Five Ways Digital Attribution Can Improve ROAS for CTV/OTT Advertising

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CTV/OTT advertising is quickly gaining favor among B2B marketers thanks to its meteoric rise in adoption over the last couple of years. Now that more people are working from home, and staying home even when they’re off the clock, viewership has skyrocketed.

Looking to capture that growing audience, advertisers have scrambled to get in on the action. US CTV ad spend was predicted to skyrocket 60% to reach $14.44B by the end of 2021 and become one of the fastest-growing channels in 2022.

Because of that growth, B2B marketers are feeling increased pressure to prove the value of CTV/OTT in reaching their target audience.

CTV is typically viewed as an upper-funnel tactic, and many believe it’s not possible to drill down to specific decision-makers as it is with other media channels. But as the line between work and personal time blends and the distinction between work and personal devices blurs, CTV has huge potential for B2B success—if you use the right approach.

The advantage B2B marketers have in the CTV/OTT space is that they have clear targets, ideal buyer profiles, and precise targeting strategies—either lookalike personas or a direct email address. The problem is, without the right digital attribution for CTV/OTT advertising campaigns, it can be tough to prove success and maximize return on ad spending (ROAS).

Here are five ways to succeed with CTV/OTT, improve ROAS, and boost your bottom line.

1. Use multitouch attribution

We already know that understanding the customer journey is critical for B2B sales success, especially because of typically long sales cycles. Multitouch attribution for CTV/OTT gives you the ability to see the customer journey beyond just first and last touch.

For example, prospects might research your product on their laptop, see your ad on Hulu, and then later watch your webinar on their mobile phone before buying. Multitouch attribution lets you see how that dynamic interplay occurs, helping you figure out the triggers and cadence it takes to drive them to action— so you put the right dollars in the right place.

2. Factor in incrementality

CTV/OTT metrics let you dive into the details to understand which tactics moved the needle with the right people in the right way.

For example, when using conventional attribution, all sales driven by a specific campaign are attributed to that campaign. But, in reality, some of those could be repeat customers, ones who upgraded, or ones who restarted their service. There’s no way to distinguish them from new customers if you use simple attribution.

Factoring in incrementality lets you see the real picture by taking all attributed conversions and filtering out ones that the campaign didn’t directly drive.

3. Match strategy to sales insights

Good B2B marketers know how to recognize buy signals—those actions and behaviors that indicate a prospect is ready to buy. That is quite valuable in CTV/OTT advertising: Because of long sales cycles, the campaign might actually be long over before the purchase actually takes place.

Being able to recognize those “telling” signals and match them to the strategy—optimizing creative, targeting, and placement to drive those signals—is a key advantage in CTV/OTT advertising when it’s done right. That means you’ll need to push CTV ad vendors to measure for those metrics and optimize accordingly.

4. Use actionable CRM data to segment and target

Diving into your CRM data allows you to identify audience attributes and then apply those to your CTV/OTT strategy.

For example, you can easily distinguish prospects from current customers and use that to segment and target your campaigns for new customer acquisition—and even more precisely, based on where they are in the funnel—versus customer retention. That way, audiences will see the right content in the right sequence based on their position in the journey.

Any good CTV/OTT ad partner should be able to use your CRM data to target and optimize, thus improving your ROAS and ROI.

5. Use real-time feedback to target in real time

When you combine multitouch attribution with real-time performance metrics, it creates a powerful platform to fully optimize targeting and content delivery. With linear TV, for example, results often come far too late to make a change. But with CTV/OTT, you continually receive signals about which creatives and placements are working with which audiences, and you can shift budget and creative accordingly.

Seeing how the campaign plays out in real time allows you to maximize effectiveness and ROAS on a daily basis, rather than running a campaign for a month, then seeing how well it worked. By then it could be too late, and prospects could have been turned off by misplaced or irrelevant messages.

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Understanding what’s possible with CTV/OTT attribution is critical to establishing a strong, effective strategy to reach B2B prospects—but it’s also only half the battle. Marketers must also carefully choose media partners and hold them accountable for performance based on clear metrics and multitouch attribution. To be effective, media partners must prove they can be agile and responsive, with the capability to measure in real time and move budget accordingly based on target audience behavior and results.

More Resources on CTV and OTT Advertising

Top 5 Advertising Trends to Watch Right Now

CTV Scale Is Here, So Where Are B2B Advertisers?

The State of OTT Video Viewing: Top Devices and Platforms