Adweek Feature: The Marketer’s Playbook for Winning Streaming Audiences

Adweek Feature: The Marketer’s Playbook for Winning Streaming Audiences

Best practices for OTT success

By every measure, OTT (aka Connected TV or CTV) viewing is the new normal. With three in four U.S. households now consuming content on streaming services, advertisers and brand marketers are shifting bigger budgets into this rapidly growing channel. In fact, 78 percent of marketers plan to buy ad inventory on streaming TV within the next 12 months, according to a SteelHouse survey.

But for some marketers, the complexity and fragmentation of the OTT ecosystem remain hurdles to widespread adoption. To reap the benefits of OTT, you’ll need a deeper understanding of the solutions available.

What are the key considerations for developing an effective OTT buying strategy? Here’s our playbook to simplify the media-buying process to reach the vast and highly engaged streaming audience.

Data is king for OTT targeting

Data is fueling the OTT landscape but targeting and execution capabilities vary significantly among OTT providers. When planning their media buy, marketers need to consider whether they’re buying audience or content. Or maybe both. And when you’re doing data-driven targeting, where is the data coming from and how accurate is the viewer profile?

The latest OTT advancements allow marketers to use audiences instead of content to plan their campaigns. Audience segmentation can be truly deterministic and addressable down to an individual level. Data can be collected based on viewership and matched back to the individual within a household. Using non-personally identifiable viewer data, marketers can analyze content and match it to channel, program and ad placement data to better understand what types of viewers are watching each type of programming and what is triggering their purchase decisions.

In addition, first-party data collection on some OTT platforms offers the capability for online and offline attribution. This can give marketers richer insights on desired actions taken by a viewer that has been served an ad.

Inventory quality matters

Brand safety remains a paramount concern and advertisers need to understand what they’re buying. Since not all OTT quality is the same, determining inventory quality is imperative for marketers. Many providers claim they have directly sourced inventory, but it is important for marketers to know exactly where the inventory is coming from to ensure that their ads are running in a brand-safe and fraud-free environment.

What questions should you ask? Is it a direct buy with a network or ad solution platform, or through programmatic channels that source inventory from open exchanges and non-guaranteed PMP deals? Which is the right combination to give marketers what they need to ensure brand safety and provide the greatest reach?

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