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5 things you should know about CTV advertising

Sam Huston
Sam Huston
CSO of Growth, Americas
4 min read
29 September 2020

In the Accept No Limits: B2C Marketing in 2020, a report based on a 500-CMO survey, just 27% of CMOs listed OTT/CTV as a channel they planned to invest in over the next 12 months. That ranked dead last, after social, search, video, programmatic, affiliate, etc. At the same time, the same CMOs overwhelmingly cited the top of the funnel as their biggest challenge in the purchase journey. Given CTV’s programmatic capabilities and its COVID-accelerated scale, I have to think there’s a big opportunity for CMOs who do invest in CTV to gain a big competitive edge. This is especially true heading into a holiday/election hybrid season when costs across channels are facing tons of inflation, and inflexibility with linear TV buying has been a pain point highlighted by COVID.

With that in mind, here are five things you might not know (but should) about CTV advertising:

1. It’s everywhere

COVID-19 shifted the family entertainment focus off of live sports and outside activities and onto CTV. A Forbes article from June estimates that 80% of homes in the U.S. have at least one connected TV device. That means tons of eyes staring at big screens just waiting for your ad to appear.

2. It’s programmatic. Or direct. (Up to you.)

You have two options for buying CTV ads: direct and programmatic. If you go the direct route, you get guaranteed impressions, targeting options for things like show and genre, and (often) lower CPMs. But programmatic buying is flexible, lets you layer on third-party data, offers massive scale, and typically does a better job of tracking engagement across devices. As more and more consumers were forced to stay home in early 2020 (and, in many places, remain relatively sheltered), they sought more content and found it in ad-supported streaming services like Xumo, Pluto, and Tubi. While these aren’t yet household names, their recent acquisitions by Comcast, Viacom, and Fox, respectively, make it clear just how important they are for engaging the cord-cutting audience.

3. It drives business outcomes

Yes, lots of advertisers still use impressions or GRPs as a KPI, but CTV (especially programmatic CTV) can lead to real, measurable growth of your business; a recent case study of ours showed that exposure to programmatic CTV resulted in a 9.8% lift in revenue with a 95% confidence interval.

4. It doesn’t stop on the screen

Cross-device targeting allows advertisers to retarget those who were exposed to CTV ads, adding a performance layer to an upper-funnel initiative. For instance, we recently incorporated a CTV retargeting approach to a pure CTV buy and drove a 2X increase in attributed conversions by reaching viewers across their devices.

5. It enables robust measurement

Unlike linear TV, CTV opens the doors to an array of measurement strategies to understand the full value of a campaign. Pixel-based tracking, brand lift studies, matched market testing, and multi-touch attribution are all viable options for measuring CTV campaigns. In other words, when you run CTV ads, you can measure their impact on brand sentiment and awareness and “true” ROI and analyze how CTV interacts with other advertising channels.

Learn more about out connected TV (CTV) services


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CSO of Growth, Americas

Sam Huston