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Why we care about connected TV and OTT advertising

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datafuelX launches predictive analytics solutions to improve linear TV and CTV outcomes

Connected TV and OTT advertising represent the digital transformation of traditional linear TV publishers following the rise of streaming platforms and mobile viewing, and they are engaging viewers through on-demand, live and cross-channel experiences. For marketers, this enables them to reach households through any device, including smart TVs.

Combined with connected TV, the world of advertising now has a range of high-quality, affordable options to reach audiences with targeted messaging.

While there’s more flexibility and accessibility now, you also face challenges as you seek to optimize when, where, and how you reach your audiences. It’s important to tap into artificial intelligence in marketing so you can achieve the success you need.

In this piece, we’ll dive into connected TV and OTT advertising. We’ll cover:

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

What Is connected TV?

Connected TV (or CTV) falls into a subset of over-the-top (OTT) outlets. They’re the smart television sets, which allow you to connect to the internet via Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or gaming consoles.

What Is OTT advertising?

OTT (over-the-top) allows you to stream digital content directly from the internet via platforms like Hulu, Peacock, Philo, Prime Video, Sling TV, and TubiTV. You can stream OTT content on many connected devices, including tablets, phones, and laptops.

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Differences between CTV and OTT advertising

At the most basic level, connected TV and OTT advertising allow you to better fulfill the increase in demand from your audience while letting you tap into new platforms and strategically distribute your content.

  • Connected TV just acts as a conduit for OTT, so you can connect your smart TV or other devices to the internet.
  • OTT Advertising passes through broadcast, cable, or satellite TV providers, so you can stream the digital content on mobile devices, PCs, or TVs.

While the methods for distribution may vary, connected TV and OTT are both solutions that address consumer dissatisfaction with the high cost and lack of options available from traditional TV. OTT advertising involves pre-roll, mobile, and web inventory, which is cheaper. Connected TV advertising is a more expensive product because you’re paying for a premium experience.

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Benefits of advertising with OTT and CTV

There’s much more to the migration of consumers from traditional TV to connected TV and OTT though. CTV and OTT offer a range of benefits, which were not available at all with traditional TV or were not possible to the same extent. So, why do advertisers love OTT and CTV?

High Completion Rates

With OTT and CTV, your audience is more likely to watch the streaming ads because they’re not able to skip them. This trend is important since traditional TV options usually offer DVR services, which allow your audience to fast-forward through or skip advertisements altogether.

Targeting

As OTT and CTV advertising content evolves, you can more easily segment your audience and target different versions of your ads to various demographics. With that level of high-tech targeting, you can more easily engage with your audience and inspire them to act.

Ask them to purchase, sign-up, or even visit your store. If the ads aren’t working, it’s also a simple matter of adjusting your messaging and optimizing your targeting to achieve the return on investment (ROI) you need.

Challenges of advertising with OTT and CTV

While you’ve probably become familiar with how OTT and CTV advertising work by watching them yourself, the strategy may not be as easy as it sounds. To be successful, you must learn the process and optimize your placements. Here are just a few of the challenges you’ll face.

Analyzing your metrics

Understanding your analytics and fine-tuning your strategic decisions is daunting. It’s a learning curve that many advertisers are just not willing to invest time and money into learning and doing well.

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Finding the right advertising strategy

You need to deliver the right messaging to your target audience at the best time. To achieve that sweet spot, look at your metrics to focus on the best way to advertise your brand’s products and services.

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OTT vs. CTV reporting: How to measure advertising campaign effectiveness

There’s never a single metric you should use to determine the success of your advertising campaigns on OTT or CTV platforms. So, let’s look at which factors you’ll analyze to strategize and determine the best placement options for our audiences.

Reach

Unique users who see your advertisement are your reach. You use this metric to determine where your budget is going.

Rate of completion

Your completion rate is the number of times your audience actually sees your ad all the way through. If you have a high rate of completion, you’re sending a message that probably resonates with your audience. They’re engaged with your messaging.

Viewability

This metric helps you determine whether your audience can see your ad and what their overall experience is. You’re looking at how long they watched your advertisement and the screen size to determine how captivating your campaign was for your audience.

Attribution tracking

You should track the action that your audience takes when they view your ad. Do they download your application, view your website, or visit your store? Those simple actions are essential to the success of your marketing AI campaigns.

CPCV (cost per completed view)

You should measure the cost per completed view to better determine the success of your advertising campaign.

Which is better for advertising: OTT or CTV?

Over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) offer different experiences for advertisers, which may make you select one over the other. You might use OTT for a political ad campaign because you’d likely reach a larger audience with marketing AI. With OTT advertising, your audience can also click on the ad, which can be an effective way to drive traffic to your website.

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With CTV advertising, you might invite your audience to stop by your store, attend an event, or take some other action that doesn’t require direct interaction with the screen. You pay a premium price for connected TV ad campaigns, so you should check to see where your ads are running.

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What Is the future of OTT and CTV?

Whether you’ve been using AI marketing for years or you just started, you’ll continue to see changes in the industry that will affect OTT and CTV advertising. Media platforms and digital technologies are rapidly changing to better address the demands of your savvier audience.

82% of U.S. households with a TV have at least one internet-connected device or platform, so brands would be wise to gravitate toward OTT and CTV advertising. AI in marketing supports your efforts in this area, as you can more easily strategize and develop a plan for implementing an approach to reach your targeted audience.

Learn more about OTT and CTV

Even if OTT advertising and CTV advertising are relatively new concepts to you and your marketing team, you can use the power of AI marketing to better understand how these placement options can work for your brand.

Here are some helpful OTT and CTV resources:


About The Author

Danni White draws on over 15 years of experience as a marketer, writer, and content strategist in both B2B and B2C industries. Over the past decade, she has worked with agencies, startups, and digital publications to create content that matters to audiences and converts. She is the founder of DW Creative Consulting Agency where she works with clients to create, manage, and optimize content for optimal business impact.

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MARKETING

Closing your team’s technical gap without hiring

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Closing your team's technical gap without hiring

It’s no comfort knowing you’re not the only one having trouble finding tech talent. Demand is high, supply is low. And everyone has teams and projects stuck in limbo.

What would be comforting is a solution. Well, here you go.

I’ve helped many marketing teams close the gap in their technical capabilities without writing a single job description. The reality is you have many more options than you can envision right now. All you need to do is expand your frame.

Expand Your Frame

When making a decision, framing helps you focus on the proper outcomes. The hard part may be setting the frame to the right size. Make it too small and you miss big chunks of the panorama. Too large and you lose the details. 

It’s also a fantastic way to think more strategically. While others are getting up in tactics, e.g., hiring, you can think of the outcome you’re hoping to achieve and determine the fastest way to get there. 


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The frame here is not that you need to hire someone, it’s that you need a certain set of tasks completed. Instead of hiring you should consider two other options: automation, i.e. no-code, and adjusting your team’s priorities. Looked at that way, you may already have all the skills you need.

No-Code & the New Engineers

The rise of no-code software tools is one of the most significant developments in the marketing world. No-code tools are meant to be used by non-technical folks. They have drag-and-drop interfaces and tend to be highly user-friendly. Examples include Zapier, Tray.io, and countless others.

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A huge problem for marketing teams is their technology is too complex. Doing anything significant means getting an engineer. Even sending emails requires technical help. With multiple no-code options in every category, there’s no need for this.

Instead of hiring someone to support marketing automation, find a software solution anyone can use. In practical terms, it means avoiding options like Salesforce, which requires in-house expertise, hundreds of pages of documentation and the proper alignment of the moon to make it work. Other solutions are drastically easier to use, though they may have less functionality. 

I tell my clients to prioritize the ability to connect their tools rather than just their raw capabilities. You may have the best email marketing solution, but it’s not as valuable if you can’t easily export data to a CRM. Be biased towards no-code, and you can avoid hiring.

I recently helped clients connect their Hubspot, Google Sheets, and a website using only no-code tools like Zapier. We were able to get everything done in a matter of weeks with no involvement from their engineers. In addition, the marketing team could send better-targeted emails and measure their performance better. All they needed were the right tools.

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Adjust Your Priorities

Think over how your team spent their time over the past week. Were they working on the highest impact tasks? Unfortunately, there’s a good chance the answer is no. It’s easy to fall prey to “busy work” or get stuck doing jobs that should be automated.

Bill Gates once said there’s no point hiring someone to do an inefficient process. You’re just scaling bad habits. Instead, clean up your processes before adding more bodies. You may discover plenty of time to research software tools and tackle new tasks.

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Read next: Broaden your marketing ops talent perspective

The fastest way to adjust your priorities is to run a time audit of your team. Ask each member to record how they spent their time over an average week. You can then work with them to figure out how to remove tasks from their plates. Low-hanging fruit includes manual input, work that no one sees or failure work—where tasks are redone multiple times. 

After running an audit for one team we found they spent way more time cleaning up data rather than using it. We figured out what was causing the errors and duplication, solving them through formulas and other measures. They were able to shift around 20 hours to other tasks. Many teams have similar hidden opportunities.

Digital-First Means Being Lean

Being digitally savvy isn’t about hiring as many people as possible. Digital channels offer the ability to be lean as you scale. Think of influencers who run channels with millions of views out of their parent’s basement. They have a lean but effective production. Years ago, the Instagram team had less than 100 people before being acquired by Facebook.

As you shift into digital, you have the opportunity to restructure your marketing teams and take advantage of trends like no-code. The first step is to expand your frame. After that, you might see more opportunities.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

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About The Author

Ruben Ugarte is the global expert in Decisions, Strategy, and Data and author of the Data Mirage and Bulletproof Decisions. He helps executives at the most innovative medium and large enterprises find their hidden treasures and use them to dramatically boost performance, increase profitability, and make their teams world-class. He has done this across five continents and in three languages. His ideas have helped hundreds of thousands of people make better decisions.

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