How marketers can deliver more impact on connected TV

Three guys watching television.

Image source: Adobe Stock.

The attention economy is real, people. According to eMarketer, more than half of our days, a whole 85 percent of our waking hours, are now spent watching, reading, and listening to content. In particular, an increasing portion of this time is spent watching video, with TV and digital video accounting for close to six hours per day, up 13 percent year over year (YoY).

For marketers, this means figuring out how to cut through the noise and deliver salient and engaging advertising to the right audiences is more crucial than ever before. Connected TV (CTV), which promises the full-screen experience of television with the targeting capabilities of digital, continues to excite marketers, particularly when considering the growth in audiences: Research from Adobe Digital Insights shows that video starts on CTV are up 64 percent YoY, while time spent viewing on CTV is up 116 percent YoY, stealing share from TV, desktop, and mobile.

This year marks a tipping point for CTV: According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 59 percent of marketers are planning to spend more on CTV in the second half of 2020 than they did last year. But with rapid growth comes great responsibility, and challenges need to be quickly resolved for CTV to be ready for the main stage remain.

Adobe Advertising Cloud, which has overseen the growth of digital video advertising for more than a decade, partnered with research firm Advanis to understand the perspectives of over 500 agency and brand marketers on CTV. We found that marketers don’t want to make any exceptions when it comes to their advertising, and they expect CTV to be on par with what they can achieve with the rest of their channels, despite its unique nature. Two key trends – targeted audience reach and holistic measurement – stood out.

The ability to deliver targeted reach

Marketers looking to invest more in CTV face a web of fragmented content and audiences given the plethora of new streaming services, devices, and ad sellers multiplying with the growth in audience volumes. This is no doubt why, according to the Adobe/Advanis data, brands and agencies both said reaching their target audience was their No. 1 priority as they look at the CTV market. In addition, 86 percent of marketers also said audience targeting needs to evolve further to ensure their ad dollars find a home with CTV.

The distribution of ads rights, new streaming services, volumes on ad platforms, and other factors can be a lot for a marketer to keep up with. In just the last year, every major U.S. TV network has acquired or launched at least one new streaming service (think Peacock, Disney+, and Fox acquiring TubiTV). Complicating matters, an individual or household today can be represented in the real-time bidding stream by 10 or more identifiers, which makes it hard to accurately target and measure with confidence.

Savvy marketers are looking toward curated marketplaces and deterministic data sets as ways to get on top of things.

Curated marketplaces help reduce the time it takes to access and trade across the fragmented CTV space. Technology platforms, such as Adobe Advertising Cloud, do the hard work for you by sourcing private deals with all the major broadcasters to enable brands to reach audiences with the click of a button, and the controls to match.

Deterministic data sets ensure there is a cleaner match of audiences based on authentication and enable marketers to better activate their first-party audiences, reducing the clutter of the ad tech identity space. This can help marketers reach more consumers with less budget wastage and deliver more impactful advertising. According to the Adobe/Advanis research, 61 percent of brands are planning to increase use and access to deterministic publisher data in the next 12 to 18 months for better targeting and measurement.

Measuring with confidence

On the measurement side, marketers are applying greater scrutiny around how CTV is driving their business outcomes and contributing alongside other marketing channels in order to justify the increased budget requests. The inability to effectively connect effectiveness to outcomes may be why nearly half of brands think CTV inventory is currently too expensive, according to the Adobe/Advantis research. To truly understand the role the channel plays, marketers have to take CTV out of the silo and into the context of their business.

CTV measurement may be proving challenging for both traditional TV marketers and programmatic marketers because a lot of the usual metrics don’t translate to value as easily. Metrics such as completion rate or viewability, typically used in desktop or mobile video, provide minimal value in the non-skippable, full-screen CTV world, while TV metrics like gross rating points don’t communicate true value either.

To measure with confidence, marketers must first take a step back to understand what questions they want answered regarding their CTV performance. Once they know the answers, they can then partner with technology platforms and services to achieve them. These questions can include:

To summarize, CTV shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other channel. Marketers need to ask the right questions and come from a place that is grounded in their first-party data to ensure they can cut through the noise and remain salient and memorable to maximize the value of their content.

To see more on how Adobe Advertising Cloud has tackled these challenges in the Australian market, download our whitepaper here.