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How an Award-Winning Data-Driven TV Strategy Drove Sales Success for Applegate

In recent years, the CPG industry has been met with a variety of challenges. From lingering supply chain issues to rising costs associated with inflation to competition among emerging brands, to changing consumer preferences.  

Recent research from McKinsey & Company indicated that several key trends are top of mind for consumers: 

  • 45% of consumers plan to find more ways to save money when shopping  
  • 29% of consumers will actively research the best promotions more frequently 
  • 40% of consumers plan to increase their focus on healthy eating and nutrition 

As a result of these industry-wide changes, CPG companies are seeking ways to stand out from the crowd and rethinking their marketing strategy to reach shoppers at critical points on the path to purchase. Among the innovative ways to reach shoppers, Connected TV (CTV) has emerged as an invaluable tool.  

Applegate’s Challenge 

Over the past two years, Applegate’s diverse range of products has steadily generated increased sales. For this campaign, Applegate was looking for a way to efficiently continue to acquire new buyers, bring back lapsed buyers, and defend loyal customers – all while driving cross-category purchases across their entire portfolio.

Goals  
• Increase customer acquisition  
• Boost customer loyalty  
• Lift sales and dollars spent per customer  
• Improve campaign efficiency

To boost sales, Applegate would need to find a creative way to reach and engage these customers. 

The Solution 

By partnering with Cadent and Catalina, Applegate was able to implement a targeted and cost-effective CTV campaign.  

The Plan 

Together, Cadent and Catalina developed a sequential messaging strategy to deliver household-level targeted CTV ads to 4.2MM existing and new shoppers. By monitoring consumption and purchase behavior in real time, they were able to activate a responsive marketing approach to promotions.  

Shoppers who were exposed to 3 CTV ads but did not make a purchase received an in-store offer to try the new Applegate product. On the other hand, shoppers who were exposed to the ads but did make a purchase did not receive the initial offer and were instead delivered a promotion to try other products, with the aim of expanding these customers’ share of wallet.  

The Results 

Through CTV ad impressions and in-store sequential offers, the campaign generated a significant return on ad spend (ROAS) and sales lift, as well as providing Applegate with powerful buyer insights.  

By The Numbers
• $2.13 Incremental ROAS 
• 24.9% Sales Lift42% Increase in Dollars Spent Per Transaction$250,000 in Savings through Targeted Promotions

This strategic activation drove a 24.9% lift in sales and a 42% increase in dollars spent by customers per shopping trip. The campaign also resulted in an impressive $250k in promotional savings.   

Recently, the campaign earned the 2022 AdExchanger Award for Best Data-Driven TV Campaign. 

Next Steps 

Want to learn more about how Cadent and Catalina partnered for Applegate’s CTV and responsive marketing campaign?  

Can Your Political TV Strategy Keep Up?

In the last few years, political TV ad spending has evolved from a bi-yearly, planned event into an “always on,” fluid medium. The pace of news, events, and stories has made buyers and sellers need to adapt to speed and data.   

The role of television has also changed in recent years. Traditionally, television was used as a tool for efficient reach, used to implement persuasion and awareness tactics. More precise tactics, such as the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) initiative, were left to channels with greater targeting capabilities, as party-driven campaigns would not want to remind the opposite party to vote. This left the target and GOTV efforts in channels such as digital, social, mobile, and direct mail.   

As the technology supporting TV advertising has become more automated and data-driven, TV’s role in the political ecosystem has begun to change rapidly. Sophisticated campaigns, issue advocates, and PACs can now deploy TV with the same speed and accuracy as digital targeting.   

“We just saw streaming officially surpass cable as the most popular way to consume TV content,“ said Mike Schneider, a Partner at Bully Pulpit Interactive. “But treating CTV like a ‘set it and forget it’ extension of a traditional linear TV buy misses the potential impact. It needs to be targeted, optimized, and measured for impact.” 

The lines between linear TV, addressable TV, OTT/CTV, and digital and mobile continue to blur for buyers and sellers, as much as they have for consumers. But the strategy remains the same – how do I engage my core supporters and how do I reach persuadable voters?   

“Political advertisers value hyperlocal marketing strategies, which is what OTT can provide. And with NBC Spot On, political advertisers have access to premium local OTT inventory, including Peacock, enabling clients’ targeted messaging to reach the right voter, at the right time, in a fully engaged and pristine environment” notes Patrick Notley, SVP of Sales, NBCUniversal Local.

Marketers can now use the same data from their digital activations to inform their TV spend in those premium OTT environments. Campaign first-party data, third-party voter registration files, and issue advocacy data can be activated in the TV space as quickly and seamlessly as digital and traditional channels. Speed to market for TV is now measured in hours – not days or weeks.   

The question then becomes, can your media sales organization keep up with the needs of the buyers?  And can your campaign keep up with your opponents? Be as precisely targeted and quickly activated as your digital efforts for your political TV advertising with Cadent Aperture Platform. 

Reach out to learn more Cadent Aperture Platform for publishers.  

3 Things You Must Know Before Investing in CTV Advertising

Connected TV viewership continues to grow, as does the number of subscription-based and ad-supported streaming services available to consumers. However, Connected TV (CTV) ad spending is still considerably less than that of linear TV. But let’s take a step back to better understand the full CTV advertising landscape.  

The State of Connected TV by the Numbers 

As of February 2022, Nielsen found that the average weekly time spent streaming video content hit 169.4 billion minutes, up 18% since 2021 – on top of the growth streaming had already experienced since spiking in 2020. By the end of 2021, CTV ad spend had also increased – 57% year-over-year, reaching $15.2 billion – and is projected to grow an additional 39% in 2022 to $21.2B, according to the IAB’s “2021 Video Ad Spend and 2022 Outlook” report.  

While the streaming wars remain tenuous, with changes in format – both Netflix and Disney+ are planning to launch ad-supported tiers, and subscription churn leaving subscription counts in flux, many advertisers are moving full stream ahead with investment in the channel.  

This shift in ad spend and viewership will continue to increase as the linear and digital TV ecosystems converge. In fact, eMarketer predicts that US linear TV ad spending (including addressable, programmatic, and upfront investments) will grow to $68.35 billion in 2022 but will then decline over the coming years. Ultimately, CTV’s appeal of growing viewership and improved measurement is too strong for advertisers to ignore.   

To help you determine how to incorporate this channel into your media mix, here are three things you must know before investing in CTV advertising.  

1. CTV offers advertisers a huge opportunity to reach consumers with advanced targeting 

Reach people where they are watching with a more granular approach to audience targeting. Fragmentation remains a pain point for many advertisers, so as consumers continue to spread their attention across an ever-growing number of screens, devices, and platforms, it’s time for advertisers to follow where the eyeballs lead. 

With a wide variety of data and audience targeting solutions, advertisers are faced with choice overload. Fortunately, Cadent Aperture Audience Data Marketplace seeks to minimize friction and enable advertisers to activate audience segments from their preferred third-party data providers.  

Learn more about our data partners. 

2. Ad fraud is cause for concern among CTV advertisers, but the risk can be mitigated 

U.S. advertisers are expected to lose $23 billion to fraud this year, based on forecasts from Juniper Research. And like all digital media, fraud exists in CTV. According to DoubleVerify, the number of fraud schemes spiked by over 70% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021.  

But just how prevalent is ad fraud on CTV? GroupM and iSpot.TV determined that there will be $1 billion in CTV ad waste this year. While these numbers are not exact, that amounts to roughly 4.3% of all ad fraud. Unfortunately, as CTV viewership grows, the advertising industry will need to be more vigilant in combatting ad fraud. 

As an advertiser, it is important to understand if and how your CTV media has been evaluated by key verification, viewability, attention and brand safety markers – not all CTV or platforms are created equally. Cadent integrates with leading third-party verification and viewability providers to help you effectively combat issues like fraud.  

3. Measurement for CTV provides advertisers with digital-level insights  

Measurement is often seen as the defining characteristic that sets CTV apart from other TV advertising channels. Yet over the course of the past year, debates around “multiple currencies” have dominated the industry dialogue as agencies and advertisers raise their concerns regarding industry standards and the challenges of interoperability. 

At Cadent, we not only minimize the impact of fraud from a delivery and viewability standpoint, but we take it a step further by tying CTV performance to real business outcomes. Through Aperture Platform, Cadent enables measurement from the leading third-party measurement providers to best support our customers.  

Today’s marketers also need solutions that allow you to match planning, delivery, and optimization to results on a campaign-by-campaign basis. Cadent Aperture Viewer Graph was created with this challenge in mind. Advertisers do not have a single need and measurement in a “black box” is as inefficient as no measurement at all. Through Aperture, Cadent seeks to foster a more open, effective TV advertising ecosystem.  

Interested in learning more about CTV advertising through Aperture Platform? 

4 Tips to Elevate Your CTV Strategy

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 demographicstransactional 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.


Sources:

1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradadgate/2020/06/12/connected-tv-viewing-is-not-returning-to-pre-pandemic-levels/?sh=22c589be3aa5


Keelia Schumacher

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.

What’s the Right Way to Get Started with CTV and OTT?

A client recently told me she perceived two mindsets related to connected TV and over-the-top TV: If you’re not doing it, you are foolish for missing a big opportunity to reach premium audiences at scale. But if you are doing it, you are going in a bit blind. You will have to contend with a lack of standards in measurement and an inability to solve or understand frequency and duplication uncertainty across screens.

This led to her question: “Who is doing it right?”

I believe that anyone that is in-market and learning is doing the right thing.

The fact is audiences have shifted and brands cannot afford to ignore this. Based on Cadent’s Viewer Intelligence Graph of holistic deduplicated cross-screen viewership, a brand could miss up to 40 percent of its desired audience reach by ignoring CTV/OTT in its media plan, depending on the target audience segment.

Besides ignoring a large percentage of viewership, the cost of not trying is that you won’t learn—about your customers, audience segmentation performance and the effectiveness of CTV/OTT in your media mix.

Unlike linear television, CTV/OTT gives brands the ability to garner actionable insights in real-time. Brands can understand how responsive audiences are to their ads by monitoring video completions rates and even deterministically tracking ad exposures to conversions. That allows you to link real-time ad exposure to desired business outcomes with the ability to optimize while in-flight.

Instead of looking for reasons not to invest in any newer channels, it is time for brands to get in there and figure out what works for them. Data-driven channels such as CTV and OTT lend themselves to massive learning opportunities. Don’t put CTV/OTT on a plan just because everyone else is. Make it count. Create a scalable solution by working across multiple partners, focus on leveraging consistent data across all and push for visibility and learnings across every screen.

With a clear plan, and a few basics in place, marketers can create a path to success with CTV and OTT today:

  • Iterate and innovate. If you use your campaigns as a mechanism to learn and figure out what works for you, you’ll succeed. There is usually debate over the “best” data sets in the market. The data sets and approach that work to drive optimal results for an individual brand’s KPI is the data/segment that is best for that brand. Brands will find that for certain KPIs, third-party data outperforms their CRM data and vice versa.
  • Get your team together early and often. This is a team sport. Your partners—agencies, data companies and publishers—should be at your side on this journey. Bring everyone together at the beginning of the process and challenge partners to step up and help you learn. Encourage them to be thoughtful on the front end  while being clear on what you’re trying to learn and accomplish. Push partners to give you the measurement and validation needed to help scale your efforts. Over time you’ll understand that OTT and CTV are key tactics that can be leveraged to drive outcomes, and you’ll know how to better maximize success.
  • Don’t accept that something succeeded or failed without questioning why. I always say that understanding what is broken is usually more powerful than knowing which pieces worked. If you don’t know why a campaign is not performing well, you cannot improve. Do not accept campaign success or failure without questioning why. Take a deeper look into the data and ask, “What levers can I pull to make the next campaign better?” and “How can I take insights from this campaign to inform future media buys?” For example, figure out if demo-based or strategic audience-based targeting is better for driving sales volume. Learn what the trade-offs are for targeting a demo versus a more specific audience. Determine how a shift in audience targeting could have maximized the ROI.
  • Create your own standards and practices within your organization. Find the subject matter experts in your group and develop those voices. In the test design phase for every campaign, make curiosity a core value for your team and organize everyone around that.

You have to start somewhere. As an industry, we’re building the foundation of next-generation TV. There’s no syndicated source that’s going to tell you what works, what doesn’t work and why. The technology will get smarter over time, standards will come and OTT/CTV will become easier to plan.

In the meantime, no one is going to do the work for you. It’s up to you to figure out what will continue to drive the success of your business in this evolving marketplace while maximizing reach against high-value audiences.

Learn more about bringing data to TV.

Reaching Fragmented Audiences with OTT and CTV

Dana Bhargava, Head of Experience Planning & Media, Sanofi Consumer Health, took the virtual stage at Cadent’s Future of TV summit to speak with Jamie Power, Chief Data Officer, Cadent, about getting started with OTT and CTV, reaching fragmented audiences and much more.

Catch a video of the session, plus a full recap of the conversation, below.

Jamie mentioned that during the pandemic, people became more health conscious. How exactly did Dana’s brand supported that behavioral shift?

“Our goal at Sanofi has always been about empowering people to take control of their health,” Dana said. And in trying times, it becomes even more important to communicate that message. Sanofi’s OTC products were impacted by pantry loading earlier in the pandemic, and the brand had to make sure that its distribution channels were clear and that its products were available for customers who depend on them.

The pandemic has accelerated consumer behavior in certain ways, some unexpected, Dana said, putting marketers on their toes: “It’s both scary and exciting at the same time because it really stimulates change within an organization and sets an organization on fire to go chase those areas where we know we’re not going to be able to keep up.”

Reaching fragmented audiences across screens

With so much fragmentation today, Jamie, asked, was Dana satisfied with her insight into understanding audiences across screens, whether it be reach building or frequency building. Dana replied no, that with all the wall gardens out there, “we live in a world where we really don’t really understand duplication at all,” adding, “Some duplication isn’t bad, some frequency isn’t bad. I think there’s work to be done there. Certainly I think we really need to understand that. CTV OTT is just one part of it.”

This whole idea of bringing data to TV is really the start of evolution of all of our channels to make them all more accountable. And I think we have to work as an industry to start breaking down some of these walled gardens.” -Dana Bhargava, Head of Experience Planning & Media, Sanofi Consumer Health

Ad environment is key

Sanofi has always had strong guidelines on content, Dana said, and some those content guidelines don’t exist in other channels. And this year, as social media platforms struggle with brand safety, the issues becomes increasingly important to Sanofi, which Dana said could continue to drive shifts back to looking for those environments where you can have some kind of guarantee of where an ad is actually showing up.

Why buy an ad in a skippable environment? For many marketers, it comes down to going where their audiences go. Dana said, “Audiences still continue to be there [in skippable ad environments]… Audiences are there, and there’s content in which you want to align with.” Sanofi thinks about using the first three seconds of its ads in that context really carefully, and they consider the  specific customer journey stage the person might be in.

Building a foundation for OTT and CTV within a brand

Sanofi’s approach to investing in specific channels, Dana said, is one that is investment agnostic and aims to understand consumers and their consumer journeys, being able to deliver against what an audience is looking for as opposed to having a sort of siloed approach to planning.

Dana said she thinks about using CTV and OTT to increase reach against audiences that might be harder to find in linear TV today: “CTV OTT can be a great add to driving incremental reach against all those precision tactics that you have,” adding that the medium can create quality environments that you want to run in, more opportunities for you to put longer-form content out in front of unskippable content, and importantly, increased scale against a lot of those precision audiences.

Any emerging medium is going to have a ramp up period while marketers try it out and decide if it’s worth the investment. Being a champion for mediums like OTT, CTV or addressable TV within an organization can be difficult, especially if it’s outside of the traditional box.

If you can really focus on what you’re trying to accomplish and what the role of your channels are,  it will almost tell its own story as to why you’re [trying the new medium],” Dana said. If your goal is upper funnel awareness, then you need to drive reach and share of voice against your competitors, which you can’t do successfully without other carefully orchestrated tactics. Dana added, “Contextualizing the spend against what its role is always helps to have those conversations internally.”

Learn more about the future of data-driven TV advertising in our series, “Coming to Terms with TV Ad Terms.”