More than 20% of households have now cut the cord, a trend that is only being accelerated due to the current economic climate. And in lieu of cable, 80% of U.S. viewers are now watching and relying on free ad-supported TV services (FASTS) for news, sports, and other programming. And advertisers… well, advertisers couldn’t be happier.
Sure, the COVID-19 has hit the advertising industry, causing a steady monthly decline in ad spend for most of the year, but CTV viewing has also doubled during recent months due to stay-at-home advisories. Now, advertisers are taking a deeper look at best ways to leverage the platform, so when marketing budgets inevitably start to open back up, they can make sure their TV dollars are working as hard as possible.
CTV is a “best of both worlds” type of situation; offering advertisers the same power and prestige of the TV screen while trading in those archaic Nielsen metrics for precision targeting and measurement capabilities of digital that can be mapped back to real business outcomes. And early studies have already shown consumers are more receptive to ads viewed through OTT platforms, with 72% of viewers recalling ads. Additionally, advertisers can rest easy knowing that, for the most part, their ad is being seen, with in-market CTV viewability solutions driving rates as high as 98%.
But the question many marketers are trying to understand is – how can this work in tandem with other platforms to create holistic, data-driven, cross-platform marketing initiatives? And with the majority of the population also on their smartphone shopping and ordering food while watching TV, mobile data should be a huge driver for your underlying CTV strategy.
The Mobile App Data Ecosystem
Whether it be mobile or the developing CTV ecosystem, apps are at the epicenter of everything. Additionally, today’s connected consumers use those apps not only on mobile, but also to access connected TV content. That’s why it’s essential that advertisers analyze the cross-platform app ecosystem, locations, and other consumer behaviors to gain deeper insights about an individual’s interests, affinities, and life stage.
App intelligence like this can be applied to CTV by matching device IDs to households, which will help build custom audiences that result in greater relevancy and improved targeting. This will ensure a well-rounded, 360-degree view of consumer behavior and viewership habits are being formulated, and enable advertisers to create storytelling narratives for consumers that leverage multiple platforms, sequential messaging and frequency capping to truly optimize the ad experience.
It’s also important to note that while the industry currently anchors onto the term Smart TV, they are really only connected devices and are years away from being transactional. And similar to how many consumers are on their phones while watching TV, consumers continue to use their smartphones to carry out purchases – even when those purchase decisions are driven by TV ads.
Smartphones currently serve as a consumer “safety blanket” while watching TV, and with CTV providing advertisers the ability to precisely target, mobile data needs to be rooted in the overall strategy. For the first time, mobile and TV can work integrally together to create a more effective, enjoyable ad experience. The opportunity to reverse the historic fragmentation is here, it’s just up to the industry to capitalize on it.