How marketers are tackling TV advertising in the connected age

Connected TV presents a significant marketing opportunity for advertisers moving into 2022 and beyond, with improvements in measurement, technology and format providing new insights and revenue opportunities. 

“Marketers are in the process of reorienting themselves and seeing CTV as a channel that can perform because it’s fundamentally programmatic advertising,” said Ali Haeri, vice president of marketing at MNTN. 

In essence, CTV is merging the high-impact brand presence associated with linear TV and the awareness it brings with the measurable, actionable moments that digital engagement tends to foreground. 

“Now you can do more advanced targeting and actually measure the effectiveness, testing and basing actions on actual data that can be tracked in close to real time. It’s really the marriage of two worlds,”  said Alexa Tierney, senior director of customer success at MNTN.

With privacy concerns around mobile app tracking and the like escalating and limiting the data available to advertisers, new trends that show shifting allocation to CTV are likely to continue. In a recent survey, Digiday and MNTN polled more than 120 marketers working with connected TV in their mix. The following sections highlight some of the findings in the complete report

CTV is no longer just for early adopters

A few years ago, CTV was a still emergent channel, and, at the time, most advertisers were highly focused on linear. While CTV was perceived to pack some promise in terms of targeting and metrics, marketers took a test-and-see approach.

“Looking at the timeline, three or so years ago was the early adopter stage,” said Tierney. “Now, in the past year, CTV in the marketing mix has become something that’s no longer a question of, ‘Should I run CTV?’, but, ‘How and where am I running CTV, and what am I doing with it?’” 

In the new Digiday and MNTN report, 71% of advertisers indicated they saw increased brand awareness from advertising on CTV, while 54% saw increased in-store and online brand engagement, 25% saw higher conversion rates, and 30% saw an increase in repeat customers. 

With this new popularity, some advertisers have moved budgets from linear to CTV (58%), and a significant percentage of those surveyed — 41% —  are taking from social media budgets. 

“Advertisers have hit a point of diminishing returns on social media and paid search, where adding more spend doesn’t result in a significant boost to performance,” said Hooman Javidan-Nejad, director of performance marketing at MNTN. 

Javidan-Nejad added that because social relies heavily on mobile apps and the data gleaned from those faces future limitations, marketers won’t be able to rely on social as deeply as they used to for direct-response type campaigns. This is where CTV comes in. 

“With CTV, these advertisers can spend budget and see incremental growth on top of their usual performance channel strategy,” he added. “Because it gives them the reporting and targeting they’re used to with social media, it can fill a similar role for them. And, they can leverage social video creatives, making some minor adjustments before running them on CTV.” 

CTV allows marketers to jump into dynamic testing and creatives

The availability of in-depth precision targeting allows advertisers to tailor their ads to speak to specific audiences directly and get data back that shows how that audience is reacting to the creative. The constant feedback loop allows advertisers to continue to iterate and improve. 

“These CTV platforms can also be used as a sort of sandbox in the sense of running the TV ad and A/B testing to see which creative they should run on linear TV,” said Haeri. “It’s been interesting to see the platform used to make more informed linear TV media buying decisions in addition to the performance objective.” 

Respondents in the new report also indicated a stronger connection between digital and TV marketing since adopting CTV, as well as more engaging creative formats and precise audience targeting. 

How marketers are future-proofing their CTV campaigns to prepare for 2022 

Three-quarters of respondents in the recent Digiday and MNTN report indicated they are partnering with third-party technology vendors to gain expertise in measuring CTV ad performance, while close to 60% use both outside technology partners and in-house teams.

“Advertisers need to examine a potential CTV partner’s approach to the ad channel,” said Javidan-Nejad at MNTN. “If they see that a potential technology partner is treating CTV similarly to linear, and catering to a linear TV mindset, run — by that, I mean that they are putting a heavy focus on awareness-based metrics, such as reach, impression, counts and the like — well, CTV is able to handle branding and awareness exceedingly well, but that’s only a piece of its real value for brands. Why would you ignore all of its advantages over linear TV by treating them the same?”

In addition to ensuring that a prospective partner understands the differences between linear and CTV, there are additional requirements.  

“A good CTV partner has a platform that’s built to open up the entire spectrum of CTV’s opportunities,” said Javidan-Nejad. “They should offer a suite of audience targeting options, which include access to first- and third-party audiences. They should offer a wide range of objectives and goals that marketers can pin success to, not just awareness-focused goals, but direct-response ones, like return on ad spend and cost per acquisition. 

“And, they need to provide measurements that can track metrics that show how viewers engage with their ads,” he continued. “This includes website visits, conversions and revenue. CTV can help marketers connect the dots and tie actual outcomes to their campaigns, so they need to work with a partner that can open up those opportunities for them.” 

With CTV serving as a huge marketing opportunity in 2022 and beyond, marketing teams are aligning resources around creative development, seeking vendors to facilitate testing and remaining open-minded and patient with CTV performance to ensure their investments pay off in the future.

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