilities to what was once purely a brand awareness space is leading to a shift in the way brand marketers approach TV advertising. Not only that, it’s helping to bridge the gap between performance and brand teams and changing how the two work together.

With CTV, brand and performance marketers are finding each other on the same channel

Brand advertisers are usually good at adapting campaigns to generate value from different forms of media, such as billboards, linear TV commercials and more, but their approach to digital channels generally consists of one strategy serving all digital campaigns. Rather than seeing CTV as a unique space, brand marketers have commonly viewed it as just another digital channel and tend to repurpose ads they’ve already run on other digital video channels, such as social media platforms. 

“It sometimes lacks the same ingenuity that’s seen with their non-digital advertising,” said Haeri at MNTN, talking about campaign approaches to the CTV channel. “A lot of brand marketers are not utilizing it to inspire people in the same way they did before with linear TV, where they had a captive audience, experiencing some sort of long-form messages that only the TV could deliver.” 

However, CTV now allows brands to deliver much more information in a more precise manner than ever before. Meanwhile, performance marketers, it turns out, are putting the focus on the outcome of a campaign and then working backward to identify the best inventory for their goals. This includes leveraging ad tech that automatically optimizes CTV campaign bids and ad placements based on the desired outcomes, such as site visits or ROAS. This allows performance teams to lean into ROAS rather than CPM. In the process, they generally secure more premium inventory — which is better for the brand and the campaign overall. Furthermore, the performance team has come to understand CTV as a channel in which they can target specific segments and measure the actions tied to the campaign via site visits and sales. Therefore the performance teams want in — and so, together, performance and brand teams are revising their whole approach to the environment. 

How brand marketers and performance teams are collaborating for advertiser success

With CTV’s growing popularity, brand and performance teams are connecting and syncing up more, sharing insights to help each team succeed. 

“What helps is pulling the brand marketers in the direction of the performance marketers,” said Haeri. “It’s not that one is better than the other, but really what’s important is educating the brand marketers to really value data and measurability. The performance marketers perhaps are a bit too platform-agnostic and too obsessed with the end result and analyzing results, but there’s still some value in having brand marketers take a little of that sensibility to understand what exactly can be measured.” 

With the two teams working on the same channel, there are emerging opportunities for each — a traditional aspect that appeals to brand marketers and the ability to track each step of the process in a way that’s familiar to performance teams. 

Haeri provided an example of how he’s seen these two teams work together on their TV advertising campaigns to get great results and work on understanding each other more.

“One of the largest financial services companies in the country, their performance team, started working with us, and their brand team noticed that the performance team was using TV, which they hadn’t before,” he said. “That piqued the interest of the brand team, who loved the fact that they could measure something like visit rate — because in the past, with linear TV campaigns, there was no assurance that someone who saw the ad would use the URL customized for that campaign. We’re in a place where we’ve scaled up with this client considerably and now half of the budget we get is actually from the branding team.” 

CTV is serving to further bridge the gap between the digital and non-digital channels with which brand marketers are familiar. It’s helping them diversify their digital campaigns rather than simply repurposing content. And, in working with performance teams, brand marketers are ingesting valuable data from a source they did not have at their disposal in decades prior. In turn, performance marketers are able to leverage a new channel that is providing them with significant engagement and returns. For brand and performance, CTV has become the win-win story of the modern television advertising age.


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