Guest Author: Keelia Schumacher, Senior Director of Sales, Data Axle
As we head into 2022, it’s expected that 60% of American consumers will be watching CTV. The trend began in 2020, we saw Connected TV (CTV) usage skyrocket to 3B+ hours per week. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, CTV use was growing – but the pandemic pushed it into overdrive. In January 2021, eMarketer reported that U.S. programmatic CTV video ad spend rose by 36.3%, reaching $4.36 billion. Advertisers are recognizing the opportunity in this growing space and are adjusting their business plans to capitalize on it.
And not only is the audience for CTV on the rise, but the death of the third-party cookie is looming. CTV is one of the few digital channels that are mostly immune to its demise. CTV thrives on first-party data, based on user-authentication and respect for privacy preferences. Pseudonymous identifiers, such as IP addresses, are rooted in this type of user authentication and will offer a way to keep track of viewers while still respecting their privacy.
1. Set campaign goals and KPIs before launching your CTV campaign
CTV gives advertisers plenty of data by which to measure the success of their campaigns. Metrics such as video completion rate (VCR), unique households reached, cost per unique household, after-ad influence, and offline conversion tracking are all available. However, because this is such a new medium there is no industry standard to compare to. This leaves the door open for advertisers to define what success looks like and which KPIs are important to their business goals. KORTX reports that marketers have come to expect VCR percentages of 95%+ for CTV campaigns. However, depending on what you want to accomplish, VCR might be less important than after-ad influence or cost per completed view (CPCV). Before launching your campaign, decide what your goals are for the campaign and which metrics are important to you. This will give you a better roadmap for determining if your campaign was successful and how to proceed to best maximize the potential of this channel down the road.
2. Create (and segment) custom audiences
One of the major benefits of CTV as opposed to other channels is that it allows for extremely precise targeting. This feature is what prompted Forbes to describe CTV as the “holy grail” for advertisers1. The primary objective of a custom audience is to allow brands to create and target their ideal customers. When you have a custom audience defined by third-party data, you can use that to create an accurate look-a-like model.
Look-alike models allow you to:
- Identify your existing best customers
- Employ advanced statistical analysis and custom modeling to identify prospect households who “look like” your best customers
- Reach these “best” prospects through a cross-channel media strategy designed to engage and convert these prospects to customers
Once you have your look-alike model, you can create custom audiences on CTV. This will enable you to reach the audience that is most likely to convert.
From there you should segment the model. Segmentation is effective because it allows your ads to be delivered to an audience that would find them relevant. You can invest in pre-packaged audience segments based on demographics, transactional history, interests, recently moved individuals, and political affiliation or you can build a custom audience off your look-a-like model. For example, a cookware retailer can use their CTV ad to target an audience with a higher projected interest in cooking, such as hobbyists, mothers, college-educated men, and newly engaged couples who are building registries.
3. Use data to improve online and offline identity resolution to improve audience targeting
As a whole, the industry is behind when it comes to integrating online and offline data, in addition to identity resolution. In general, Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) – the systems that allow digital advertising buyers to manage multiple ad exchanges – have a hard time reconciling mobile, desktop, and CTV users. To advertise more effectively, you need additional data. Data providers, such as Data Axle, can help match offline and online data by appending information to your first-party records. This approach will improve targeting, amplify your campaign reach, and significantly improve onboarding rates. James Purtle, Senior Director of Digital Marketing at Data Axle, says, “Clients that leverage Data Axle data to enhance offline audiences before onboarding have seen as much as a 60% increase in match rates, resulting in more targetable ads.”
4. Integrate CTV into your omnichannel campaigns
A coordinated, well-planned omnichannel campaign is a sure-fire path to success – and CTV can be a powerful tool in bringing an omnichannel strategy to fruition. Richard Geiger, Senior Vice President at Data Axle, said, “We also know from industry surveys, match-back studies, lots of testing, and attribution work that it takes more than one touch and more than one channel to keep donors continuously engaged.” He continued, “I recommend touching potential donors 7-12 times to maximize donation opportunities. A data-driven retention approach utilizes channel, offer, and message in concert with one another, so it’s important to keep that in mind as you start to explore an omnichannel strategy.”
For example, Data Axle recently assisted Defenders of Wildlife with integrating CTV into their omnichannel strategy. Defenders wanted the CTV campaign to be used in conjunction with digital ads to raise brand awareness, engage prospective donors, and boost fundraising for Q4, 2020. Using Data Axle’s donor database, Apogee, and custom modeling, we created an audience of potential donors who were likely to give online. To target them, we deployed a CTV ad to drive brand awareness and a display retargeting ad with similar creative and messaging. Both campaigns drove the audience to the Defenders’ website. The campaign generated an ROI of over 600% and the CTV ads had a Video Completion Rate (VCR) of 94% – which means that 94% of viewers watched the entire commercial.
CTV usage is only going to continue to grow as consumers shift their attention to streaming services, and others opt to ‘cut the cord’ altogether. Savvy companies should shore up their data now to take advantage of the opportunity in this buzz-worthy channel.
Contact Data Axle to start down the path to creating your own customer audience and take advantage of the advanced targeting CTV has to offer.
With over 13 years of experience, Keelia has a deep knowledge of client challenges, is passionate about customizing solutions to best fit their needs and helping them exceed their business goals. She is an expert in location analytics, ad tech, and digital marketing.