Measuring marketing success on CTV: Unlocking assisting power
More than 87% of households in the U.S. now own at least one Connected TV (CTV), a number that’s been growing year-over-year since 2014. With markets around the globe following suit, CTV has officially positioned itself as a major player in the world of online, app, and mobile marketing. Despite some hesitancy to break into CTV advertising by marketers in the past, largely due to the impression of the ecosystem as pricey and complex to measure, more and more teams are incorporating it into their strategies. Adjust has remained at the forefront of this movement. Our solution, CTV AdVision, empowers clients to transform CTV from a brand awareness channel into a performance channel and to understand and unlock CTV’s assisting power.
For many marketing managers, however, determining exactly how to evaluate the success of a CTV campaign is still a complex process. It doesn’t map perfectly to the way we measure a UA campaign on web or mobile and comes with its own set of advantages and peculiarities.
For this blog, we had a chat with Gijsbert Pols, Adjust’s Director of CTV and New Channels, to dig into how marketers can holistically understand CTV’s role as an integral part of their channel mix—and how to effectively analyze campaign success.
How to set up your CTV campaigns
Like any marketing campaign, it’s essential to determine what you wish to accomplish in tandem with your team’s capabilities. Below we cover a few things you’ll need to decide when setting up a CTV campaign.
Define your goals
The first question to ask yourself when setting up a CTV campaign is whether your goal is brand awareness, or if you want to experiment with CTV as a performance channel—which is definitely the more exciting part of the equation. As a branding channel, it functions similarly to traditional/linear TV but with increased clarity and measurement and far more granular targeting opportunities. If you want to test CTV as a performance channel, it’s crucial to realistically assess the level of expertise within your team because this will determine your buying strategy.
Decide on ad networks or vendors
If you’re confident in the space, reaching out to an inventory supplier directly, such as the ad networks that are provided by streaming services and CTV platforms (e.g., Roku and Hulu), can be highly effective. Conversely, if you don’t have a lot of experience or expertise, we recommend working with a vendor (tvScientific, Vibe.co, The Trade Desk, Smadex etc.) that can run campaigns for you and find the right audiences for your product. They’re particularly well positioned to do this because they are able to market your product across various inventory suppliers in the CTV space, including Hulu, ABC, Roku, and Peacock.
Select ad formats
It’s also key to decide which ad formats to implement. CTV offers multiple options that desktop and mobile don’t have because of the big screen, guaranteed audio, and that it’s a format where users are traditionally more receptive to advertising. CTV is also largely a social device, meaning that people often watch TV together and that—depending on your segmentation—you might target households rather than individuals. Experimenting with the wealth of new and creative CTV ad formats is essential when defining your goals and understanding how to unlock CTV as a performance channel.
Once your optimal setup is in place, and you have creatives prepared, it’s time to move on to measurement.
Measuring success on CTV: Custom CTV assist analysis
Before going live with any campaigns, it’s vital that you have tracking set up with an attribution provider like Adjust. Thanks to our partnerships with direct suppliers and intermediaries, setup is relatively straightforward. Also, if you decide to work with a company or supplier that we haven’t partnered with, we’re still able to provide measurement and help you get set up.
Once your campaigns are up and running, you’ll have full insight into the installs and engagements that CTV is driving directly. What Adjust also does, however, is paint a picture of how CTV is influencing all of your wider campaigns, in what we call assisting value. The picture we give you is going to look significantly different from the picture you’ll be offered by vendors or networks. Of course, the vendors and networks will often provide you with data on how CTV is performing across the board but because they only have data sourced from their own campaigns, this view will be isolated. We, on the other hand, offer the full-funnel, in-context view for all channels, visualize how they interact and give you the insight to understand whether CTV has a positive or negative impact on typical down-funnel channels such as search and social. In short, we show you how CTV can assist in generating conversions by giving you a holistic view of where CTV sits in your customer journey, its role in your attribution waterfall, and its impact on campaign performance.
We took a look at a specific CTV campaign for a casual mobile gaming app and saw that their direct conversion rate for installs via impressions was relatively low at 0.25%. When taking assisting power into account, however, 8.8% of all installs were assisted by CTV. On iOS, it climbed to 9.4%. Based on the CTV campaigns currently running with Adjust, we’re seeing that up to 15% of all channels become CTV assisted and that for a given app’s top performing channels, this number reaches 25%.
Understanding CTV’s assisting value
Ultimately, CTV is underrepresented via last-touch attribution (LTA) because it’s higher up the funnel. If you’re going to make an accurate evaluation of CTV, you need measurement data that allows you to visualize the upper funnel and understand the role it plays holistically and at multi-channel campaign level. To understand the role of CTV as a performance channel and truly capitalize on its impact, you need to look at multiple KPIs. Most critically, LTA alone won’t do it—only between 2% and 5% of customer journeys in which CTV plays a role are actually attributed to CTV channels.
Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- CTV is still TV, making it, in many ways, a social device and not an individual device like a smartphone or computer. CTV advertising can be made actionable but it will always be less actionable than the ads you see on other devices. What you get in return is a much better ad experience, however, because it’s shown on the big screen, meaning people see a lot more of your product than they do on smaller devices and that other channels are set up for success.
- With your assist analysis insights in-hand, there are essentially two things you can do. You can adjust the LTA model, which we facilitate, and you can also start experimenting with budgets. If you see that channel A is heavily assisted by channel B, you might choose to lower budgets on one side and analyze the impacts. Make sure you always use segments and control groups when doing this kind of testing.
- Our assist dashboard also makes it possible to analyze the data on a more granular level by drilling into the specific creatives that are driving the strong assisting value.
CTV is still in a disruptive phase, and there are a multitude of pathways, possibilities, and technical solutions for marketers to explore and test, making it a very exciting space. Adjust’s CTV AdVision helps marketers capitalize on this exciting opportunity by transforming CTV into a performance channel and determining the exact impact of campaigns.