Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

CTV: How can you evaluate performance? (part one)

by Alexis Wrightson, Lead Product Specialist in EMEA, Quantcast

Over the past few months, we’ve heard a wide variety of perspectives across the industry about what’s
ahead for CTV and the top challenges/opportunities facing marketers in relation to this evolving medium.

From knowing which teams are responsible for buying ad inventory given the convergence of linear and
digital objectives at play in CTV, to knowing which performance metrics prove the desired outcomes
marketers seek, here are some best practices for embracing CTV today.

How should you measure CTV?

The measurement conundrum we’re faced with is pivotal as it impacts how fast CTV can grow. As
marketers, we’re constantly asked what we can measure; be that a gross rating point (GRP), which is the
legacy currency of linear TV, or a viewable impression which is sought after by digital marketers to verify
that their ad was seen. It’s clear that stakeholders want to work with currencies that match what they are
accustomed to planning for in existing channels.

What we do know is that there needs to be an equivalent method to measure viewership across the two
predominant modes of lean-back viewing: live-aired and on-demand. Tune-in at the time of broadcast and on-demand viewing presents challenges to marketers who want to measure in a manner that provides a holistic view of the total audience and clear outcomes-based metrics. While linear viewership has traditionally depended on GRPs that measure the share of total audience earned, on-demand viewership is not limited by the construct of a finite audience and can be measured by more digitally established methods such as at the impression level. CTV offers both modes of viewing, often in the same content experience, increasing the urgency to establish a method of valuing ad inventory that works equally well for both.

Fragmentation brings flashbacks of Walled-Gardens

There is also the issue of fragmentation, which will become increasingly more difficult to manage. Supply sources will try to maintain their position as the primary source for accessing scalable inventory where marketers can activate and measure from a single platform. If this persists, we could have a new wave of “walled gardens.”

Already, a number of publishers have closed their doors to demand in favour of selling their inventory
themselves, bringing us back to the early days of the internet where unique sources of inventory were not
accessible via the open internet.

That being said, the increase in demand for services on demand via their internet-enabled televisions will
mean a lot of the inventory becomes available to platforms such as ours for buying. We’re confident that
the buying mentality of agencies and advertisers will drive consolidation of supply in a similar way to TV buying, however with some exceptions to the rules where applicable. If we think about the recent trends in digital it has shown that there is only so long that you can close your inventory off from external demand sources before it is deemed unfair competition.

Holistic targeting and measurement in a single-view of the customer journey

Finally, and more broadly linked to the above point, we’re becoming increasingly challenged to be
omnichannel in CTV activation, while also providing de-duplicated reach and frequency capping
holistically. This has challenges because the channels themselves offer distinctly different ad experiences (e.g. display, native, in-stream video) and different methods of measurement (e.g. clicks, impressions). As marketers, we need a solution that can provide insight into what is actually working.

Product teams industry-wide are trying to build platforms for buyers that are intuitive, easy to use, and
provide scaled reach that can be accurately measured. With new channels come new modes of buying
and new metrics to measure and that requires collaboration with experts in all fields of the industry to
provide in-depth feedback for iteration and continuous improvement of solutions. As I like to call it, we’re
building the car as we’re driving along, with considered conversations about what truly matters for buyers.

This will inevitably lead to many wins and some failures – but with failure comes learning and evolution
and often better solutions as a result.

Managing expectations in a rapidly changing ecosystem

There is an expectation that as soon as a channel emerges you should have all the answers on how to
activate and measure it, but that’s not true. When you’re building a strategy over time it’s important to be
dynamic and adaptable to changes in a product or channel to get the best possible results for your
advertising budgets.

At Quantcast, we’re addressing the challenges outlined above and going beyond to help marketers really
get to grips with what is working and not working to allow marketers to have that flexibility in their CTV
investment. This can be seen in the work we have done to date with brands including DFS, Ladbrokes,
Arla, and many more.

Our product team and engineers are customer obsessed and keen to understand the challenges buyers
face, which then allows us to connect internally and bring the best solutions to the market in an easy-to-
understand and flowing execution that aligns with our mantra for simplicity.

Optimise what you can measure

At Quantcast, the brands we work with are unlocking the power of a single platform by using tools like our Site Visitation Report, and Brand Lift Live to assess how their campaigns are performing, and with a team of measurement experts behind the scenes to contextualise performance, marketers have access to in-depth data that can enhance the validation of CTV spending.

Advertisers can use the Quantcast Platform to plan and validate custom audiences and discover a
compelling supply for their audiences across CTV, desktop, and mobile. Learn more about Quantcast’s
brand advertising solutions here

Part two can be found here.