Performance in CTV Advertising is Complex; That Should Excite UsThursday, February 2, 2023, 6:01 PM ETPosted by:Fred Godfrey
Co-Founder and CEO, Origin
In 2022 we saw the biggest shift yet in what marketers want (by which I mean “need”) from Connected TV (CTV). It should be no surprise that this shift happened. In addition to the ongoing decline of traditional TV, prevailing economic concerns and a stronger understanding by agencies and brands of CTV’s capabilities, the spotlight has been been forced to broaden from focusing on “checking the brand awareness box” to including measurable outcomes that make a more noticeable (and attributable) difference to a brand’s bottom line. In other words: performance.
The problem however, is that the shift has happened so quickly that we’re “learning as we go” and as a result have yet to get the full picture of what “performance” should mean on this lean-back, predominantly non-clickable screen. Should we simply transfer the benchmarks we use to track other formats such as social and desktop, or do we need to be taking a fresh ground-up approach that takes into account the unique challenges associated with CTV, such as attention? It’s easy to gravitate towards what’s quick and easy to understand - and what could be easier than using prevailing metrics that until recently have not only proven to deliver a reliable and predictable ROI, but which can also be used as a rich source of data to benchmark success against?
At Origin we believe this approach is not the answer and that performance on CTV needs to be considered from several angles and viewed on a “sliding scale of success.”
This is not about to become some kind of thinly veiled effort to tamp down expectations of CTV advertising’s performance potential. Quite the opposite. This is about bringing to the top of our collective minds the unavoidable truth that CTV is different than all the other screens. As a result, marketers must align their strategies and budgets to mirror these differences, while ensuring they are also fully aware of the unique opportunities that the “big screen” has to offer.
Before we talk about the differences and opportunities, there is one vital fact that a marketer should be clear on first - separating “delivery” from “success.” It might seem obvious to some, but while completion rates, household frequency, reach and CPVC, etc. may indeed be bucketed under the umbrella of being KPIs with the operative letter being ‘P’ (for Performance), in reality, these are delivery-oriented performance statistics that help prove how/where your budget is being spent, not what you’re actually getting back from it (more here).
With that clarification in mind and using the traditional “purchase funnel” as a foundation for the sliding scale (which removes awareness from the equation, since that is really table stakes), campaign measurement needs to start at consideration and travel through intent before landing at the end goal - performance. Which is also sometimes also called “engagement,” “activation” and other names that are proxies for highly tangible value being realized by the advertiser.
Even this definition begs the question: in a world of new and increasingly complex business models, is there such a thing as the ultimate performance benchmark? For example, is it site visits, store visits, QR code scans, numbers called or physical dollars transacted? In short, it’s complicated.
It’s here where the unique nature of CTV and viewer behavior comes into play. Here are 3 suggestions marketers might consider when defining performance on this predominantly non-clickable screen:
- Strike a balance between cost per impression and their chosen performance metric.
- Have a reliable way of attributing that performance metric (this could be with brand studies or leveraging solutions such as Claritas).
- Include consideration of previously unexploitable opportunities such as that of having a viewer watching your ad with a device in their hand which they likely use to buy things on every day.
The good news is that no matter where you choose to plant your flag on the sliding scale, budgets and expectations can move up/down until you hit a spot that works for your larger strategy. Where that is should depend on what it is that you need your campaign budget to accomplish and how effective you are at leveraging the more touchable screens that your audiences (most likely!) already have in their hands.
Topics: Origin Digital