Why CTV is the Linchpin of Multichannel Strategies


Dave CastellA number of demand-side platforms and supply-side platforms are reporting connected-TV inventory to be an increasingly important source of revenue, as more inventory is made available and the buy-side invests more in the media. But CTV is not just another valuable media, but rather should sit at the very heart of advertisers’ multichannel strategies says Dave Castell, general manager of inventory and partnerships EMEA at The Trade Desk.

Castell will be on stage at New Video Frontiers in London next week, on a panel discussing the question ‘Is the European TV Industry Moving Quickly Enough?’

Connected TV is thriving – in Europe alone, an estimated 49 percent of all impressions are already served via CTV, and that growth is reflected globally, with an average of 100 million new CTV sets being sold every year.

Younger generations today are more likely than any previously to cut cords, or, increasingly frequently, to have never had those cords in the first place. And rather than crowding round a fuzzy monitor with five channels, TV is now a very personal thing – consumed on almost any device at any time. The content is also changing, as we’re experiencing a golden age of premium content across Europe which is valued by viewers and advertisers alike.

This means that traditional ad breaks, too, are evolving. Where previously we had blocks of non-specific linear advertising, we now have intelligent, highly targeted, and therefore highly relevant ads which offer products and services to audiences at a time relevant to them. Our own figures show that this is working – incorporating CTV into advertising campaigns bumps audience reach by 41 percent.

With adoption continuing to spike, there’s never been a better time to get involved in CTV. Here’s how best to approach the channel to get the very best from it.

Think multichannel

Firstly, it’s worth getting out of the mindset that CTV is just another kind of TV. In fact CTV should rightly sit with display, video and mobile at the heart of a broader digital strategy.

By approaching CTV as a standalone entity, advertisers run the risk of frustrating perfectly planned digital strategy by maxing out frequency caps and sharing the wrong messages at the wrong time. Given the expense of perfecting cross-channel digital strategy, brands should make sure not to throw their hard work out the window by annoying audiences with a completely siloed TV campaign. To get the very best from CTV campaigns, it should be incorporated in the digital strategy right from the very start. A planning tool will help you get the balance right.

CTV is a two-way street

CTV as a platform is full of data. There’s a lot to learn from what audiences are watching, whether it’s their preferred genre, when and where they like to watch, or even what their favourite programme is. 

That’s why CTV should be a two-way street – a platform as much for gathering insights as for serving advertising. After all, given its crucial role at the centre of multichannel, insights sourced on CTV are useful far beyond just CTV.

And these kinds of data are a key part of establishing a deeper connection with audiences. Rather than focussing on poorly-planned, one-off interactions, advertisers should be looking to build a relationship with viewers over time – reaching out when and where it suits, with exactly what they like to watch.

Measure by measure

With countless streaming services – and more – available through a range of different platforms, good CTV strategy needs diligent tracking. 

The ecosystem is admittedly somewhat fragmented at present – but the advent of universal IDs is set to make this tracking and measuring much simpler. And yet, there’s no reason why we can’t use the tech at hand already to make the most out of CTV. With the help of broadcasters, brands can access the maximum level of insights possible and guarantee the success of their targeting. Whether it’s device IDs, device graphs, logins, or location data, every snippet counts. Ultimately, brands should layer a variety of different sources to get the best result.

Living the stream

Whether it’s binge-watching or just shiny tech that pulls in the punters, the UK market has fast become the most advanced and engaged in Europe – with huge benefits for consumers and brands alike. 

We at The Trade Desk are always looking to be at the forefront of embracing CTV and all it has to offer. However, we also know that this is a time of adjustment for the industry – for broadcasters particularly, the pace of change is rapid. But we need the foundations of CTV to be strong, which is why we’re on-hand to help turn the disruption into opportunity. The bottom line is, there’s never been a better time to get involved in CTV – so dive in.


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