How National Brands Create Local Relevance With Connected TV

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, July 15, 2019

The proliferation of content options across platforms, screens and devices, and the continued splintering of audiences brings increasing fragmentation woes for marketers. If you’re a national brand, local relevance is becoming all the more important. It requires honing the ability to personalize and localize messages and consumer experiences with contextually, dynamic and relevant content.

Today, national brands face a number of challenges.

Beyond navigating the continued consumer and channel fragmentation, they need insights at a national to local level to efficiently reach the right audience. Most often, the impression distribution of national footprints is naturally skewed, leaving gaps in harder-to-reach markets.

As such, brands are seeking more effective ways to reach local audiences and drive business outcomes. BIA Advisory estimates national brands will spend $62.7 billion in 2019 to target local consumers.

At the same time, we’re witnessing a dynamic local-media marketplace flourishing with the growing adoption of addressable over-the-top (OTT), in addition to an explosion in streaming TV offerings and inventory by station operators, publishers and virtual multichannel video programming distributors (vMVPDs).



Addressable OTT is accelerating the opportunities for national brands to target local audiences at scale. Beyond being able to target by designated market area, OTT and connected TV targeting is as specific as a consumer’s home address combined with the ability to geo-target across various categories.

This is incredibly powerful if you consider that every customer is essentially a local customer for most national brands across categories from automotive to real estate, healthcare to home improvement.

In the past, a luxury auto dealer may have broadly targeted an entire upscale neighborhood for prospective buyers. With addressable OTT targeting, viewer data is collected and analyzed into audience segments, such as auto intenders, and then applied to ad campaigns.

In this instance, a car dealer can leverage new data capabilities to see households that may have a luxury car lease expiring in the coming months. They can then use dynamic ad insertion to serve a highly relevant ad, thus delivering better performance for local advertisers.

New innovations bridge the local linear and OTT gap

Advertisers are increasingly combining the power of traditional TV and OTT, including local broadcaster inventory, to extend both reach and engagement, which is driving measurable outcomes. According to a Magna Global study, viewing an ad on both linear TV and OTT leads to more than twofold increase in brand favorability lift.

National brands have the opportunity to reach specific local audiences with greater efficiency and accuracy by leveraging new data innovations with CTV device graphs

For instance, a marketer can connect quality third-party data with a CTV device graph and identify the households to reach those audiences. By applying those data sets with a local OTT media buy, a marketer can then look at attribution models and website traffic that was driven by each market.

Another development is the use of automatic content recognition (ACR) data collected from smart TVs for closed-loop campaign attribution. For example, data can show advertisers the effectiveness of linear TV and OTT by tracking reach extension, website traffic, and in-store visits using information about viewer location.

National brands should consider the following for building an effective local OTT and CTV media plan:

  • The scale and pure growth of OTT and CTV presents terrific local targeting opportunities for marketers of all sizes across the nation.
  • Understand your local DMA specific “impression distribution” even when buying national campaigns. It can be revealing as to where a brand’s impression distribution is actually happening and can help marketers optimize campaigns and develop KPIs more effectively.
  • Local OTT and CTV solutions, given its rapid share growth, can and will help drive more truly local transactions. Think footfall and understand attribution metrics no matter where your OTT and CTV spend lands.

OTT is no longer just about measuring verified completion rates (VCR). It’s evolved to become a business of outcomes.

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