Connected TV 8 Min Read

Why You Need to Reframe Your Thinking About CTV in 2021

Written by Melissa Yap

Remember those days when television advertising was considered something you reserved only for a big brand awareness campaign, supported by some online ads, a social campaign and maybe a search campaign thrown into the mix? Those days are over. Increased consumer investment in smart TVs and OTT devices, combined with ever-increasing cord-cutting makes it a perfect storm for Connected TV advertising this year. Overall sentiment towards traditional programmatic advertising options like  video advertising and even YouTube is that they have failed to live up to their potential, and advertisers are looking to house their ads elsewhere. Over the past few years, and especially last year, we saw a huge shift in the way we view television. Not only has it become the new silver screen, it’s opened up as a direct-response ad channel that’s grown beyond its branding origins. 

This year (and beyond), Connected TV should become a regular fixture in every advertiser’s branding and performance strategies. In other words, that TV campaign shouldn’t only be reserved for the ‘big’ moments – it can be slotted in among the rest of your channels to keep your brand top of mind throughout the year. 

Interested in taking a deep dive on that subject? Join us and our friends at MediaPost, as a couple of SteelHouse industry experts explain the ins and outs of this new performance channel, and how to make the most of it for the upcoming holiday and shopping events. Can’t wait until then? Then keep on reading, we’ve got plenty to hold you over until then! 

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IH (In Home) is the new OOH (Out of Home)

Shifting consumer habits are a big reason why Connected TV is an enormous opportunity this year. We continue to rack up more screen time, and consequently e-commerce has taken over as a big part of this online behavior. WARC’s latest study asked survey respondents which consumer behaviors are having the biggest impact on marketing strategy. Over half (53%) of survey respondents cited shopping online and 52% said increased time at home. This shift demands a different approach from advertisers. Brands are forced to pivot towards DTC (Direct-to-Consumer) strategies, with over 62% expecting to increase their DTC activity this year.

Connected TV advertising: DTC strategy changing priorities 2021

DTC advertising requires accurate targeting and measurement,  which Connected TV provides. But ultimately, improving the customer experience and engaging in-home shoppers is at the heart of it all. Television has always been perceived as merely a brand awareness play, but the marriage between internet and TV (Connected TV) turns it into so much more than a branding tool. 

SteelHouse Performance TV, our Connected TV ad solution, leverages unique technology to deliver performance campaigns in an automated fashion that mitigates measurement, viewability and brand safety challenges. This ensures that the campaign is delivered to the right channel, audience, format, and at an optimal frequency (read – no ad fatigue here). It also prioritizes that crucial customer experience, and engages in-home shoppers across every device in their household. It does this with a two pronged approach. First, it serves TV ads to TV screens, through our Living Room Quality feature which delivers a premium experience every time. How? A combination of non-skippable HD ads, paired with top-tier programming served only on television screens. Secondly, Performance TV campaigns then serve related display ads across web and mobile to ‘extend’ the experience beyond TV onto other household devices. 

Once you’ve launched your campaign, our proprietary Cross-Device Verified Visits model – a custom attribution system that prioritizes transparency and credibility above all else – maps the user journey cross-device and helps inform performance marketers of how your campaigns are performing alongside your other digital marketing channels. We put ourselves in both a brand and performance marketer’s shoes when developing this platform, so every feature and tool you see is geared for performance and measurement

True or False: Connected TV is a Full-Funnel Solution

Hands up if you thought the answer was ‘False’? If you did, then you definitely found this post at the right time and place. In the past, you might have turned to one platform for brand awareness, and another strictly to drive conversions. Whoever said the two were mutually exclusive probably hadn’t yet heard of Connected TV – but that time has changed as advertisers are starting to catch on and prioritize it as a full-funnel solution. 

Advertisers have leveraged Performance TV to hit their full funnel, from prospecting campaigns to drive awareness and valuable, in-market site traffic, to retargeting campaigns that convince those same site visitors to come back and convert. Its ability to target first and third party audiences has unlocked its potential to pinpoint the right shoppers, and its measurement capabilities make it possible to reliably track campaign impact – key components of any successful performance campaign.

What will the digital advertising landscape look like in a post-cookie world? Advertisers now have less than two years left to use third-party cookies to target users. This may be problematic for other forms of digital advertising, but Connected TV was always a step ahead, and mitigates any cookie issues as it targets based on IP address. SteelHouse partners with leading data provider Oracle Data Cloud, giving access to over 30,000+ audience segments that can be reached across their households.

Additionally, it’s become clear that in this post-cookie world, advertisers should reevaluate their own tech stack and shift their investment towards partnerships which have strong data and publisher relationships. This need for a strong, direct relationship has led many advertisers to partner with “walled gardens” – a closed ad ecosystem, like Hulu or Amazon Prime Video – but it’s not always the best choice

SteelHouse Performance TV offers direct relationships and preferential pricing via its own PMP (Private Marketplace), providing ad inventory on the world’s top publishers like CNN, ESPN, FOX,  CNBC, Discovery and 125+ more networks and apps. This also includes inventory in walled gardens like Hulu, giving advertisers access to their premium programming in addition to the rest of the CTV advertising ecosystem.