What TV and Media Execs Really Think of CTV Advertising
by Stephen Graveman
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As the TV landscape continues to change, many brands are taking advantage of what Connected TV has to offer. Often those brands are new to the TV screen altogether–and they have important learnings to share from their exploration of this new platform.
MNTN’s Ali Haeri, Vice President of Marketing, joined Adweek to discuss how TV viewership is continuing to shift, making Connected TV an even more viable option. He shared how smaller challenger brands have already been taking advantage of all that CTV has to offer and the lessons big brands can take from their success on the TV screen.
While there have been a lot of big streaming headlines this year, Haeri highlighted one that sums up the shifting tides. “The move has been seismic for some time now. Nielsen recently reported that streaming now made up the largest share of TV viewing. Which is saying a lot. Because just two years ago, there were certainly people moving over to Connected Television but it was clear that linear TV was where most of the eyeballs were. But now we’re in a place where pretty confidently we can say that a majority of people are consuming television via streaming.”
The popularity of Connected TV means that the broad appeal and expansive reach of streaming only continue to grow. Haeri also mentioned that many premium streaming services, including Netflix and Disney+, have announced new ad-supported tiers for their previously subscription-based services, meaning an even more robust offering will be available to advertisers.
So what exactly has been the impetus up to this point for brands to make the shift to CTV? “This has been a big draw to CTV, which is reporting and attribution,” Haeri explained. “So in the lives of performance marketers, reporting and attribution are tremendously important. You want to make sure you’re getting a good return on your advertising and this is why performance marketers generally stayed away from something like linear TV advertising. The big draw to CTV is that it is way more measurable than ever before.”
Interestingly, it wasn’t those with big budgets that took the first step into CTV advertising. Smaller brands with a background in digital advertising lined up to experiment with the newest performance platform. Haeri drove the point home, sharing that at MNTN, 62% of customers are first-time advertisers. These brands turned to smart TV advertising to take advantage of the broad reach of the TV screen combined with the measurable performance of a digital platform.
Haeri went on to share the valuable lessons larger brands could take from CTV advertisers to their own initial campaigns. He highlighted the easy set-up, which includes selecting an audience, dragging and dropping creative assets, and scheduling flight details. After that, brands can see their ads live on TV within a matter of hours. This is a far faster process than other solutions were in the past.
Not only is CTV quick, but it’s a lot more cost-effective. Smaller brands had turned to CTV to make use of its flexibility and lack of upfront commitments. While larger brands may have the money to access linear solutions, CTV still gives them more freedom. Haeri said, “For larger advertisers, in this case, they’re able to be more flexible with test budgets. They’re able to fire up campaigns really quickly, test it out in-market, and develop learnings pretty quickly.” He recommends monitoring campaigns and reallocating budgets to the best-performing strategies. As the CTV strategies prove their return on investment, these brands can then reallocate funds to these strategies throughout the year.
When it comes to campaign set-up, smaller brands also found creative freedom with CTV. They can streamline the production process, as well as leverage social assets that weren’t typically utilized for previous versions of TV ads. For big brands with a lot of creatives, CTV makes it easy to manage various campaigns at once or swap in new creative as it becomes available. CTV’s audience targeting capabilities mean that large brands can also just as easily launch ABM strategies or target loyalty program members and easily manage these various campaigns.
While Connected TV helped transform campaign set-up and creative management when it comes to the TV process, perhaps the most game-changing aspects come after launch. “The most exciting observation that I’ve had as a marketer, seeing other marketers use the platform, is the reinvention of the brand marketer with a platform like this,” Haeri said. “There were a lot of brand marketers who accepted the fact that TV is inherently hard to measure…and what’s exciting now is that brand marketers who are still creating campaigns for the sake of awareness, now have data points that they didn’t quite have available to themselves previously.”
CTV’s transparent and real-time reporting allows all brands, big and small, to see create and evolve. The timeliness of the data means that brands can have enough time to receive feedback and make adjustments before the next round of creative development. They don’t need to just run one creative at a time either. CTV’s digital roots allow brands to A/B test creative to gain an even deeper understanding of what converts best.
These insights aren’t just limited to creative. The in-depth reporting provides detailed insight into which audiences are performing the best. Haeri also highlighted that MNTN Performance TV makes it even more streamlined for brands to track their audiences. Audience segment reporting featured within the platform allows brands to see audience-based results, even within a single campaign.
Haeri then covered one more feature that shows the value of CTV–literally. Incrementality reporting is an important feature for big brands to help prove that their investment in this new platform is worthwhile. This reporting shows the impact of a CTV campaign compared to the results that a brand would have produced anyway. Haeri said, “MNTN’s incrementality platform reports on incrementalities and revenue so you have a very clear-cut understanding of what the direct benefit is of running these campaigns and how it’s benefiting you, using the metrics that matter most for your business. He concluded, “As a larger advertiser, you should expect that level of accountability from any platform that you’re using.”
Larger advertisers can take advantage of Connected TV in much the same way their smaller counterparts have. To hear more about how to make the most of a CTV campaign from easy setup to comprehensive reporting, be sure to check out the full webinar here.