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MNTN and Digiday Discuss Why Brands Should “Follow the Data”
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It has been said many times before but it bears repeating: 2022 was the year of Connected TV. Throughout the year, the platform reached milestone after milestone—streaming bested broadcast and cable TV for the first time, new targeting and measurement tools were unveiled, and now every major streaming platform supports ads. It’s this string of hits that has advertisers taking notice, brands reallocating ad dollars to streaming, and CMOs relying on CTV’s performance marketing capabilities to justify ad budgets and prove ROAS. But how can your brand leverage this fast-evolving ad platform for success in 2023?
MNTN’s Director of Product Marketing, Matt Collins, recently sat down with Digiday to discuss the banner year CTV had, how it’s forever changing the advertising landscape, and what insider strategies you can use to protect ad budgets and maximize the channel’s potential. If you missed it, a recording of the webinar can be found here—or you can keep reading for a high-level recap of the conversation below.
The interview kicked off with Digiday’s host noting that while Connected TV is gaining popularity, it evolved from a long-standing medium—TV—that provided high-impact messaging with a lack of sophisticated targeting and measurement. Noting that this lack of performance marketing capabilities has been TV’s Achille’s heel, the host asked Matt Collins how CTV is changing this long-held assumption or dynamic.
“There are two dynamics that you just uncovered,” replied Collins. “The first is the fact that television is, as you pointed out, an eight-decades-long canvas for brands to tell their stories. The second dynamic is the perceived gaps in the platform’s ability to offer effective audience targeting and measurement. Driving both of those changes for CTV is the “common plumbing and wiring that [CTV] shares with paid search and social.” Collins went on to point out that this “common plumbing and wiring” makes it easy for performance marketers to get onto CTV and understand the platform’s capabilities—then use them to fuel lower funnel outcomes like website visits and product sales. CTV’s data-driven mindset and reporting then allow marketers to confidently take their results back to their CFOs or CEOs to prove campaign success.
Referring to the earlier discussion about the long-held dynamics of linear TV, Digiday’s host noted that TV used to be off-limits for many smaller or challenger brands. “I think it’s pretty clear that’s in a state of change; that small-to-mid-sized brands are now reapproaching TV overall thanks to CTV. Is it correct to say that CTV is more accessible to those types of advertisers?”
“The very short answer is yes,” said Collins confidently. “We’re seeing that CTV has democratized access to the biggest screen in the house,” Collins noted that brands of all sizes and industries are pursuing CTV thanks to its ability to produce better outcomes with less waste. Collins noted that local and regional brands are leveraging the platform to drive foot traffic through personalized messaging, while mid-sized companies are using it to compete toe-to-toe with larger incumbents. And as for those giant blue chip brands? They’re using it as a performance dimension to help launch direct-to-consumer initiatives. Collins noted a few key benefits driving wide-scale adoption:
The conversation turned to the current state of economic anxiety gripping marketing teams, as ad budgets are tightened, dollars are being reallocated, and spending is under higher scrutiny than in years past. Digiday’s host asked Collins how advertisers are responding to these uncertainties, and how this is impacting their approach to TV.
“I think that a lot of the C-suite are trying to come up with different scenarios that will protect their brands, regardless of what transpires over the next 3-12 months,” said Collins. “You’ve seen some caution from the publicly-traded digital ad platforms about slowing growth, but at the same time, some agencies are reporting that their clients are still spending on ads. What they’re asking for from their agency partners is flexibility—they want their options protected in case things go sideways and their plans need to be undone.” Collins noted the last time we faced economic uncertainty, during the COVID-19 pandemic, CMOs shifted their ad budgets to performance marketing channels in an effort to prove campaign performance. Thankfully, CTV ads deliver the performance outcomes that these leaders are looking for. “CTV offers an off-ramp for those looking for scalable, performant, brand and privacy-safe alternatives to less accountable media, the diminishing returns they may be seeing from paid social, or as an alternative to paid social budgets they may have paused,” said Collins.
Collins had a lot more ground to cover with Digiday, including his insider strategies to maximize CTV’s capabilities. Click here to watch the full recording.