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Modernizing audience targeting: How to tap into connected TV's full potential

If you’re a marketer, you probably want two things when it comes to delivering a media campaign: quality inventory and the right audience. To this end, connected television is an exciting channel that’s growing in popularity with US consumers and advertisers alike.

But there are some important factors that you need to consider to effectively incorporate connected TV into your marketing mix. Linear TV has been a powerful medium for reaching audiences for decades. It’s only natural that after such a long time, you’ve developed habits that have carried over into emerging channels. But here’s the rub—without adopting a new mind-set, you may leave money on the table, thanks to poorly executed campaigns.

Let’s explore how you can leverage the full potential of connected TV by applying modern audience strategies. 

 

TV advertising—it still works 

First, let’s make one thing clear—TV advertising is still an effective way to reach your audiences at scale. Despite some commentators suggesting that the days of the TV buy are over, it’s still a powerful way to drive brand awareness. And while digital channels are taking more ad dollars, as long as people still watch TV, it will remain a crucial part of your toolbox. In fact, according to eMarketer, TV will still command the second largest share of media spend by advertisers through to 2022, behind mobile. 

 

While TV advertising isn’t dead, it is changing

Here’s the thing—the media industry has become so entrenched in its ways after decades of TV advertising that as marketers, we’re not fully realizing the potential of new channels—such as connected TV. Collectively, we haven’t adapted to the new world. Instead, we’re applying old habits to new channels, resulting in missed opportunities to engage relevant audiences.

All of this isn’t to say that the some of the core principles that have driven successful media campaigns for nearly 100 years are worthless. However, marketers must acknowledge that newer and better ways have emerged. There is now easier access to high-quality data–­providing the ability to target specific people based on more than just their demographic qualities.

Marketers willing to discard old paradigms will garner impressive results in the form of better campaign performance and a deeper understanding of consumers. 

 

Connected TV enables a shift from broad to niche audience targeting 

One of the challenges with traditional TV media buys is that marketers deliver their messages to a broad audience. While scale is important, if advertisers aren’t targeting the right people, the message won't resonate, resulting in little return.

Connected TV brings a degree of relevance and audience-centric specificity that can’t be replicated on linear TV. With the ability to drill down on specific audience sets, marketers can deliver highly effective campaigns that move the needle. Hanan Mahmood, Director of Data Partnerships at The Trade Desk, explains.

“With connected TV, you can purchase media on an impression-by-impression basis, reaching the audiences that are relevant to your brand. Connected TV empowers marketers to deliver better consumer ad experiences with frequency capping and real-time campaign optimizations. Connected TV also helps reach incremental audiences (e.g., cord cutters) that are otherwise not accessible on traditional TV.”

This new level of control and insight enables marketers to be more precise with their targeting, reducing cost and improving effectiveness across the board.

 

A new digital landscape requires a new data and targeting strategy

Consider how much the world has changed over the last 50 years or so, when TV was gaining mass popularity. Consumer behavior is drastically different from what it was like back then; and so were the products, media channels, and technology.

Therefore, it doesn’t make much sense to apply those dated targeting strategies to today’s world. Yet, despite all this, some things still remain the same, and for many brands, the way they plan and execute their TV media buy remains unchanged. For example, adults ages 25 to 54 still represent the most common data segment applied to video campaigns on major demand-side platform (DSP) partners. 

 

Making the most of connected TV

For connected TV to work, brands need to modernize their audience strategies. Planning solely against age and gender can negatively impact campaign performance by limiting its reach among relevant, engaged audiences. TV audiences need to be planned with a modern mind-set that extends into specific interests, income, lifestyle preferences, and purchasing habits. These are all at the marketer’s disposal; they just need to actively apply them in the context of connected TV.

To properly scope out the value of connected TV, you, the marketer, must abandon the shackles of how it’s always been done. Instead, you must plan to win using the full data assets available today in the CTV ecosystem.

 

Interested in learning more about how more relevant audiences can take your TV buys to the next level? Contact The Data Hotline

About Nate Carter

Nate Carter leads Partner Development for Oracle Data Cloud on The Trade Desk. He is passionate about achieving better advertisers results through data, custom audience builds and homemade pizza.

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