Author: Dave Marquard, Head of Product, PREMION
Marketers are demanding data-driven advertising now more than ever. The ability to understand how your customers heard about your brand and how they’re interacting within a purchase funnel is essential to prove the ROI and value of your ad spend. Thus, attribution plays a crucial role in media planning and buying to truly measure the spend impact. With surging streaming TV viewership, advertisers are increasingly turning to CTV/OTT advertising to reach a highly engaged audience and drive measurable outcomes—and new attribution capabilities make streaming TV advertising even more enticing.
Last year, the pandemic fueled the rise in home-bound consumers flocking to streaming video, which has resulted in a three to five-year acceleration of where ad-supported OTT was already headed. A recent IAB study showed that 76% of those who regularly stream video watched ad-supported OTT and eMarketer projects U.S. CTV advertising will soar to $11.36 billion in 2021 and $14.11 billion in 2022.
Today, CTV and OTT combines the best of digital advertising—with its measurement and attribution capabilities—and the best of the big screen TV experience in long-form, lean-back premium and brand-safe content. As advertisers follow their audiences, the ability to target a consumer with precision and rapidly increasing scale will see streaming TV capture an even bigger share of media budgets this year.
How Attribution in CTV & OTT Works
Brands can now look beyond video completion rates as a key metric of success as they can connect OTT viewership to direct business results. This could be as granular as running an automotive ad on OTT and then determining how many people visited a dealership or a dealer website after viewing an ad. Website attribution measurement can be done through placing a tag on a client’s website to track how many viewers that were served an ad subsequently went to their website. For footfall attribution, there are third-party vendors that measure when customers walk into a store. This data is then connected to ad exposure to measure conversion rates of OTT viewers to in-store visits. Proving the value of streaming TV advertising begins with setting clear campaign objectives and it can span demonstrating website and in-store visits to measuring incremental reach or brand and sales lift.
For instance, we can demonstrate the power of OTT attribution by measuring unduplicated reach with a reach extension study. To show spend optimization across OTT and linear TV, we measured reach extension across more than 30 different campaigns spanning multiple industries. On a sample of local customers that buy OTT and linear in four of our major markets, our results showed that 81 percent of homes reached through the OTT campaign were unduplicated, underscoring that they were not reached through the linear buy.
Another way to validate the effectiveness of OTT campaigns is by measuring brand favorability. For a leading home furnishings retailer, we conducted a brand lift study that measured the impact of our OTT campaign on consumers’ attitudes toward the brand. The study revealed that adults aged 25-54 reached by the campaign were 3x more likely to be aware of the brand and almost half would consider purchasing furniture from the retailer after exposure to the campaign.
The ability to track a customer journey to show measurable impact is incredibly powerful, especially for today’s agile marketers that are laser focused on managing and optimizing their spend with flexibility in a changing environment. Looking ahead, we can expect to see more innovation with closed-loop attribution where a CPG brand that advertises on OTT will be able to determine not only brand lift, but actual shopping cart lift.
As brands seize the pandemic recovery opportunities, connecting the dots between investment and quantifiable results is essential to make informed ad spending decisions to maximize campaign outcomes. At PREMION, we’ve invested in attribution capabilities as a core competency in every one of the 210 DMAs we serve.