Connected TV is continuously growing in importance, emphasized media industry experts in our 2024 roundtable (which resulted in this report). Other industry data supports this. Approximately one in three (36% of) survey respondents told Digiday and MNTN that CTV is very significant in their 2023 advertising mix. A similar number (29%) said CTV advertising represents 41-60% of their revenue.

The stakes are growing higher, especially as two challenges linger on – improving user experience and fighting fraud prevention. Media companies that find smart solutions will easily stand out, so let’s start strategizing now.

Connected TV: Better Experience, Less Fraud Advendio

Source: Digiday & MNTN

 

Keep Viewers Engaged

One of the biggest CTV challenges is having CTV ads, like its regular programming, “running in the background and racking up views that can’t ultimately count toward delivery,” because viewers aren’t watching, Matthew M. Rohrs, sales director at ADvendio (and ex-FreeWheel, Publicis, Operative), says in our media trends report.

To overcome this, we need more engaging media that’s tailored to viewers’ needs. There are many tools in the market to help you get the right message to the right audience at the right time, but go beyond that: Create content and ads that serve their needs and speak their language, so that they’ll actually want to watch them.

 

Create Ads that are Worth Viewers’ Attention

Some ads will be displayed while smart TVs are running in the background. It happens both at home and in retail centers. While part of the story is making content viewers can’t ignore, the other part is making can’t-miss ads, so that they do turn around to watch the screen.

Ad experiences can be interactive, engaging and creative. Or they can speak directly to a pain point or desire. Great ads can move us, make us laugh, and even drive change in our culture. Remember Always’ “Like a Girl”?

No matter how “boring” your product might sound, you can dig deep into its true meaning in a customer’s life. Almost a decade ago, Whirlpool, an appliances company, published a series of ads about everyday care parents do for their kids. We bet you never thought a 30 second appliances ad can make you as emotional as this one.

In 2024, Whirlpool took a more humorous angle to the same concept. Their ad got guys into relationships when they changed their dating app profiles to focus on doing care tasks, AKA chores.

 

Get Verified User Data (Even Without Third Party Cookies)

“96% of advertisers say verified user data is somewhat/very important to their CTV strategy,” reveals The Trade Desk 2024 report. First, it helps you serve more accurate content and ads, so you increase engagement and performance.

And second, it helps you fight ad fraud. “There are tons of bots and you can’t trust where the industry inventory came from,” says Gavin Dunaway, marketing director at The Media Trust (and former editorial director at AdMonsters), in the ADvendio report. When you use verified user data, trust increases.

Connected TV: Better Experience, Less Fraud Advendio

Source: The Trade Desk

The good news is that, even if Google does eliminate third party cookies, as it keeps claiming and postponing, there are many ways to get verified user data (that you can later retarget). We found at least 24:

 

Be Upfront About Ad Fraud Challenges

Ad fraud is a big problem with CTV, and there’s no point in trying to hide it. Instead, fight it head on by being transparent.

Explain to advertisers what you’re doing to decrease its impact. Maybe even offer a minimum viable result guarantee, backed by a promise for a refund or ad credit in case your platform misses the mark.

Importantly, show the results your platform delivers. Detailed case studies are often big for closing deals. Some budget still gets wasted on ad fraud, but maybe campaign performances are profitable more often than not.

This matters even when you buy ads yourself and need to prove their profitability internally. When you do buy ads yourself, take Dunaway’s advice in our report – bake fraud into ad costs, so you’re not left surprised when it’s time to pay the bill or report to management.

Build Partnerships to Fight Ad Fraud

This is the time to research the right partners, such as companies that:

  • Specialize in fighting ad fraud.
  • Use AI to optimize campaign results in real time.
  • Provide intelligent performance measurement.

Make a list of the top gaps you currently have, and start with one or two that can make the biggest impact. Gradually make your way from there to patching as many ad fraud vulnerabilities as possible.

 

Shift from Brand Awareness to Performance Goals

Brand awareness is important, don’t get us wrong. Brand awareness leads to brand recall, or “what audiences remember about a brand,” as Nielsen puts it. According to Nielsen’s 2023 report, “nothing is more important than brand recall” to lift your brand in emerging media, it explains.

Connected TV: Better Experience, Less Fraud Advendio

Source: Nielsen

When people finally need your type of product, and your brand is the first one that comes to mind, it matters. If there’s a positive sentiment attached, even better. It’s one of the easiest in-the-moment, high value sales that… likely took you years to create.

Therefore, if you’re (understandably) pressured to deliver results despite ad fraud, shifting to performance goals, at least partially, enables you to do that. This way, you might even gain a bigger buy-in for long term awareness campaigns.

The other benefit of performance goals is that they make you more acutely focused on viewer needs. You test different copy, visuals, CTAs… You do everything to increase your bottom line results, and that only happens when your targeted customers are satisfied with your work.

Cue in better user experience, which then positively impacts back on conversions.

 

Tap into the Gap Google Left Wide Open

Perhaps, the most surprising element of CTV is actually Google. “The fact that Google is not dominant in CTV is very interesting to me. You always get those momentary pauses with pretty scenes on YouTube TV. That’s the local spot. Why aren’t they selling that [ad space]?” says Dunaway in our report.

If you want to tap into this gap, tie it to user experience. How can an ad in a momentary pause like that contribute to your viewers? Can viewers…

  • Fulfill an unmet need addressed in the media asset by clicking a button?
  • Answer a few quick questions to understand their next step?
  • Feel like someone finally gets them, or that they’re not alone, even if the process ahead is long?

Alternatively, leverage it to overcome ad fraud. Make these ads about gathering first or second party data by giving something worthwhile in return. See the links in the “verified user data” section for 24 data source ideas.

 

Understand Your Industry Better to Help Your CTV Offer Stand Out

As you know, we don’t operate in a vacuum. The better you understand the challenges and desires impacting audiences’ buying decisions, the better you set yourself for success.

In early 2024, we gathered three of our favorite AdTech experts and spent time listening. The result is a useful, concise report, which we backed up with additional industry data and action items. Check it out here for free to stay ahead of media industry trends in 2024 and beyond.