Connected TV offers a renaissance for targeted advertising in the privacy era. To win in it, advertisers need to expand their perspective and playbooks.
To help, platforms must focus sales teams on unique selling propositions and train them to meet client KPIs by integrating assets and formats.
The good news is that people are not subscribing to CTV platforms to avoid ads. In fact, they like shows better when they are served customized advertisements based on their viewing histories. That’s what we found this spring when we teamed with Hub Research to benchmark CTV.
Advertisers need to do three things.
Create ads specifically for CTV. We have lived this movie before. It took the better part of a decade for most advertisers to develop advertising for digital, rather than repost or adapt banner ads for websites.
The things that make CTV better for advertisers also make it better for viewers. So the road is open for customized, personalized ads on CTV. More advertisers need to take advantage of that.
Plan and buy holistically. CTV is not a parallel universe -- it’s a central part of the new TV ecosystem. Yet only a third of advertisers plan linear and CTV together. It’s tempting for planners accustomed to digital precision to favor CTV, but there is still no substitute for the ability of linear TV to amass an audience in the same content at one time.
CTV gets cord-cutters and cord-nevers, while linear TV gets traditional viewers at scale.
Combining reach and precision is what will make TV paramount for a growing number of advertisers.
Use the full CTV portfolio. CTV devices, AVODs, and vMVPDs are expanding the range of CTV ad formats (e.g., display and interactive ads), yet only a third of advertisers buy across all three platforms.
Using them all scales audience and capitalizes on advantages that are inherent to each -- such as the ability of smart TVs to eliminate ghost ads (by simply turning off).
Smoothing this transition is natural for linear TV providers whose sales teams and client relationships make moving money across assets relatively seamless.
The rest of the field needs to break the inertia to gain share. To do that, they need to focus on these things:
Create a USP. The next five years will be full of change, so there must be a foundational “why us” that
salespeople can take to market -- something many providers are missing.
While some providers can focus on programming, others like device manufacturers need to center on control and attribution. This central message needs to be set for -- not by -- sales teams.
Create clarity for sellers. Leaving the path to integration up to sellers is even worse than making them create their own messages. Management needs to give sales teams the playbook they can quickly, easily open for buyers, so buyers can develop multi-format fluency and visualize how the platform works within the overall TV context.
Answer clients’ real questions. It’s not enough to sell demographics -- particularly if your audience is declining and shifting. How you’re solving the reach and frequency needs for clients comes first, followed by how you can plan and measure to meet clients’ KPIs (not demos). Client complaints about attribution in CTV need to be answered with bespoke planning and measurement schemes and/or tools that salespeople can use. Then salespeople can educate and elevate clients.
The growth of ad-supported streaming increases TV’s power as a messaging medium by introducing new audiences, addressability, and programmatic buying.
CTV prompts advertisers to adopt a more sophisticated approach to planning and invites salespeople to raise their game as educators and engineers. When they do, they can rewrite the playbook for TV ad sales altogether.
Good points, Andy---especially about CTV and "linear" TV being handled separately not in a unified manner by the agencies---and, I should add, by many sellers.
Of course there remain problems to be solved regarding "audience" metrics, how ads are scheduled, fraud, etc. but the one that I see developing for CTV/AVOD is its push for upfront dollars that will come mainly from major national TV advertisers. While this makes sense--as otherwise many dollars will not be available for scatter buys, most of these deals are corporate not individual brand purchases---which negates serious attempts at targeting---how do you target a 30-brand upfront buy which involves many different product categories all lumped together?