What is Connected TV (CTV)?
Connected TV (CTV) is one of the most exciting new frontiers for digital marketing and advertising. While some still think of TV ads in terms of conventional commercials, like those that have been common since the days of black and white TV, that technology is now ancient history. CTV is the wave of the future, and it’s capabilities are being enhanced almost daily. Those who are early adopters of the innovative CTV marketing platform are reaping multifaceted returns on their advertising and branding investment.
TV Harnesses the Power of Digital Marketing
CTV is a whole different technology, for the digital age, tying together millions of broadcasters and ad exchanges spanning the globe. But all of that power can also be concentrated as pinpoint-precise localized marketing. You can target any zip code you want. Inside of that selected area you can even aim your ads and branding messages at specific household, IP addresses, or brick and mortar locations.
Not only that, but everyone in each household or other location who owns and uses a separate device to stream TV content will also be targeted. Whereas homes used to have one of maybe two TV sets, with the ability to only watch one type of program at once time, CTV changed all that. Now individuals are watching TV content on multiple devices that give them the option to watch whatever they want, any time they want.
CTV versus Old-Fashioned TV
The connectivity referred to in the terminology “Connected TV” is Wi-Fi, and the internet. Simply stated, this means that any device with an internet connection may be able to stream favorite TV shows. There are so-called “smart” TV devices that are manufactured with a Wi-Fi component. There are devices like computer laptops that can be connected to TV via the internet, using the consumer’s IP address. You can use a gadget like an Amazon Fire tablet to watch thousands of TV programs in real time. You can watch your favorite shows on a mobile phone and even stream that programming into your vehicle as you motor down the road.
There are other types of CTV coming to market all the time. Already people are consuming CTV content – and that includes advertising – via Apple TV, XBox, Android TV, PlayStation, and flat screen televisions that are internet capable. For marketers and advertisers, that means that the television ad market no longer needs to compete with the internet to engage consumers. With CTV, the internet and television are virtually the same platform, because they are completely connected. By creating this kind of new advertising opportunity, CTV has essentially harnessed the power and popularity of the internet, and delivered it directly to businesses that engage in television branding and marketing.
CTV Surging as Millions Cut the Cord to TV and Cable
CTV isn’t just making conventional TV obsolete, but is also inspiring millions of consumers to cut the cord to cable TV, including premium cable channels. Industry projections show that by 2019, at least half of all households in the United States will be using CTV. Because of the trend away from cable TV, major players in the industry including AT&T and Charter have already begun to offer streaming services that deliver on-demand TV content. They see the writing on the wall and are trying to transition toward the future to remain relevant in the era of CTV.
Meanwhile, companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are enjoying a surge in subscriptions to their online viewing of streaming television content. Consumers like the fact they can watch their favorite programming whenever they want, and from wherever they want. They are no longer physically tethered to a TV set. Neither are they restricted by the rigid programming schedules of content providers like television networks. That gives them greater freedom to watch what they want on their own schedules – and watch it and share it with others, repeatedly, if they like.
CTV’s Exponentially-Increasing Audience
But unless businesses also adapt to this newly innovative CTV paradigm, they risk becoming disconnected from their target market and TV viewing audiences. Once that happens, as every marketer and business owner knows, it is much more costly to regain that lost customer. Fortunately, CTV marketing allows any business to retain their existing television-based customers, without any risk of loss.
But CTV does much more than that, by simultaneously giving businesses the power and ability to place their ads and messages in front of a much larger audience, and with much greater and more reliable frequency. The good new for marketers, in other words, is that once viewers do cut the cord, instead of losing them it becomes much more easy to engage them. You can also do so with more cost effective tailor-made messaging and consistent, real-time, on-target ad content.
Programmatic Advertising with CTV
Because television is now digital, that enables businesses to market using a CTV programmatic advertising platform. This advanced technology engages digital TV program streamers with the ability to target them based on granular data regarding demographics, consumer shopping behaviors (both online and offline), and other analytic metrics and measures.
By using sophisticated CTV Programmatic Advertising analytics, you can create highly effective sequential advertising. Precisely convey messages and engage individual users and households on all of their digital devices. This kind of incrementally-tailored repeat messaging retargets the consumer again and again. But each time you reengage them, it’s based on real-time updated information such as how, when, and where they responded to the last ad or message you presented to them in your marketing funnel sequence.
CTV Programmatic Advertising in Action
To help understand how it is possible to leverage the technology of CTV Programmatic Advertising, consider a simple example. Say, for instance, that someone owns a vehicle and may be a prime candidate for purchasing a new vehicle. A local dealership wants to market to them, and has customarily done so through local TV ads. But now they decide to upgrade their technology and utilize CTV marketing.
First they could run an ad on TV as usual, except that now they are reaching users who are streaming content via multiple devices via CTV. A group of people in a household watch TV together to enjoy a World Series or Super Bowl party or to watch the Oscar Awards or some other popular show. All of them view the dealership’s ad. Those who are interested in auto services or buying a car then use their smartphones to visit the dealership’s website. The ad just generated multiple traffic and now each of those potential customers is being directed through sequential digital marketing to the actual local dealership. Or they see the ad and then drive themselves directly to the dealership.
Since they may also shop at competitors, the dealership can use geofence marketing to capture them (and anyone else) who visits a competing dealership. Then they are engaged there, too, and strategically guided back to the dealership running the ad campaign. Maybe they go online to do background research on specific models of vehicles. That info is also tracked, captured, and analyzed. Then the marketing is tweaked to keep the consumer engaged and directed to the dealership’s website and brick and mortar location. But it all started with an ad on CTV, which has exponentially greater marketing potential and sustained influence than old-fashioned non-digital television advertising.
Seamlessly Integrate Multiple Campaigns
Plus, you can easily integrate multiple marketing campaigns to serve and strengthen each other, while making the most of your advertising budget dollars. No longer is television advertising just a vertical type of marketing architecture with isolated, distinct silos of messages and information. With CTV Programmatic Advertising it works in more of a 360-degree process, seamlessly connecting content from video, TV, mobile, and audio – across multiple formats, platforms, devices, and ad exchange networks.
The feedback data that you receive from this kind of high-tech ad strategy is also more comprehensive and valuable. That’s because you are not only getting consumer data related to one type of device or one kind of program. Instead of that old TV model, the new CTV Programmable Advertising model allows you to use tools typically thought of as only available to online marketers. You can reach out to consumers who watch TV, who visit your website, who engage in e-commerce, who browse online for the kinds of products and services you sell, and who enter specific geographical offline geofenced marketing areas. Now all your digital media efforts work synergistically and across all devices in a household, including televisions, computers, and mobile phones. That ensures that you generate multiple returns on your marketing and advertising investment.