Connected TV (CTV) is booming. In the UK alone, CTV growth is predicted to reach £220m by 2020, while the rest of the world has seen an astonishing increase of nearly 100 million new CTV sets every year.
Part of the reason for the surge is the changing nature of how many of us watch TV. With younger, increasingly connected generations more likely to cut cords – or never plug themselves into aerial points in the first place – CTV is emerging as an unparalleled opportunity to engage tech-savvy audiences.
Another significant development is that TV is increasingly coming to us, rather than the other way around. Gone are the days of sitting round watching Family Fortunes in front of the box on a Saturday night. TV is becoming more of an individual experience, consumed on a wide range of platforms, in almost any location imaginable – from bus to bath.
Gone, too, are the days of linear ad breaks with their ‘fingers crossed’ approach to targeting. Thanks to the latest technological innovations, TV advertising has been transformed into smart, user-specific content which hits the ultimate trifecta of right person, right place, right time. And it’s working. Our numbers show that adding CTV into an advertising strategy bumps audience reach up by 41%.
With take-up increasing rapidly, there’s no time like the present to get on board. We’ve put together the following recommendations on how best to approach CTV and make the very most of all it has to offer.
Multichannel from day one
CTV is just TV by another name, right? Wrong – in fact, CTV is better off joining display, video, and mobile as the lynchpin of a multichannel digital strategy.
By approaching CTV on its own, advertisers run the risk of scuppering carefully designed digital strategies by maxing out frequency caps and sharing the wrong messages at the wrong time. After spending so much time perfecting a cross-channel digital strategy, brands shouldn’t throw it all away by vexing audiences with an entirely separate, unrelated TV ad campaign (and missing out all their valuable data in the process.) The key to maximising the return on investment that CTV can offer is ensuring it forms part of digital strategy plans right from the get go. Brands might even consider using a tool like The Trade Desk’s AI-driven Media Planner to really get their ducks in a row.
Monitor and modify
There’s a lot to learn from what target audiences are watching on TV – whether it’s their favourite series, what genres they like, or how and when they tune in. That’s why CTV should be a tool for gathering insights as well as just for advertising. After all, the insights gained via CTV are invaluable well beyond CTV itself, and can play a key role in targeting audiences across digital channels.
What’s more, these insights are a key step to building a more meaningful connection with audiences, as advertisers become more in tune with consumers and their individual likes and dislikes. With this in mind, it’s important to focus on building up a relationship with audiences – rather than opportunistic one-off interactions – by approaching them where and when it suits, with content they’re sure to love.
The measure of success
We may not have universal measurement system yet – but with a range of different channels available to CTV users, there’s a wealth of information out there – and there’s no reason why we can’t track the success of CTV campaigns with the metrics that are already available to us.
CTV is a relatively fragmented ecosystem – and this makes measurement somewhat harder – but it also creates a range of different touch points at which to engage with audiences. By working in tandem with broadcasters, brands can use these opportunities to gain the maximum of insights possible and guarantee the success of any subsequent targeting. As ever, the more you put in, the more you get out – so whether it’s device IDs, device graphs, logins, location data or IP addresses, brands should layer as many insights as possible to enable the best possible campaign measurement.
God save the screen!
It’s an exciting time for CTV in the UK. Our love for binge-watching and penchant for shiny Smart TVs means the industry here is already the most advanced in Europe – and it’s continuing to thrive. With so many opportunities within reach right now, it’s high time to reach out and grab them and start reaping the CTV rewards.