In an ever growing market of CTV and OTT, it’s become easier for advertisers to get distracted
As we closed out the decade and reflect upon 2019, the transition to Connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) viewing is transforming the TV industry faster than ever. There’s one universal truth — shift happens. The dramatic shift in viewership to streaming shows no signs of abating with eMarketer revising its 2019 US CTV forecast from 190.0 million monthly viewers to 195.1 million.
Moreover, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reports 73% of streamers are now watching ad-supported OTT as more advertisers embrace the medium. eMarketer estimates CTV ad spend will top $10 billion by 2021 and reach $14 billion by 2023. Amid this growth, there’s still significant opportunity to close the gap between CTV/OTT viewership and advertising spend.
For advertisers, reaching target audiences has never been more complicated. Managing and reporting on traditional metrics, like reach and frequency, are anything but simple and straightforward as a constellation of media owners, ad tech companies, and hardware vendors have yet to align on uniform currencies.
As the saying goes: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” In an environment rich with competitors and new entrants, it’s easy for advertisers to get distracted by shiny objects. As such, marketers must do their homework and get back to the fundamentals in an ever-crowded, fast-changing and fragmented marketplace.
As we head into 2020, let’s talk ‘the fundamentals’ to best equip advertisers with the insights to navigate, buy and measure the true value of CTV/OTT advertising:
Leveraging New Audience Targeting Innovations
Addressability in CTV/OTT allows marketers to leverage richer datasets to target audiences by location, income, education level and many other interest categories at scale. However, it’s important to dig deeper to understand the technology capabilities used by providers to connect data for audience targeting, such as: where is the data coming from, how accurate is the viewer profile, and how often is the data refreshed?
New targeting innovations allow advertisers to analyze content and match it to channel, program and ad placement data to better understand what types of viewers are watching each type of programming and what is triggering their purchase decisions.
The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies are also bringing new decisioning capabilities to the table, which allows CTV advertisers to connect rich data sets with CTV device graphs for precision targeting. For instance, some providers have the ability to map households to multiple premium data and platform partners in order to enrich and augment a device profile with corresponding household profiles. This allows for granular targeting across first, second, and third-party data.
Bringing Transparency to Measurement & Attribution
While our industry has yet to bring standardization to CTV/OTT buying and measurement, advertisers expect accountability and transparency. As such, it’s important to ask: What standards are in place for ad delivery and reporting? What types of conversion attribution do you offer?
Today, with CTV/OTT attribution, we can provide the insights to prove the efficacy of campaign performance in driving outcomes, whether its website or in-store footfall traffic. For instance, website attribution measurement can be done through placing a pixel in campaign creative to analyze the IP address correlation of viewers that were served an ad with website visitors who took action after seeing the ad. For footfall attribution, there are third-party vendors that measure the impact of ad exposure to store visits.
As we embark on a new decade, advertisers are quickly becoming more sophisticated in planning, buying and measuring CTV/OTT advertising. The winners will be those that bring transparency, performance and innovation in audience targeting, verification and simplification in buying for advertisers. And as a great sales manager had once said to me, “Johnny V, no matter where we go in this business … it always comes down to ‘the fundamentals’!”