Here’s Why Brand Building Is CTV’s Best Shot | Broadcasting+Cable

By Dev August 23, 2022

Here’s Why Brand Building Is CTV’s Best Shot | Broadcasting+Cable

Television is transforming. Linear TV is on a slow decline, thanks to the rise of CTV and the proliferation of streaming platforms. Some math: Apple+Paramount+Disney+ ESPN+Crackle+BET+SamsungTV+Discovery+… equals a new world of television (and head-scratching lack of creativity on names). And Netflix announced it would begin to accept ads, creating a brand new behemoth in ad-supported streaming.

Consumers prefer to watch content on their own schedules, and we’re already witnessing the next generation of content consumers eschewing linear, meaning broadcasters will continue to lean deeply into connected TV apps like Paramount Plus, Peacock and others to retain audiences from linear. Some will even build new ones (although a small chorus of critics (opens in new tab) about the streaming revolution grows louder).

As broadcasters embrace CTV as their bold and bright future, they must consider maximizing revenues through advertising. Linear TV was and remains the greatest brand-building opportunity in history. Most programming attracts a lean-back experience where people pay attention to ads but do not immediately purchase something, and CTV provides much of that same experience.

CTV is seemingly a lifeline for broadcast and cable companies, but the wrong measurement could have disastrous ramifications. Advertisers and broadcasters are increasingly under pressure to think of CTV as more like digital because of its ability to enable more direct response advertising options. But to think of CTV as solely — or even primarily — a performance vehicle is a dangerous path. Certainly, short-term outcomes (e.g., site visits, immediate online sales) matter to many advertisers, but overlooking the more powerful long-term brand outcomes that CTV can generate will cause broadcasters to shrink their revenue pie.

Here are four things I believe broadcasters must remember as they establish their CTV measurement strategy:

Consumers still pay attention to brand-building ads. 

The GEICO Gecko, the speaking and anthropomorphic M&Ms, the celebrity spokespeople of AT&T and Progressive, and the celebrity cameos all drive brand awareness and lasting consideration.

It is still an opportunity to reach a huge audience and drive future product consideration. Ads geared towards brand building, which tell a compelling story appealing to viewers’ emotions, will remain a powerful tool. You will struggle to drive conversations later if you don’t focus on generating brand lift first. Performance ads can capture demand, but brand ads generate demand.

Large advertisers still have a large brand-building budget they need to invest. The largest, most desired advertisers continue to invest in brand building. Earlier this year, Nielsen reported that brand awareness remains the top objective of global marketers. Bigger budgets in brand-building will remain moving forward, and TV (connected or linear) is where they are most inclined to spend it. If measurement discussions all point towards conversions and ROAs, publishers will be asking for performance dollars and moving away from TV’s main competitive advantage.

The attractiveness of performance media budgets is an illusion.

A debate is playing out about whether CTV is primarily a brand or performance channel — and a shift towards performance is being discussed. I think there is room for both, but brand building should not take a back seat to performance. As investors pour money into performance-only CTV, positioning CTV (or linear for that matter) as solely a performance medium will only serve to decrease advertiser satisfaction.

While performance media spend on CTV may be increasing in the short-term, many of these dollars are experimental, with the turnover of performance budgets being higher. I’ve heard from dozens of DTC marketers some version of “I tried CTV, but did not see immediate ROAs, so we stopped.” DTC advertisers investing an influx of dollars — due to the low barrier of entry on CTV compared to linear — may make you feel like you are getting richer, but these campaigns will be judged on their ability to drive immediate sales. Focusing on backward-facing metrics like multi-touch attribution (MTA) will paint an incomplete picture of an ad’s efficacy, leading to incorrect assumptions about success, and loss of media budgets later.

Brand building is highly measurable.

Many publishers are tempted to dive head-first into performance media because they know advertisers want measurement and erroneously believe KPIs like reach and brand outcomes are harder to measure. In reality, the right technology now exists and is scalable to validate how successful a tactic or campaign is in reaching a demographic or behavioral trait across channels and driving consumers down the funnel. By providing the right data, publishers can demonstrate how impactful campaigns were using their platform.

The most important thing to remember is that both linear and CTV broadcasters are in the business of building brands, not selling inventory. As CTV becomes a larger percentage of their business, they shouldn’t undervalue media simply because it’s digitized.

To allow performance media to be the primary measure by which your ROI is judged would be to slide towards infomercial-like programming and constant calls to action while turning off viewers and eroding brand affinities. As linear proved for decades, consumers want their commercial interrupts to take the same cinematic approach their content does.

I truly believe that CTV is a great spot to continually attract the world’s largest advertisers and recapture the budgets lost to linear’s decline. But only if they focus on the right measurement and tell the right story: there is no better way to build a brand than on TV. ■

Source: here