KERV Interactive Sees A New Way To Trade Media

Streaming grew rapidly throughout the pandemic and has now become one of the main ways we consume content.

As always, where the viewers go, advertisers follow. eMarketer predicts that in 2022, CTV will account for more than one-fifth of total programmatic display advertising.

Roku earlier this week announced a research and data partnership with Microsoft Advertising that supports the ability to match data on its OneView streaming advertising platform with Microsoft Audience Intelligence that relies on data from more than 7 billion Bing searches per month. 

Marika Roque, COO of KERV Interactive, connected with Search & Performance Marketing Daily (S&PMD), detailing the reasons that advertisers are tied into programmatic buying, the best channels that work with connected television (CTV), how search can support CTV campaigns, and the promise of shoppable ads.

S&PMD:  What does the phrase "the new way of trading" mean to you?

Roque:  The New Way of Trading means pairing interactive and shoppable moments with optimizations versus just completion rates with third-party data.

For example, video creatives shouldn't be a one-way conversation -- they should be invitations into the experience for users to interact or shop within, as they see fit. Traders should be trading on the intention data collected by the user behaviors in-video versus by just completion and viewability.

We no longer want users to just view content -- we want to offer them up an interactive response that can be optimized accordingly. We are talking both media and creative optimization that can play off of each other as well. 

S&PMD:  Why has programmatic been adopted by advertisers, although it lacks uniform standards of measurement?

Roque:  Across the board, programmatic has been widely embraced by advertisers for numerous reasons including its agility, control and its data-driven approach to buying.

At the same time, however, programmatic video lacks uniform standards of measurement, and this is especially true for the CTV space, which is still maturing.

Without these standards, it can be hard for brands to determine how their media spend is performing. CTV lacks a bit of the transparency that programmatic was built to provide. 

S&PMD:  What are passive metrics and why do you consider them old school?

Roque:  The industry is already looking for ways to bridge the gap in measurement and attribution for CTV, with both YouTube TV and Roku recently announcing having launched Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings on their platforms.

Nielsen has also recently announced the expansion of Nielsen Media Impact to include CTV streaming data. It’s all steps in the right direction, allowing advertisers to pull in a more comprehensive view of their ad’s audience. Still, CTV’s buying and optimization continues to rely too heavily on reach and forced completion.

While these passive metrics can be a great tool for understanding where ads are being delivered, they shouldn’t be the standard KPIs. For true optimization and better trading, advertisers need to focus on how audiences engage with the content.

New infrastructures need to be built to offer more consumer opt-in, which will not only drive more revenue but also not disrupt the consumer.

While turning the viewing experience into a more active consumption experience, you garner more data and revenue. Win-win-win. 

S&PMD:  What does it mean to go deeper with audience segmentation and how is it done?

Roque:  Start by looking at audience segmentation. Instead of relying on forced completion to inform segmentation and interest, measure against action-based metrics.

By going beyond passive metrics and analyzing engagement, inventory sets and audience, groups can be organized more granularly, based on audience interaction at specific times of the day or specific days of the week, type of placement, context, and so on. Engagement can even be broken down but what was on screen when they interacted. 

These data sets can be further analyzed for interaction and engagement trends and utilized to curate custom private marketplaces, unique contextual opportunities, or other more real-time trading alignments. This allows advertisers and content owners to negotiate supply and value up higher-performing inventory.

S&PMD:  What channels connect best with CTV and why?

Roque:  The standard for measuring engagement is yet to be determined for CTV, but we’re already seeing the evolution of the medium.

Consumers and advertisers are leaning into interactive elements such as QR codes or pausable moments.

As action-based optimizations become normalized in the CTV space, the buyer should not stop there.

These active, CTV data signals are actionable and can easily be connected to other media channels such as desktop, mobile and web for a cohesive approach where all decision making is driven by user intent. This removes the reliance on probabilistic measures and shifts the paradigm to a deterministic methodology for campaign strategies.

These CTV data points have the potential to inform not only the creative strategy of subsequent builds, but other media channels and completely new supply sets on CTV along with furthering the connection with desktop or mobile devices.

The result is a lean-in intent-driven approach to advertising. It removes the reliance on probabilistic measures and shifts to a deterministic methodology for campaign strategies.

Smart advertisers will hook their programmatic or supply infrastructure into safe data rooms, pixels via data management platforms, so they can streamline and automate their optimizations and intention group segments based on in-video engagement.

They will also further optimize their creatives based on what audiences have already interacted and engaged with, so they can hold video truly accountable and take their media dollars farther. 

S&PMD:  I’m hearing a lot more about connecting search with CTV. Do you have clients doing this -- and what is the best way to get it done?

Roque:  We have more and more clients wanting our dynamic QR offering. This allows consumers to pull experiences back to their mobile devices without the extra step of search.

Our ability to dynamically and visually identify what is in a CTV ad and correlate it with an evergreen product feed, companion activation or simply a dynamic geo-based activation has become very success for retail, grocery, entertainment, travel and CPG.

CTV calls-to-action can be dynamic, too. We know consumers have their phone in hand as they consume this content.

In the future, we would like to offer consumers even more integrated experiences such as direct shoppable content. We are working on the integrations needed to make that a reality. 

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