This article was originally published in Street Fight.
For marketers, broadcast TV spots have been an important part of many national brands’ marketing portfolios. The problem has been that, unless there was a clear call to action, linking a broadcast TV spot with direct sales remains difficult.
For instance, Super Bowl ads make us laugh, they make us cry, but do they move consumers to buy enough products to justify their expense? Quantifying that connection between spend and sales is like playing football with no clear lines on the field: Did you score a touchdown or are you still 30 yards away? Not only that, but broadcast TV — meaning cable TV or linear TV — has been losing viewership.
As a marketer, it’s essential to advertise in the places where your customers spend their time. Increasingly, that place is CTV.
The CTV advertising market is currently ripe with opportunities and brimming with customers.
Leichtman Research Group estimates that 87% of homes in the U.S. have at least one connected TV device. Their research also found that when it comes to streaming content, 46% of adults watch daily, and 60% watch weekly. Both Roku and Amazon each have 40 million subscribers. That’s nearly twice the population of New York, which is a lot of potential consumers for brands to reach. Unlike broadcast TV’s unclear link to sales, a Criteo survey found that 44% of Americans confirm that video streaming has influenced purchasing decisions in the last 12 months.
Brands are investing ad dollars on CTV. According to Forbes, national CTV ad spending was close to $7 billion in 2019. That is project to double by 2023, which means that over 53% of video viewing on all devices is on CTV. That means people are watching more streamed CTV content than watching videos on social media and broadcast TV combined. This November, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 2023 Outlook Survey projected CTV ad spending would increase 23% year over year in 2023, which is more than any other channel.
This winter, Netflix, Apple TV+, and Disney+ will start providing advertising subscriptions. This means that your brand’s ads can appear on such popular shows as Stranger Things and Ted Lasso. For a lower subscription price, consumers will now see your ads, but unlike broadcast TV, CTV can give you digital insights well beyond your advertisings’ reach and the frequency of its appearances.
Brands also need to advertise on CTV because it allows brands to reach very specific target audience on smart TVs and OTT devices.
CTV can serve different ads to different viewers who are streaming the same show. Whether you are marketing on the national or local level, targeting this precise marks a major evolution in local marketing, because your intended, specified audience will only consume your ad for your area, which improves your ad dollars’ ROI.
With improved cost savings, you can now focus on advertising your products and services to a specific demographic in a specific geographic range at a specific time. Then you can measure what is working and what is not working the way you would with website and social media analytics. Broadcast TV advertising does not allow brands to do that.
CTV analytics also allow brands to track and measure website and in-store visits from your un-skippable 15-second and 30-second spots—slotted within episodic programming like Black Mirror. You can also geo-target to individual zip codes and households, track across devices, and can drill down to audience-based targets like look-a-like party data, behavioral personas, and demographics. The same way digital tactics such as paid search, display, and paid social do, CTV gives you visibility into how your local consumers react to your ads.
As a top-of-the-funnel tactic, you can use CTV to strategically communicate different messages to speak to different markets, such as pushing hedge clippers in sunny San Diego and snow blowers in frigid Boston. As a national brand, this allows you to leverage personal, hyper-localized ads at scale and in very near real time, in order to reach more targeted local audiences with on-trend ad experiences.
With real-time feedback on what channels your ads appear on, brands have visibility to see what led to a conversion. On a local level, you can target a specific geo-location ad at a specific time married to the right content that resonates with your targeted demographic. And, of course, you can use A/B testing to help fine-tune messaging to achieve the results you’re aiming for.
Ultimately, brands have to market where their customers are, and they have to measure their marketing’s effectiveness and build bottom-line growth. CTV offers an incredible, verifiable places to do that. As broadcast TV viewership declines, CTV viewership keeps increasing. CTV offers brands a critical tactic to add to your marketing portfolio to expand reach and drive consumers down the funnel at the local level.
Marketing Strategy Director at BrandMuscle