“On TV & Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.
Today’s column is by Maria Mryasova, director of product at DCMN.
The number of cord-cutters has never been higher, and ad spend dedicated to connected TV (CTV) is rising steadily every year. But advertisers shouldn’t discount linear TV just yet. The US counts close to 50 million households with traditional TV services, and in 2021, 61% of US consumers watched linear TV on a weekly basis.
Advertisers often feel torn between the two channels.They wonder which will give them the best ROI. But rather than choosing one or the other, an increasing number of brands are adopting a TV 360 approach.
This not only means blending linear and CTV advertising to best reach their target audiences, but also integrating their TV efforts effectively across their marketing funnel.
The benefits of blending TV and CTV
In many ways, the viewing experience for both TV and CTV is extremely similar. Both channels use a TV screen to convey a message, and viewers are likely watching from a TV device, often with a second device in-hand.
Ultimately, it’s the channels’ targeting capabilities that are their biggest differentiators: linear TV allows brands to make a big splash, maximizing their reach across millions of TV households in the US. CTV, meanwhile, enables brands to zero-in on their target audience. That’s why CTV and linear are best used in conjunction, helping push both brand and performance objectives.
Another key difference is price. While CTV’s CPMs range from $15 to $50, linear ad CPMs fall between $10 to $15. Understanding how to split the marketing budget between the two depends on the audience that brands are trying to reach. While CTV is growing in viewership across all demographics, it still skews toward younger, more tech-savvy consumers. Many CTV viewers may also be cord-cutters or cord-nevers. Linear viewers, on the other hand, skew older.
Measuring your linear TV campaigns
One of CTV’s major benefits is how easy it is to track and attribute campaigns. But recent improvements in linear TV tracking mean brands can evaluate their TV campaigns through the whole funnel, optimize it on a CPV or CPI basis, and effectively prove its ROI.
The most common way to do this is using probabilities to help identify direct response organic traffic spikes, such as website visits or app installs, that correlate with TV commercials airing within a given attribution window. This way, brands can find out exactly which spot airings are bringing them the most new users, track immediate and long-term conversions and discover which media buys are really paying off. Besides website visits, brands can also measure the uplift of other custom goals like registration, log-ins or orders.
But direct response only measures how audiences react in a short window directly following a specific spot airing. This is helpful for optimizing schedule and channel mix, but it can also be misleading, because it doesn’t account for the longer-term, cumulative effects of your campaign.
There are two ways marketers can measure the indirect response effects of their campaign. The first is to work with a research provider to measure metrics such as brand awareness, consideration, usage and loyalty, among others, before and after a campaign. From there, brands can see the upswing in key branding metrics.
Alternatively, brands can also include a brief, one-question form somewhere in their funnel asking where the user heard about them. Longer-term attribution impact allows marketers to find out the spillover effect of their campaigns and understand how long the impact of a campaign lasts.
Integrating TV and CTV within your funnel
Looking beyond combining TV and CTV, marketers should also integrate these channels across their funnel.
Let’s start with CTV: By integrating it within digital channels – and especially within retargeting campaigns – brands can tie CTV campaigns to bottom-funnel results. Marketers can begin by activating their first-party data. For example, if you’re a gaming studio, this means onboarding lapsed users or users of other games to reach with a CTV campaign. Additionally, marketers can build an audience of users who were exposed to a CTV ad and retarget them via other channels like online video or display ads.
For linear TV, online marketing – such as AdWords campaigns and retargeting efforts – also play a huge role in capturing the new demand created through TV efforts. After all, not all new users will be coming to a brand’s site directly through the URL. They’ll also be searching for keywords around the specific product or app (maybe because they can’t remember the URL). Advertisers should ensure their AdWords campaigns are set up in advance and reflect keywords or products in the spot.
Traditionally, advertisers have been limited in their ability to connect impressions across TV and digital. But by approaching the entire funnel holistically, brands can target and nudge users along the path to purchase.