Break Down the Silos of TV and Online Video

Dec 17, 2018


Article ImageThere was a time when TV advertising was king, and the only question left after locking in the creative was how much to allocate to cable vs. broadcast. But today, because viewers have more content options than ever, there has been a decrease in linear TV consumption that has created a scale problem for advertisers trying to reach their target audiences. As Deloitte Global projects, viewing of traditional TV content will decline by 5%-15% per year through 2023.

Many advertisers flocked to online video to reach these consumers, leveraging the more granular targeting and measurement capabilities digital advertising offers. But that presented its own challenges, as the increased investment in OLV (online video) resulted in increased fraud, brand safety, and viewability issues.

 This does not mean that the death knell has been rung for television or online video. The sight, sound, and motion of television creates a powerful branding experience that cannot be replicated with a digital display ad. That said, the targeting and measurement capabilities in OLV increase the effectiveness and accountability of advertising. The answer is not to choose one or the other; it’s combining the best capabilities of both TV and OLV into one holistic approach. 

Unfortunately, the tactic most marketers have adopted – simply shifting money from TV to digital – does not create a holistic video strategy. For one, heavy TV viewers are heavy online consumers, so unless you have a sophisticated cross-channel audience extension strategy, you are not truly extending your TV reach with OLV. Additionally, the consumer experience is not the same; TV ads are viewed on a big screen adjacent to professionally produced content, an ideal environment for a marketer’s branding message. Countless studies have shown that simply shifting that message to a small screen adjacent to a news feed or UGC does not produce the same effect on the upper funnel metrics so important to TV advertisers. 

So while the right strategy might seem simple and intuitive (first identify those consumers not exposed to your TV advertising and second, find them in TV like experiences) the constellation of vendors offering such services has made it challenging at best to execute. This fragmented market has largely been bi-furcated between data companies that can identify a consumer across channels (TV and Digital) and OTT content companies that have the quality video inventory available to actually reach them. 

On the data front, there are over a dozen companies in the market today offering ACR solutions to identify unique consumers across TV and Digital all with varying degrees of scale and efficacy, not to mention marketing materials that seemingly contradict one another. Furthermore, few of these companies have access to scaled unique video inventory so once you identify a consumer that has not been exposed to your TV ad, your options are limited for actually finding them in a quality TV-like environment. 

On the quality video side of the equation, advertisers have had to stitch together a hodgepodge of CTV, OTT, and FEP providers to reach people in TV-like environments. Historically, the scale and varying degrees of access to these sources made them challenging to utilize as part of a holistic video strategy.  

Fortunately, there are now enough providers of TV-type experiences in OTT, CTV, and FEP that are finally reaching a level of scale to be suitable for TV extension. Additionally, marketers and agencies are getting a lot smarter about a quickly maturing ACR market, asking the right questions to ensure they are able to accurately identify consumers that are not exposed to their TV message.

The future of television is on a path that will pull together all of these disparate inventory sources and technologies, from linear TV and OTT to online video, to create a unified strategy. A holistic video approach has been held back because the ecosystem has been splintered, but by combining the best data sources with the best inventory, marketers can execute a campaign that is measurable, scalable, and highly effective for building a brand today.


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