Connected TV

Trying Times Call for Testing Times: Connected TV’s Role in Driving Performance

Ecommerce and retail brands, consider this your wake-up call.

Trying Times Call for Testing Times: Connected TV’s Role in Driving Performance

4 Min Read

We’re hot off the heels from our latest webinar tailored to ecommerce and retail brands. Yesterday, our Vice President of Marketing, Ali Haeri, was joined by President of Lull, Matt Walker, for an insights-filled discussion about Connected TV’s history, its testing capabilities, and what to look out for when you’re ready to take that next step. Watch the webinar replay here on demand, and read on for a debrief of yesterday’s key points.

DTC x TV: A Tale as Old as Time

Direct-to-consumer and television isn’t anything new. Remember those days of teleshopping and 1800-numbers?  If not, this might jog your memory: 

The partnership has proved useful for DTC brands, but there were also some challenges along the way. The biggest one being cost – television advertising comes at a price. It’s not only costly to produce an advertisement, but buying inventory on a coveted network resulted in barriers to entry, limiting it to established brands with deep pockets who could afford it (and they sure do spend – $1.3B was spent by DTC brands on TV advertising in the first half of 2020 alone). Another television advertising pain point is targeting. On Linear TV, advertisers bought inventory based on TV networks instead of by audience. Consequently, this resulted in inefficient spending for brands, since networks are likely to capture a broad swath of audiences that are not in-market to buy your product.

What about measurement and being able to track the impact of your advertising spend? Not so long ago, you could look at sales lift and monitor website traffic – but tying this back to your television ad was mainly guesswork – as Ali Haeri said, “TV advertising is terrifying,” for brands used to accountable measurement. But not anymore: the key to succeeding on television today is through graduating past the Linear TV mindset – let’s see how DTC mattress brand Lull did it.

Tests are Expensive, But it’s Money Spent Smartly.

No truer words have been spoken. Lull is a prime example of a brand who applied a performance marketing mindset to Connected TV. Only five-years old and bootstrapped from the very beginning, they were one of the early adopters of the ad channel. After observing the shifts in the media landscape, where major content distributors were moving to a streaming first approach, they realized it wasn’t a strategic move to put all of their eggs in one basket. “We never spent a dollar on Linear TV or radio, because we didn’t believe it was trackable enough…and it wasn’t an efficient deployment of dollars as we couldn’t gauge the return on investment,” said Walker. Hence, at the time, the move to Connected TV was a risky one but it paid off in more ways than one. 

Since mattresses are a high Average Order Value product with a longer sales cycle, it was important to have a platform that could support reporting, and tell an accurate story into consumer buying patterns and the customer journey from browse to purchase. Lull wanted to test Connected TV’s viability as a direct-response channel based on its ability to drive incremental lift, prior to going all in. They utilized their own user-generated content, and repurposed existing creative that was performing well online, and used this to test performance on Connected TV and optimize their creative over time. The results spoke for themselves, with a 29% increase in conversion lift and 1.5X ROAS calculation. The rest, they say, is history. Lull routinely continues to implement testing practices into their overall digital strategy  – setting aside a few thousand dollars a day to put to the test. This goes to show that Connected TV is a useful branding, and performance tool, not one or the other. 

Where to From Here?

If you’ve followed along up until this point and are interested in diving into Connected TV, then there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when selecting an adtech solution, as not all ad solutions are built equally. Ask yourselves these questions as a running checklist for starters:

  • How does this solution optimize my campaign for the best results? Again, finding a solution that automates this step is key. The last thing you want to be doing is checking up on your campaign repeatedly.

How does this solution map together all of the customer touchpoints so I can understand what’s going on? You need a solution that will measure attribution accurately, and provide a view of performance that takes your other digital marketing efforts into account, too.