Riding The CTV Wave: How Advertisers Can Cash In On The Video Revolution

Riding The CTV Wave: How Advertisers Can Cash In On The Video Revolution
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A year of lockdowns and stay-home orders around the world has given consumers more time than ever before to watch all the video content that is currently available across the digital world.

The popularity of CTV and OTT services is at an all-time high, as viewers embrace the flexibility and viewing habits they enable.

“That sense of a completely curated evening’s entertainment, where you hop between five channels, no longer suits people,” said Criteo managing director ANZ Colin Barnard [pictured below].

“People want to binge watch and they learn new habits.”

Barnard added that the recommendation engines that power services such as Netflix and YouTube are also contributing to the uptake in video consumption.

The changing advertising game

As well as giving viewers access to hours of entertainment, the rise of CTV/OTT is also giving advertisers the opportunity to meet audiences in a new and more engaging ways.

A recent study by Criteo, which surveyed 1,000 senior marketing executives globally, including 125 from Australia, found that 33 per cent of marketers plan on increasing their investment into paid video in 2021.

“The growth in digital video advertising investment over the last few years has been phenomenal, fuelled by continued innovation in environments, formats as well as an explosion of CTV opportunities,” IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy said recently.

For brands, this means understanding that consumers are migrating towards OTT and CTV and ensuring that advertising meets them there. More people using CTV and OTT devices -mean more hours of content watched on those platforms and a captive audience that would be open and receptive to relevant ads. It is thus essential that brands engage consumers on these devices through advertising.

According to Barnard, digital video advertising is all about picking up where TV left off.

“It’s a truism to say that TV advertising has always been amazing at getting mass reach, but not so amazing at getting very specific to the types of audience. So it has to make broad – and informed – guesses about the types of audiences that are in front of the TV,” he said.

“The beauty of connected TVs, where digital can discern who you are and what your interests are, is that it gives you the right ad at the right time. This means that the ads are much more relevant, which means you are more likely to watch them. Now that we’re on big format TV in a more sit-back experience, you probably will watch them rather than desperately trying to skip them.”

And while the digital ecosystem provides advertisers with an opportunity to better personalise their offering, it also brings with it challenges around measurement, Barnard added.

What Criteo is doing

With audiences increasingly moving towards CTV/OTT, Criteo is working to develop solutions to help brands in this space.

Criteo has grown to prominence over the past decade thanks to its retargeting abilities, which use data-driven insights to serve ads to customers that are most likely to buy a specific product or service.

And while Criteo has largely worked in its core verticals of Retail, Travel and Classifieds historically, with video, this can be extended. The company’s database shows high intent buyers who have a propensity to spend, which can help deliver greater value from advertising spend.

As the world’s leading commerce media platform, the company helps marketers and publishers activate their first-party data. Criteo’s Shopper Graph has data from over 2.5 billion shoppers, which has been gathered over the past 16 years.

Barnard explained that this knowledge base has been built on the back of lower funnel campaigns.

“Our engine has built up a really granular knowledge of who is likely to click on ads, and who is likely to convert and buy,” Barnard said.

“We know the difference between people who buy and people who don’t.”

When it comes to CTV and video, Criteo is using this same technology to deliver personalised ads.

Brands can also leverage Criteo’s relationships with SSPs and direct publishers with supply and media buying.

“Over the last few years at Criteo there’s been an acceleration towards a full suite of products, from awareness building all the way down to really targeted conversion campaigns. And we’re just bringing that to video, which I think is a good thing,” Barnard said.

This is also extended to reporting. Given Criteo is very strong within the lower funnel, CTV/OTT can be used to capture users further up the funnel and guide them through their purchasing journey. Using full funnel reporting, Criteo can show its partners the impact of CTV/OTT on the path to purchase.

Criteo’s new CTV video product will be available in ANZ this year.

To find out more about CTV and Criteo click here.

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