Connected television (CTV) is one of the advertising channels that have seen their adoption accelerate due to the pandemic, attention that should continue as the health crisis drags on and behaviors become permanent. While scale was once a problem, that is no longer the case: by next year there will be more 213 million CTV viewers in the United States streaming over a billion hours of video content each week, according to eMarketer forecasts.
In addition to enabling marketers to reach consumers where they increasingly spend their time, CTV also combines high-quality, long-lasting television environments with the precision targeting capabilities of digital. Improved data opportunities could even help marketers compensate for the loss of third-party cookies and other internet identifiers. Still, fragmentation and measurement issues remain particularly difficult to resolve and without a solution CTV will not be able to fully deliver on its promises, according to several industry executives to Advertising Week.
“The currencies that have been used historically with the shelf have many shortcomings when it comes to connected TV,” said Kristen Williams, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at Magnite, during an ad week panel. “There are a lot of devices that aren’t measurable or devices that might be measurable in some cases don’t depend on the activation path. It creates so much fragmentation and a complex landscape for buyers to navigate.”
People in the industry know that issues like fragmentation and measurement will need to be addressed for the channel to grow, explained Allison Clarke, head of customer development at Vizio. Solving these issues could lead to even more innovation.
“I think we’re going to see a lot more capabilities for interactivity, purchasable content, and truly unique ad units continue to come into play in the market,” Clarke said on a panel.
For years, the effectiveness of rich media and interactive ad formats on CTV has made the channel attractive to marketers. But there is still work to be done for wider adoption of these formats, the executives of digital advertising platform LoopMe explained in an interview with Marketing Dive.
“I think the reality is that it hasn’t been a platform at scale enough for a lot of this,” said Rob Cukierman, general manager of measurement, CTV and product partnerships at LoopMe. Still, these interactive components are likely to be a significant part of CTV due to the investments in chains of tech players like Google and Amazon and consumer interest.
“The level of consumer comfort will increase, and this will allow these advertising experiences to be even better. But they will not be scalable unless they are adopted in the market,” added Rachel, vice-president. president of marketing for LoopMe. Conforti.
“I think we’re going to see a lot more capabilities for interactivity, purchasable content, and truly unique ad units continue to come into play in the market.”
Customer Development Manager, Vizio
The ability to create more interactive ad units that bridge linear and digital capabilities is an opportunity for marketers embracing CTV. Brands can also use CTV as a storytelling environment to connect and align with target audiences, while using multiple creative versions or telling a sequential story to avoid user fatigue, Williams said.
“I think the depth of data we can provide by looking at specific creations gives [marketers] the opportunity to really see what works for them and in which places, ”Clarke added of Vizio’s abilities. “Being able to align them with the right audiences that we know to be tied to a specific genre or programming really allows them to tailor creations specifically to audience.”
But even with CTV’s data-driven capabilities, marketers still need to keep the fundamentals of advertising in mind.
“From a consumer perspective, CTV is television. So while in some cases consumers might expect a lighter ad load in streaming environments, they still expect the same high-quality, creative, and engaging experience with your brand that they would receive in a streaming environment. linear environment, ”she said.
Marketers use CTV for broad reach, precise targeting, and performance, while taking advantage of channel flexibility to optimize mid-campaign and change the way budgets are spent in real time to meet business goals. incrementality, Williams maintained. But while metering in video still relies on audience and demographic exposure data, the industry should have a metric that is better aligned on the buy and sell sides, Joe Cady, senior vice president of strategy and marketing. digital and advanced advertising development at NBCU, said during the panel.
“We should have a much bigger toolbox to work with,” he said. “As we improve this metric together as an industry, I think it allows advertisers to do a lot more cool things in terms of designing their campaign goals and executing them. “
The fragmented nature of CTV which divides audiences across devices, platforms, and services has made it difficult for advertisers to plan campaigns. While YouTube, Roku, and Samsung have scope and frequency tools, each is specific to an inventory, making it difficult to assess and deduplicate audiences, LoopMe executives said.
“Traditionally, you had a reach and frequency tool from an agency powered by Nielsen that could look at all types of places where video was being reached,” Cukierman said. “[Advertisers are now] depending on the vendor’s technology to be able to say “who am I contacting and how does that interact with who else am I contacting elsewhere?” “”
CTV’s fragmentation is here to stay, as major players like Apple, Amazon and YouTube are unlikely to share data, making it difficult for advertisers to decide how to invest and measure results, Conforti told Marketing Dive. .
“They’re all going to have a piece of the pie, and this will be a place where marketers are going to put their dollars, but unless they have a standard measurement tool across all of these platforms, there really isn’t no way for them to say what is redundant, ”she said.
“First-party data is only valuable if you understand the data you have.”
Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Magnite
A third-party view of the entire CTV landscape, in addition to other marketing channels, will be increasingly important as advertisers – especially CPG marketers, who traditionally don’t have first-party data – will lose. access to identifiers such as third-party cookies. Such third-party tools will only make CTV a more powerful advertising channel.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in this data-driven aspect, whether it’s advertisers bringing in their CRM data or other unique first-party audiences,” said Williams of Magnite. “Using audiences really helps reduce wasted advertising dollars and ensure they reach who they are intended for. “
The continued loss of credentials and additional privacy regulations will likely make the advertising ecosystem more complicated and fragmented, but first-party data still has its limits, Williams explained.
“First-party data is only valuable if you understand the data you have and have strategies and technology partners that can help you capitalize on that data,” she said.
The focus on measurement and data can make mastering VCT a technological challenge, but again, the fundamentals of marketing still apply.
“The point to remember is to remember that we don’t communicate with devices – we communicate with people and the public,” said Cady of NBCU. “All of these devices and tools allow us to do this in a more focused and precise way, but it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, the audience is what really matters.”