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3 Unique Approaches to CTV Buying with Industry Insights from The Trade Desk
June 17, 2020
Welcome to the new era of television.
All eyes have been on CTV these days as consumers are streaming more than ever before. It’s a win-win for both advertisers and consumers as CTV places additional controls in the hands of both players. Unlike traditional TV, CTV has advanced targeting capabilities and measurement tools that enable advertisers to see performance trends and optimize based on what content is influencing consumers.
Whether you already offer CTV to clients or are just researching tactics, we recommend the following three approaches to incorporating CTV into your marketing strategies with industry considerations from The Trade Desk’s Director of TV, Walker Linares.
1. CTV as an extension to linear TV – Television remains king, especially as consumer behavior changes during the pandemic. In 2020, it’s not that TV consumption itself has changed, just the ways users access it. As we discuss in our latest whitepaper, time watching television programming is actually increasing overall, but consumers want to control when and where they watch content, which is why they’re turning to streaming services. In fact, for millennials and Gen Z, over 74% are planning to, or have already cut the cord.
Broadcasters are also moving more of their content to streaming which means brands seeking awareness at scale can no longer just play in the linear TV space. Even movie studios are now releasing new films straight to digital streaming formats. CTV has become a new staple to any reach play and now is the time to test this tactic with eMarketer predicting a 23% increase in time spent watching subscription and streaming services this year.
Industry Considerations: Legacy CPG brands should pay especially close attention to this trend. While many are nascent to change (and sales are likely strong during the pandemic, giving even less incentive to change), they could be eclipsed by challenger brands that lean more heavily into CTV and other emerging channels. Our advice isn’t to cut out linear TV completely, but to execute a broader ‘video everywhere’ strategy, that incorporates linear alongside connected, YouTube and programmatic video. The addressability of digital video (including CTV) allows CPG brands to get smart about targeting and customer data. The brands that lean into quickly changing consumer habits, from grocery delivery to media consumption changes, will have a leg up in this environment. CPMs on CTV are up to 30% lower during stay-at-home orders; this is the time to get in! Zig when the others zag.
2. CTV as a part of an AI-based strategy – Digital and omni-channel buying has ripped down the silos. Facebook, Google and Amazon are major exceptions of course, and those should be part of a mature digital marketing strategy. But those platforms aren’t the only way. At Coegi, we take full advantage of an audience-first, omni-channel approach that incorporates display, native, audio, video and connected TV together, with one set of goals and one powerful algorithm to optimize it all at once. Artificial intelligence engines like TTD’s KOA product allow our advertisers to take advantage of auto-optimization of audience segments, cross-device attribution and predictive clearing prices. The ability to apply these robust optimizations across so many digital channels is very powerful for advertisers.
Industry Considerations: DTC brands should strongly consider this AI-based approach. For years, DTC focused squarely on social and paid search to drive users quickly down the sales funnel. When growth from those channels plateau, these brands often look to mass media to drive the awareness that social and search struggle to generate. When they get to this stage in their growth cycle, this is a great opportunity to lean into an omni-channel, AI based media strategy. As opposed to investing in traditional media bought on index, brands can transfer many of the learnings from their initial social and search campaigns and apply them in an omni-channel environment, allowing for more data-driven optimization from the start.
3. CTV as part of an advanced measurement strategy – adjacent to the point above, advertisers will find more success when connected TV impressions can be optimized to metrics that actually correlate with business success. Instead of focusing on GRP efficiencies, CTV campaigns can be optimized towards ROAS, brand lift or offline attributed sales.
Industry Considerations: One vertical that benefits from an advanced measurement approach is quick-serve restaurants. QSR brands should all consider foot traffic as a key metric for optimization. Linear TV only allows them to buy against age and demo, but connected TV allows for impressions to be optimized towards the specific attributes of customers that actually visit their store. They can onboard POS data as well to focus impressions on frequent purchasers, with differentiated messaging. By focusing optimization outside of the click stream, QSR brands can better identify who their best customers are, and what channels and messages influence them to purchase.
Author: Ryan Green, Coegi VP of Client Strategy