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Robust Performance TV Strategies Drive the Brand Awareness and Customer Acquisition Brands Crave

Published 04.26.2021

In our Anatomy of a Solution series, we take a look at some direct challenges and disruptive solutions that Amsive has driven for clients. This week, we look at how performance TV is breaking the mold to reach audiences across channels, publishers, devices.

The Basics

TV isn’t just the box that sits in your living room anymore. Content is on your phone, tablet, and laptop. In omnichannel marketing, this is where the concept of performance television comes in. Performance TV is made up of over-the-top (OTT), which is basically the delivery of TV shows via the internet, and connected television (CTV), which refers to smart TVs that can be connected to the internet and access content beyond the normal cable TV restraints.

Compared with other advertising channels, this one is dramatically on the rise. We’ve seen ad spending increase by 27.1 percent, and up to over $8 billion this year. It’s destinations like YouTube, Hulu, and Roku that account for about half of the total performance TV ad revenues.

The real marketing sweet spot for performance TV in the customer and business lifecycle revolves around acquisition, but also with a focus on brand awareness with the intent of driving a consumer to purchase that spans across any number of industries and verticals including healthcare, financial services, insurance, retail and more. 

Many customers might have tried TV ads, but might not have been successful. In our experience, an agency representing a brand came to us with a disastrous TV performance that lacked a substantial ROI to capture both younger and older demographics.

The Challenge

Many clients would love to get into the TV space. Those that have done it typically say they’d do more if they were able to target specific audiences, or to only pay for people that have viewed a particular ad. 

One of the details that really stands out in this space is that younger audiences are extremely likely to be performance TV viewers. But when you look at the older demos, those consumers are extremely substantial as well. Still, brands think TV seems like a gamble because the perception is that it casts too wide a net for that big of an investment. 

The question for brands then becomes: to TV or not the TV? 

To get retargeting ads to be very effective, we have to start with strong video content. For an agency like Amsive, we try to position targeted performance TV campaigns for clients as a top-of-funnel marketing function to help attract new customers and strengthen brands, deliver highly relevant and highly targeted messaging to predetermined personas, and reduce acquisition costs and increase efficiency. 

Then the question really becomes: Who does performance television work for?

We’re looking to place clients both where their targeted audiences are engaging and where we’re going to see the biggest rate of return back. 

The Solution

The barrier to entry lies with a few factors. Every client wants to strengthen their brand, expand their reach, capture a targeted audience, and maximize ad spend. But, typically successful clients have already utilized TV creative in some form, and have a minimum monthly budget of $20,000 with a minimum audience of 30,000 reachable consumers.

Once that basic threshold is met, the differentiator for Amsive lies in a dual-part strategy.

Audience Strategy

The first thing to do to draw out and build an audience is looking at first-party data. For our client, we were able to engage a retargeting campaign with data such as addresses, phone numbers, email, user device IDs, or digital monitoring platform data that was used to match back and guarantee ad relevance for viewers. Further third-party data can dig further down to capture desired personas with everything from age, gender, income, household size, and more.

For example, if somebody in need of a new car views or engages with a full 15-30-second commercial for a new Toyota Prius, we can determine how that ad is delivered, where it’s delivered, and how it can be measured across performance TV channels. Uniquely tailored performance TV ads for the same business, product, or service can hit on TVs, if viewers open up their phone, if they log on to a browser, or more.

Channel Strategy

This supplementary component ensures that ads can appear on specific brand-safe programs that target audiences who are likely to view or want to consume the client’s products or services. We want to capture what we call “living room quality.” This means the strategy takes into consideration deploying ads not just across high-quality primary networks, but also across advantageous episode-based programming in the most prominent screen with the most play-time.

When we think about this channel strategy, it’s also all in the quality of the creative and the messaging, and how we are putting it together to tie in an omnichannel approach. Robust messaging always compliments each marketing component. If a particular product is in-market, then the messaging should be relevant and cohesive to the other messages that end up on multiple retargeted channels beyond TV. 

With people increasingly cutting the cord of their cable subscriptions, performance TV is on the rise. These channels are no longer marginal. It can no longer be a maybe-we-should-do-it point of view for brands.

The Results

An advertising campaign is only as good as the return it brings. We’re looking to place clients both where their targeted audiences are engaging and where we’re going to see the biggest rate of return back. 

Amsive’s differentiator with our struggling client was our ability to target those people who began to view ads, then interacted with them, and exchanged with them across different display networks where we were able to determine deep insight into the audience’s activity. 

We were able to show the client how these people go through their own sales funnel and become actual customers via deep analytics, which ultimately gave an ROI-specific understanding of the consumer journey.

Given the stay-at-home lockdowns of the pandemic, and with people increasingly cutting the cord of their cable subscriptions, performance TV is on the rise. These channels are no longer marginal. It can no longer be a maybe-we-should-do-it point of view for brands. With the right scale and inventory, precision targeting, premium inventory, dynamic spend optimization, and best-in-class reporting and attribution — agencies like Amsive will continue to deliver in new channels.


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