OTT Targeting: 8 Best Ways to Reach Your Audience
by Cat Hausler
5 Min Read
MNTN and Smartbrief discuss how any brand can now achieve TV aspirations
4 Min Read
The world of TV advertising has evolved. Streaming services are more popular than ever, the CTV landscape is changing rapidly, and while the ad sector may see a slowdown in overall spending in 2023, Connected TV is expected to do the opposite and see a 14.4% increase over last year. It’s not enough to just run ads on CTV anymore; today’s consumers are savvier and expect more—and that requires brands to step it up and update their strategies for this new era.
Kaitlyn Silva, Customer Success Manager at MNTN, recently spoke to Smartbrief about this new world of Connected TV advertising, the challenges and opportunities awaiting in 2023, and what programmatic-first trends and approaches advertisers need to embrace.
You can watch a full recording of “How Programmatic Data and Technology Can Bring New Advertisers to Television Advertising for the First Time” here—or you can keep reading for a high-level recap of what was discussed.
The conversation started with Smartbrief’s host asking Silva how the CTV ad-buying process differs from buying ads on cable or broadcast TV. “So, CTV really takes the guesswork out of ad buys,” said Silva. “With linear TV you have to do a lot of legwork to figure out where, when, and what your target audience watches – and then you have to hope they see [your ad]. With MNTN Performance TV, there are no pushing of buttons or pulling of levers—everything is automated and easy.”
Silva noted that today’s audiences have more diverse tastes than ever, and that means they’re rarely watching one type of show or network. “I know I’m bouncing around quite a bit,” quipped Silva. As an example, she pointed out that your target audience might watch everything from reality shows, sports, dramas, and late-night talk shows—and that makes it hard to determine ad buys on linear TV. “CTV finds the audience without cherry-picking and follows that user to the shows they would be watching,” said Silva. “For example, if I’m watching The Bachelorette on ABC, then I switch over to ESPN to watch a game with my husband, CTV follows my journey throughout my viewing experience.” The result is less detective work thanks to ads being targeted with the right message to the right viewer at the right time.
As a follow-up, Smartbrief asked Silva what efficiencies programmatic advertising offers TV advertisers. “Programmatic really takes the pain and repetition out of TV media buying,” replied Silva. She pointed to how MNTN offers programmatic inventory on a PMP (private marketplace) to ensure ads are served on premium top-tier networks alongside hit TV shows. “Also, MNTN’s auto-optimization feature enhances ad performance seamlessly thousands of times a day, ensuring ads are performing at their best and you’re getting the most bang for your buck,” added Silva.
Silva concluded that programmatic advertising has democratized the TV platform in a way that was previously unfathomable. “Previously, only big brands with bigger budgets could run TV ads,” noted Silva. “Because of CTV technology, there’s a lower barrier to entry for smaller brands to launch. Programmatic advertising allows big brands to streamline their processes, optimize their ads, and achieve success easier—but it also enables smaller to mid-sized brands to do the same.” Silva noted that this exciting advancement is changing the TV landscape, and MNTN has helped brands who never thought they could achieve or afford television advertising reach that level of prestige. “Fun fact, 62% of our customers are first-time TV advertisers,” noted Silva.
Smartbrief asked Silva what she sees as the biggest challenges or obstacles for advertisers in the coming year. “2023 is going to signal a new shift in how brands, streaming services, and advertisers think of CTV,” said Silva. “Internally, we’re calling [this next phase] ‘CTV 2.0.’ It’s not enough to just run ads on CTV anymore; strategy, education, and staying up-to-date are crucial.” Silva pointed out that brands not using a cross-service ad platform need to be diligent about streaming services’ frequently changing content outputs and target audiences. “Reaching audiences across such a diverse array of services will be difficult for brands,” warned Silva. “Cross-platform CTV ad targeting solves this by always following the viewer across premium services.”
Silva also addressed the elephant in the room for many marketers right now—the economy. “With worries about a potential economic downturn, marketing departments need to be more diligent than ever,” cautioned Silva. “Now [with CTV] there’s even less guesswork in campaign performance, and it’s making advertisers think more strategically about where they place ads, who they target, and how they maximize their campaigns.” Silva noted that as marketing budgets are coming under scrutiny and brands cut back on less accountable ad channels, CTV is becoming a reliable tool to deliver and accurately measure performance outcomes.
This was just a small slice of the conversation Silva and Smartbrief had during their time together. Learn more about the trends advertisers need to embrace in 2023, how data can help you better reach your target audience, the role of a programming environment in driving consumer engagement, and more. Click here to watch the full recording.