Want Simpler CTV? Ask Your Platform

By Karim Rayes, chief product officer at Tremor International

 This article is sponsored by Tremor Video.

For a long time, opacity was the norm in the programmatic industry. Budgets went in, media placements came out the other side, and few questions were raised in between. But as technology improved and the focus on ROI increased across display, mobile and video, the onus was placed on technology platforms to prove the value of media-dollar recipients across platform fees, data providers, various other middlemen and the content creators themselves.

Now, again, as standards improve and marketers seek to utilize CTV campaigns for purposes beyond just brand awareness, there is a growing demand to understand what’s happening downstream after ad exposure and holistically measure campaigns across channels and screens.

These expectations are challenged in the nascent world of CTV. While marketers previously found comfort in the uniformity of linear TV measurement, they are encountering walled CTV supply sources that require coordination of multiple relationships and budgets to reach audiences across devices, with different standards of taxonomy and measurement.

On top of this, a flood of new identity solutions in market is creating fragmentation of data and confusion for how to divide strategies across all of them (RAMP IDs, UID, ID5s, cookies). We’ve observed some marketers thinking about parsing their budgets by IDs for their campaigns, which will lead, most likely, to more duplication. Additionally, the balance between privacy and reporting grows trickier by the month.

As a marketer, your priority is to focus on the outcomes that will best serve your brand, not the technology means by which to achieve them. It should be your technology partners’ job to figure out how to connect CTV to linear, mobile and beyond.

So I’m here to tell all the marketers out there: Ask more from your partners.

The responsibility for joining CTV to the rest of your campaign strategy – in a way that can be reported and optimized – falls squarely on technology platforms like ours. It’s our job to provide simplicity, transparency and efficiency in both activation and measurement. Of course, this requires a lot of investment, particularly for emerging formats like CTV, which is why the industry is seeing widespread consolidation rates (of both budgets and companies).

To that end, here are a few steps buyers can take to simplify their TV strategies in 2022:

  • Merge linear TV and digital strategies. Rather than allocating X to linear and Y to digital, bring them together. Removing silos creates a holistic view of your budget for TV and a realistic handle on what goals you should set.
  • Focus on desired outcomes, not the means by which you’ll achieve them. Speaking of goals, start with these: Who do you want to reach and what action are you hoping your creative inspires? Focusing on campaign outcomes rather than taking a screen-by-screen approach will enable you to deploy numerous strategies – direct to publisher, audience, contextual – and tweak them to achieve the results you seek.
  • See people, not IDs. When you separate audiences by the type of ID you can use to reach them, you’re putting the onus on yourself to solve the issue of identity. It’s not the responsibility of marketers to figure out how much should go into RAMP ID versus ID5 – again, leave that to the platform.

Work with platforms who can operate graphs that solve your identity problems to stop wasting budgets through duplicated reach. Tremor International’s identity graph aims at supporting all those identifiers, but we’re also focusing on our person and household consolidated identifiers, which is more critical for identification across CTV.

  • Find a platform that can expose you to every buying channel. When it comes to CTV specifically, work with one of the few SSPs that actually have direct partnerships at scale. End-to-end platforms in particular can facilitate PMPs with publishers that meet your unique needs when it comes to audience segments and content packages.
  • Find partners who are flexible. If a partner is demanding you execute a specific type of activation that doesn’t meet your campaign goals, look elsewhere. It’s ultimately the buyer’s budget to parcel out, so don’t compromise just to work with a certain specific partner.

Ultimate simplicity in programmatic is being able to run an entire strategy through one campaign, then measure the outcome of it. We may not be quite there yet, but in the near term, marketers should be working with partners who they perceive to be making their TV campaigns simpler, backed by the technology and investment mentality to make it a reality.

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