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How to improve your CTV strategy through data, partnerships, and iteration

With a growing number of streaming channels, it can be challenging for marketers to put together a comprehensive connected TV (CTV) strategy.

But it’s never been more important to do so. This year, we estimate that CTV ad spend will total $21.6 billion. As growth accelerates, that number will reach $37.45 billion by 2025.

Here are some tips for marketers looking to get a piece of the pie.

Leverage your first-party data, if you’ve got it

  • “This is your point of differentiation, your point of efficiency—it's your ability to hone in on your most valuable prospects and customers,” said Joel Cox, co-founder of Strategus, during an Advertising Week session Monday.
  • Through customer segmentation, marketers can identify similar users and find out more about them.
  • Don’t abandon third-party data. “First-party data can and should be at the forefront of strategies, but in many cases, third-party data can be used in a number of functions to enhance that,” said Cox.

Lean on your tech partners

  • There are over 200 ad-supported streaming apps in the market today, according to Cox, and it’s overwhelming to think about how to find your target audience.
  • The solution, says Cox, is partnering with supply-side platforms to set up private marketplace deals that allow brands to have control over when and how frequently your audience sees an ad.
  • Cox recommends setting up invite-only auction arrangements to ensure that your ads are going into the right content and platforms.

Don’t stop at the TV

  • The average household has nearly 15 connected devices, not including wearables, said Cox.
  • By using household identity graphing, marketers can target other connected devices in a household and use that to serve follow-up messages.
  • For example, if a marketer serves an impression to a smartphone that the audience is using while watching TV, it achieves immediate frequency, reduces costs (as online display and video impressions are cost-efficient), but also gives the audience member clickability, which brings them back to the site for retargeting, analytics, and measurement.

Define outcomes and optimize

  • Every campaign should have different key performance indicators. Before a single impression serves, marketers need to be clear about what action they want their audience to take.
  • Don’t forget that a purchase may not be the end all be all, said Cox. “To simply focus on the purchase without any visibility in the middle is short-sighted and doesn’t give you any ability to optimize.”
  • Above all, make sure you test and iterate. “If you’re not testing continuously on your CTV campaigns, you’re missing out on a ton of opportunities,” said Cox.

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.