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InContext / An inside look at the business of digital content

Fulfilling the buy-side wish list with connected TV

August 9, 2022 | By Stefanie Briec, Director, Head of Demand Sales UK & International AudienceXpress – FreeWheel @FreeWheel

Connected TV (CTV) includes a wide range of video on demand (VOD) platforms, free ad-supported streaming services, and a growing number of channels that viewers primarily use to enjoy long-form premium video content. Ad buyers increasingly direct their spend towards the eyeballs watching CTV. However, to capture this investment, media owners and broadcasters must deliver everything on marketers’ wish lists.

From data-driven targeting and incremental reach to frequency capping and efficiency, how can sell-side players become the fairy godparents of CTV by making sure buyers’ wishes come true? 

Targeting: tailor that ball gown

Much like a ball gown, ads need to fit — and fit well. A recent consumer study from FreeWheel and Happydemics uncovered that almost two-fifths of CTV viewers surveyed like ads related to their personal interests. And more than a quarter prefer ads that reflect their lifestyle. 

The sell-side can help marketers tailor their ads by supporting advanced targeting methods. Gone are the days when TV campaigns were planned on ratings alone. CTV now makes the same household screen addressable and many elements such as age, gender, time of day, geolocation, device data, and more can inform ad targeting. 

As the custodians of user information and contextual data, media owners can enable buyers to better personalize their ads based on audience behaviors and content preferences. Doing so heightens the value of CTV inventory and enhances the viewing experience with stronger relevance.

Geo filters: the glass slipper must fit perfectly

To help marketers win over viewers and plan the most effective campaigns, the sell side must balance relevance and scale when it comes to targeting. CTV environments can place brands in front of a broad audience. But it’s essential to consider if they are high intent consumers and how receptive they are to specific messages.

The ability to purchase inventory that can be targeted with geo filters addresses this issue by letting buyers pinpoint regional audience segments. It also helps ensure relevance through location. A footwear brand, for example, could use this to boost in-store traffic from local audiences, especially if combined with a new product release stocked in their brick-and-mortar stores. 

Efficiency: from a pumpkin into a coach 

Increasing efficiency for ad buyers gets them to their objectives quickly and in style. Enabling marketers to make the most of CTV’s data-driven targeting methods allows them to deliver cost-effective campaigns, as media owners’ viewer data can enrich audience segmentation. Buyers can purchase the best inventory for connecting with specific consumers and get better mileage for their ad spend, generating stronger impact while reducing waste. 

What’s more, broadcasters that unify their linear TV and VOD inventory will make an appealing proposition for ad buyers. In the FreeWheel x CoLab Media Consulting 2022 study, the marketers surveyed consider the ability to purchase ad slots for both linear and Advanced TV — which encompasses CTV, streaming and on-demand services — in one transaction as a key driver for their investment. 

Incremental reach: the more, the merrier

Another reason behind the growth of Advanced TV budgets, according to the marketer study, is the opportunity it gives buyers to extend linear TV’s reach. The sell-side can ensure CTV is highly effective for cross-channel marketing by bringing connected and linear TV together. 

As the media landscape becomes more and more fragmented, it’s easy to think that newer channels will replace traditional ones. However, linear TV continues to account for 58% of consumers’ time spent with video. This highlights the importance of buyers being able to leverage the optimal mix of channels to boost incremental reach and deliver on their campaign goals, alongside the need for media owners to unite their inventory and streamline the transaction process. 

Frequency: don’t keep asking for the next dance

According to FreeWheel’s consumer study, nearly two-thirds of respondents who watch CTV believe premium video platforms are home to the most attention-grabbing advertising experiences. Audiences claim to enjoy CTV’s big screen and quality content, and media owners are responsible for maintaining the viewer experience. 

Frequency capping is critical here, because persistently serving the same ads will lead to audiences losing interest. Through enabling marketers to set a frequency cap not only at a household level, but also across channels, sell side players can remove the risk of ad fatigue. This improves campaign effectiveness for buyers while ensuring viewers continue to enjoy CTV environments, so media owners can keep everyone happy. 

A fairy tale ending

CTV attracts highly receptive audiences and delivers a quality advertising experience. That said, the sell-side can leverage its digital-equivalent capabilities to make it an even more enticing prospect for ad buyers.

Marketers are expecting CTV platforms to unite linear TV’s reach with advanced targeting and efficient media trading methods. By supporting buyers with techniques such as frequency capping, geo filters and ad personalization, media owners can help make their wishes come true in their quest to optimize campaigns.

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