The early days of Connected TV (CTV) relied primarily on contextual relevance, and an influx of inventory sources allowed brands to reach target audiences based on content and category (i.e. sports fans on ESPN and FoxSports). 

However, now that CTV is an established media tactic, data-driven audience targeting has become an increasingly effective method for expanding scale to reach existing and potential customers. Trends in ad spend reinforce the fact that brands view CTV as an integral media mix tactic. According to eMarketer, more than $7B in CTV spend is forecasted in 2020, and this figure is estimated to double by 2023.  

KORTX was an early adopter in developing the technology and partnerships required to apply first-party and third-party data to CTV inventory, and we’ve identified four key tactics that brands can implement in order to maximize their CTV investment.

Target Your Site Visitors Across CTV Inventory

Perhaps the most innovative option for data-driven CTV targeting is the ability to reach a brand’s site visitors across CTV inventory. This is a major step forward in cross-platform strategy, providing a direct line between site traffic and high-quality, engaging CTV ads. 

As with other granular targeting strategies, marketers should be aware of potential scale limitations depending on first-party data volume, but connecting audiences between online site visitation and CTV holds significant value. This is especially true for brands lacking budget and resources for linear TV. 

Additionally, KORTX partners exclusively with Xandr for CTV activation which provides our clients with direct access to owned and operated AT&T inventory including DirectTV and AT&T Now – both of which are elite inventory sources not available on the open market. Brands can execute this strategy today by combining the power of KORTX’s Axon audience management platform with our Xandr integration to activate first-party audiences on CTV inventory. 

A Solution for the “Unreachables”

Cord-cutting is a trend we’re going to continue to see grow. In fact, eMarketer estimates that by 2021, nearly one-fourth of all US households will no longer have paid TV. For marketers, this means that an increasing number of consumers are no longer reachable through linear TV spots, and the balance of a brand’s media mix must be adjusted accordingly. 

Luckily the increase in Connected TV adoption and content streaming more than makes up for the drop in linear TV consumption. Several data providers offer audience segments that specifically target cord-cutters through advanced ACR technology that detects the absence of pay TV content in the household. 

Combining cord-cutter audience targeting with other viewership segments such as ‘Light TV Viewers’ and ‘Heavy Content Streamers’ offers a comprehensive audience strategy for brands that want to minimize linear TV budget waste and also extend reach. This is particularly important against the sought-after younger demographic who tend to be cord cutters and content streamers.

Rethink Measurement & Performance Priorities

One of the primary benefits of CTV is often viewed through the lens of high video completion rate (VCR) performance, and marketers have come to expect VCR percentages of 95%+ for CTV campaigns. 

However, after analyzing dozens of CTV campaigns and related VCR performance, KORTX’s operations experts have confirmed that making concessions on vanity metrics such as VCR present significant opportunities to reach users across multiple OTT devices and channels. For example, adjusting VCR goals to a range of 85% – 90% increased scale against target audiences and allowed KORTX to access inventory across OTT platforms and devices that would have otherwise been unattainable.

Marketers should consider a minimal drop in VCR as a smart trade-off for boosting incremental reach and engaging a target audience regardless of the OTT/CTV device or inventory source. 

Target Out of Season TV Viewers

Seasonality is typically a main driver of linear TV strategy, and this is most apparent with sports broadcasts. Given the rare situation we’re currently facing with a complete absence of the four major US sports leagues, third-party data offers an opportunity to reach sports viewers and fans through CTV.

Activating TV viewership data segments on CTV inventory offers the ability to target viewers regardless of seasonality or contextual relevance. For example, NFL viewers are typically glued to the television on Sunday afternoons, but they obviously consume other TV content. Targeting sports fans using ACR-powered data segments means that NFL viewers can be reached across many CTV inventory sources and marketers are not contextually limited to the NFL Network, for example.  

This also applies to TV genres, networks and programs that align with a brand’s target demographic. Once a viewer has been qualified using third-party data, marketers can tap into vast CTV inventory sources and reach their target audience at scale. 

Data-driven CTV campaigns present limitless opportunities to craft audience strategies that reach viewers on the household’s largest and most engaging screen. Combining the benefits of linear TV and digital video positions CTV as a highly-effective upper-funnel strategy for any brand looking to drive awareness and incremental reach. 

We’re here to help craft your custom CTV strategy, using both first-party and third-party audience segments. Reach out today to get started!