OTT Targeting: 8 Best Ways to Reach Your Audience
by Cat Hausler
5 Min Read
MNTN and Digiday discuss the value of first-party data
4 Min Read
From rewards programs to website visits, today’s brands are collecting first-party data on their most valuable audiences. Studies show that retargeting campaigns with this first-party data can outperform upper-funnel efforts—and enable brands to outperform their competition. But shockingly, many brands are sitting on a goldmine of this valuable data and don’t even know how to properly use it.
Lauren Reedy, Solutions Architect at MNTN, recently spoke to Digiday about the value of first-party data, how brands can collect and leverage it, and why CTV retargeting is essential to the true cross-device experience. You can watch a full recording of “First-Party Targeting and CTV: A Data Lottery You Already Won” here—or you can keep reading for a high-level recap of what was discussed.
Reedy began by pointing out that Connected TV has changed how advertisers think of TV advertising. TV is no longer used for just awareness-only campaigns; today brands can leverage the platform to target and reach customers throughout the sales funnel. “This new world of TV has kicked off a bit of an arms race,” noted Reedy. “All of these brands are looking to maximize CTV’s capabilities, including leveraging first-party data on this channel.” Reedy also issued a word of warning for brands. “Even if you aren’t using it, your competitors most likely are. They’re taking advantage of CTV to grab more of that market share—possibly out from under you,” she cautioned.
So what is first-party data? As Reedy noted, it’s your most loyal customers—the ones already familiar with your brand. “First-party data is likely holding your most valuable audience,” said Reedy. “These are people who are familiar with your brand. Either they’ve engaged with you in some way, they’ve done their research, or they’ve explored who you are and what you have to offer. They know who you are—and because of this, they’re more likely to convert. Not just once, but again and again.”
Because first-party data consists of audiences familiar with your brand, brands can skip the introductions, focus less on multiple touchpoints, and produce more customizable ads. “You don’t need to spend any time introducing yourself,” said Reedy. By not having to start from scratch, advertisers can save money on ad impressions and bypass the effort they would typically have to make with an unfamiliar audience. “You can jump right into the middle of their customer journey; they’ve already started the conversation with you,” noted Reedy.
First-party data can also influence how brands approach their creative. “You can customize these ads to speak specifically to these audiences,” suggested Reedy. To elaborate, she used an example of some of the most valuable first-party audiences available: loyalty program members. “Using first-party data you can target these audiences and show them personalized ads that hone in on their specific customer journey,” she said. “So maybe you offer a specific deal or discount to bring them back to the site or spend more. They’re a lot more likely to engage with those deals because they already love your brand.” When brands use first-party audiences on CTV, the end result is a new way to target the most valuable audiences with ads customized to their tastes.
Later in the presentation, Reedy shared some of the best tactics for using first-party data on CTV. “Retargeting lets you find and reach audiences who have visited your website and showed high-intent behavior,” she said. “An example of this is a customer who comes to your website, adds an item to their cart, but doesn’t convert.” Sometimes customers need to think about a purchase before buying, or sometimes they get distracted and forget what they were doing. By retargeting these audiences, brands can resume the conversation, remind them of the items they were browsing, and convince them to finalize their purchase.
But retargeting isn’t just for prospective customers. “We also want to reach customers who have already committed and purchased in the past,” explained Reedy. “CRM targeting allows brands to reach both customers who are in the sales funnel now or in the past and really drive that full-funnel approach.” Reedy gave an example of a lapsed customer who hasn’t purchased in a year and showed how a brand could use a CRM list to target them with a new product line, new store opening, or other information to get them to re-engage.
Reedy had a lot more ground to cover with Digiday, including the role measurement plays in first-party targeting, best practices for engaging loyal audiences, and what technology tools brands should leverage. Click here to watch the full recording.