Reaching Your Audience with Connected TV

Posted on November 5th, 2019 by Mary Caitlyn Polovich

Connected TV (CTV) is predicted to have an adspend of $7 billion by the end of 2019, and will only keep growing  — forecasted to reach $14 billion by 2023. YouTube, Hulu, and Roku, currently make up about 70% of the total adspend, the other 20% is made up by streaming video services run by TV networks. Despite these incredible numbers, there is still some caution around the idea of CTV ads because of the challenges that present themselves when gauging impact… So how should you approach CTV advertising? 

The first step in approaching CTV advertising is with the understanding that the process of purchasing doesn’t need to be (and won’t be) the same as linear TV. Media buyers are accustomed to purchasing for specific networks and dayparts, but that is not usually an option with CTV  — and that’s okay. 

“The beauty of media in 2019 is that it is (or should be) audience first. This means that we are less concerned about the exact daypart and program an ad ran in, and more concerned about if we reached the correct target audience,”  True Media Associate Media Director Elizabeth Van Kort explained. “The wonderful thing about CTV is that we aren’t held to the same constraints of “how we’ve always done it” and can instead focus on the most effective and efficient way to ensure our client’s ads are served to their target audience.”

Measurement on CTV ads to date has certainly been one of the main limitations of this emerging channel. eMarketer reports that in a March 2019 poll of 350 US marketers, 27% of respondents said that inadequate campaign measurement was a top obstacle that prevented them from investing more in over-the-top (OTT) video ads. 

CTV can report with the same level of data as TV, but that leaves digital marketers hungry for much more. Currently CPM’s and completion rates are the main indicators for effectiveness, but there have been recent advancements in CTV measurement. Specifically Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) data, which allows marketers to have a 1-1 linking between a CTV and online user. This allows for true cross-device attribution, and while the scope of this is still limited, it is growing as the adoption of smart TVs increases. 

“For those who use eligible Smart TVs and have opted in to the ACR data, we have a full view of attribution across TV, mobile, desktop, and tablets. This allows us to see a user’s full journey across these devices and how the channels work together to convert a user. Understanding path to conversion is key to developing an accurate attribution model,”  Van Kort said.

Another issue that comes up regularly with CTV is ad fraud. The demand for CTV inventory is high and the supply can be limited — creating an opportunity for advertisers to be tricked into buying inventory that doesn’t exist. This unfortunate reality means working with the right people is even more important. At True Media we partner with Coegi, who has a 3rd party verified fraud rate under 2% and actively work to combat fraud and deliver the highest quality programmatic inventory day in and day out. 

“CTV is definitely still a viable channel for many of our clients. There are safety measures in place to prevent fraud — we should never shy away from a channel altogether, but rather figure out what we can do to mitigate these issues,” True Media Senior Digital Media Strategist Catherine Westhoff stated.