Why Marketers Should Be Looking To OTT And CTV To Reach

VP of Worldwide Sales for LeadsRx, responsible for driving revenue growth and adoption of our impartial marketing analytics software.

Every day it seems we are seeing headlines like this recent one from eMarketer demonstrating the rapid rise of connected TV (CTV), a subset of over-the-top (OTT) services. That’s why saavy marketers should pay attention and consider adding OTT/CTV to their advertising mix.

My own company LeadsRx has two such customers—JamLoop and Ideal OTT—who are currently helping marketers reach consumers and viewers through their OTT/CTV advertising platforms.

More and more cable cutters are ditching traditional cable TV. And let’s not forget the cable nevers, who grew up without ever seeing a cable box plugged in—only streaming services connected to multiple devices. That anti-cable sentiment is pushing streaming video’s growth. As the eMarketer article above notes, CTV ad spending is currently projected to grow to $19.1 billion in 2022.

It’s curtains for cable.

The pandemic accelerated streaming television’s growth as people shuttered in their homes and sought ways to stay entertained at a lower cost than cable.

As Leif Welch, founder and CEO of our client JamLoop, said: “OTT and CTV advertising truly combines the best of digital and traditional linear TV advertising.” In a recent podcast, he further expanded on the uniqueness of OTT/CTV advertising for its ability to better reach the right audience at the right time through its combination of easy access and convenience.

What are the differences between OTT and CTV?

So what exactly are OTT and CTV? OTT refers to any app or website that provides streaming video content over the internet and without cable, including services like HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. CTV, meanwhile, is the enablement of a TV set to connect to the internet either through built-in capabilities or another device such as a Blu-ray player, game console or dedicated streaming device. These include devices like Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku. Marketers are clamoring in these venues to reach streaming’s growing viewership with ads.

This AdExchanger article does a great job of explaining the difference between OTT and CTV. As the article points out, each has its unique challenges when it comes to measuring ads’ impact on marketing. But, as we at LeadsRx have always said, it’s wise to be on multiple marketing channels and measure what is and is not working. Not doing so is doing a disservice to a brand or business.

CTV is the way of the future.

Merrell, the active footwear stalwart, has big plans for reaching consumers in the connected TV space in an effort to target its audience and boost brand awareness via streaming devices. Per this Digiday article, the brand intends to dedicate over 50% of its advertising budget this year—up from 5% in the previous one.

But companies like Merrell will want some proof—some measurement—of how those CTV campaigns are working, bringing in customers who are converting (making purchases).

As this Street Fight article notes: “Research from eMarketer shows that advertisers spent $10.3 billion on connected TV programmatic display ads in 2021, an 82% increase from the year prior. But what they got in return is anyone’s guess.” Despite great advancements in digital marketing, CTV advertising still remains an opaque space where advertisers know little about the shows or other ads their spots are running against.

One special draw of OTT lies in MTA capabilities.

That’s where marketing analytics and, specifically multi-touch attribution (MTA) come in. This is a solution we at LeadsRx have been offering to support the measurement of OTT advertising campaigns since September 2020. It’s the reason JamLoop and idealOTT specialize in what they do and partner with us to measure advertising effectiveness for their clients.

More and more brands and marketing and audio agencies—and broadcasters—are adding OTT MTA to their attribution measurement mix. It’s just one more way in which to connect with customers and provide the personalized experience they seek.

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