The shift toward streaming has been profound, with 90% of Americans aged 13-54 now streaming their favorite shows. In recent years, Connected TV and streaming were growing. However, the pandemic pushed this trend into overdrive. In the past year, there has been a multi-generational movement. This movement is reinventing how, what, where, and when we watch. Content is now on-demand and limitless to the streaming generation, creating an immense opportunity for businesses — especially those who want to optimize their advertising and marketing strategies.
The Streaming Generation and Connected TV
Connected TV has left analog television in the dark ages, as it allows viewers to watch what they want, whenever they want. Connected TV (CTV) is television that connects to the internet, allowing viewers to stream digital content at their convenience, through apps on Apple TV or a smart TV, as well as through gaming consoles and devices such as Roku.
CTV was gaining popularity for years. However, the recent pandemic caused unprecedented growth. The number of CTV households achieved its 5-year growth projection in just three weeks during the “shelter-in-place” order. Online content streaming increased by 70%, with 60% of viewers adding a streaming service since the beginning of 2020. Also, 91% of the streaming generation would rather give up their social media, music streaming service, favorite food, and favorite brand before they gave up their video streaming service.
Connected TV Has Revolutionized Advertising
Connected TV advertising has been building over the past few years. However, there was a clear tipping point in 2020 — and this trend is unlikely to reverse. Research shows that 15% of consumers canceled their cable subscriptions. During this time, advertisers could reach over 84 million households via connected TV. In 2021, an additional 27% of consumers plan to ditch cable services in favor of connected TV services.
Business owners, advertisers, and marketing teams have recognized these trends, shifting their budgets. Those who are not risk being left behind. After all, 43% of marketers identified CTV as the number one channel for brand storytelling and overall brand awareness, followed by social media (29%) and traditional, linear TV (26%).
Those who see the potential and have already experienced a significant ROI are adapting, becoming more and more creative. Since the viewing experience on CTV differs from traditional TV, ads are now shorter and more flexible. This is creating a trickle-down effect, as companies bring on new talent and training programs to become more fluent in CTV.
These are the facts:
- Consumers are moving away from cable services because 50% think it’s too expensive, with 48% not getting enough value for their money. Nearly 38% say they are attracted to streaming services because they offer a better viewing experience.
- Currently, less than half (49%) of TV viewers still subscribe to cable services— and 27% of these viewers plan to cancel their cable subscription this year.
- It is not just millennials who are canceling cable services The data shows that 20% of those 55 and older plan to cancel their cable services in 2021, up from 8% at the end of 2020.
- Perhaps one of the most significant findings is that 79% of people who have now stopped paying for cable are unlikely to subscribe again. This is incredibly telling, as this shift means that marketers will need to rethink how they engage with both their current and prospective customers.
Advertising on Connected TV and OTT
CTV/OTT advertising uses targeting capabilities that allow advertisers, like yourself, to show different ads to viewers who are watching the same show. This helps you save money and maximize your budget because your ads are shown to an intended audience. This is just one reason why CTV offers a potentially superior investment compared to traditional TV ads.
Some benefits of incorporating Connected TV/OTT advertising into your business plan include:
- More effective targeting— Combining the experience of TV with digital advertising technology, you can build custom audiences based on demographics and behavioral attributes. This allows you to customize your message, created targeted ad campaigns that increase conversion rates.
- Greater flexibility — See what works and what doesn’t, without committing to a “block of time” like you would with traditional TV advertising.
- More accurate analytics— With CTV, you can measure ad performance, tracking a wide range of metrics, including website visits.
- No need to worry about third-party cookies— The death of third-party cookies has many marketers concerned, but luckily, CTV is a channel that will remain unaffected.
Recommended reading: How to Develop Creative Advertising That Motivates Customers to Try and Buy
Top Criteria for TV Ad Buyers in 2021
Considering 95% of marketers reported CTV achieved their desired key performance indicators, it’s time to consider the value of Connected TV advertising.
If you’re wondering where others stand on this movement, here are the areas that matter most to TV ad buyers in 2021:
- 30% want the flexibility to cancel without penalty
- 30% want the ability to connect their investments to measurable business outcomes
- 22% want to change campaigns quickly in-flight
- 18% want the ability to stop/start quickly
Dive deeper into the type of CTV advertising support that converts!
How DX Media Direct Can Help
Not sure how to implement new OTT and CTV strategies into your current marketing strategy, but want to act fast?
Looking for cost-effective ways to put your brand on sites like Hulu, Apple TV, Discovery +, and YouTube TV?
DX Media Direct is a full-service direct response advertising agency that can help you achieve a measurable return on your advertising investment. We have over 25 years of experience helping brands of all sizes succeed.
Four key components will help drive the success of your CTV campaign:
- Data science
- An experienced CTV/OTT media buying team
- Volume discounts
At DX Media, we can help with all the above. We are experts in this space, offering support for radio and TV advertising, streaming services, as well as social media. We are big enough to offer discounted media, yet still small enough to give you the one-on-one attention you deserve. That is why we hold several awards, including Ad World Masters Agency of the Year and Clutch’s Top Advertising and Marketing Agencies in Texas award. We have buying power, allowing us to get lower platform fees, which we then pass onto you! Our experience will also ensure that you pinpoint the most valuable audience, resulting in the lowest cost per lead!
Although we will help you optimize your CTV and OTT strategy, the customer journey is not linear. That is why we offer support every step of the way, allowing you to maximize results and improve your bottom line. Check out our full range of services. When you partner with us, we’ll help you develop the best plan of action for your business.
Ready to get started? Contact us for a free digital consultation today!
You Can. Here’s How:
Once again, Google is throwing a curveball to the ad/MarTech world. If the ever-changing search algorithms weren’t difficult enough to deal with, businesses and marketers now face life without cookies. The search engine giant announced earlier this year that beginning in May 2021, the use of third-party cookies on websites will no longer be allowed. What does this mean for businesses?
Official Release: Death of Third-Party Cookies Coming Soon
Google’s plan to gradually eliminate the use of third-party cookies and reduce the possibilities of primary cookies has earned the nickname “Cookie Apocalypse.”
The announcement that Chrome browsers will render all third-party cookies obsolete by 2022 has shaken the marketing world. Digital marketers saw it coming but hoped it wouldn’t become a reality for at least another five years. Much to their dismay, the countdown to the Cookie Apocalypse has begun, leaving them less than a year to adapt and rethink marketing strategies or risk vanishing into oblivion.
Safari and Firefox have already effectively done away with cookies, and for marketers and data analysts, this means over one-third of that data has already disappeared. This has made it more challenging to run ad campaigns and measure their effectiveness.
An apocalypse might sound melodramatic as a name for this event, but we’re talking about more than the “look-outside-and-see-an-orange-sky” type. Apocalypse comes from the Greek words apo (un-) and kaluptien (to cover). To put this into context: the loss of third-party cookies is a form of revelation. In this new era, we’ll “uncover” or find out what was wrong with marketing and see who will come out on top.
What We’ve Learned So Far
The evolution of online advertising in the mid-1990s and early 2000s was like the wild west days of marketing. The internet was vast and mostly untamed. For publishers and advertisers to get the right ads in front of the right people and in the right context, they needed more and more data. This need became increasingly overwhelming for advertisers and consumers alike as the right to privacy became muddled.
To overcome this problem, governing bodies enacted stricter privacy regulations to protect consumers. The two most notable examples are the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
At their end, browsers like Chrome and Firefox and operating system producers like Apple’s iOS have used privacy policies to attract consumers fed up with the way their data was appropriated without their consent.
Tighter privacy laws combined with consumer preferences took us to the point where browsers started limiting advertisers’ access to third-party cookies. Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari started the move, and Google Chrome is now set to join them. For those in the advertising and ad tech business, this change threatens their very livelihood. But problems were already brewing.
The number of data points and sources grew exponentially over the years. This growth has made marketing more and more complex and has created many problems for marketers. Not only is it overwhelming to process that amount of data, but it is also an expensive strain on resources. The inability to properly manage all this information led to privacy issues. It even resulted in fines for some offenders.
Big data and the introduction of machine learning are a tremendous help to marketers, but the impending loss of third-party cookies reveals one major flaw in the recipe. The heavy reliance on third-party marketing strategies over the past few decades has resulted in companies losing touch with their customers and losing control over customer data.
Once Chrome puts an end to third-party cookies, online advertising will more resemble a blunt instrument than the finely honed scalpel it is now because companies won’t own the data. Yes, new third-party cookie alternatives will fill the gap as time goes on. However, marketers will need to try harder and work smarter to find target customers.
The ride will be challenging for a while. Still, the death of cookies allows marketing organizations to re-establish relationships with customers and create new strategies for handling consumer data.
Surviving the Cookie Apocalypse
Three entities emerge as the big winners after the crush of third-party cookies: large first-party data environments, the public, and companies with first-party data collection strategies.
1. Large First-Party Data Environments
The third-party cookie apocalypse puts those companies with the most first-party data in an enviable position. The largest environments—such as Apple, Google, and Facebook—already have so much information on their customers and consumers that they don’t need to rely on third-party data. People come to them.
Undoubtedly, these companies struggle continually to gain and keep consumers’ trust, but that doesn’t stop millions and millions of users from flocking to these products and services. Consumers have come to depend so heavily on these establishments that they consider the companies indispensable to their daily lives.
Without third-party cookies, the privileged position of these companies is even more valuable than before. Now is the time for smaller players to dig in their heels, maybe join forces and devise a more viable, sustainable future for themselves and their businesses.
In the meantime, advertisers will likely have to work closely with these Big Boys.
2. The Public
This one may be considered a double-edged sword. On the one hand, many consumers will like the idea of not being tracked anonymously across the internet—not having their browsing habits followed and stored in a database somewhere. On the other hand, disallowing cookies does not mean the end of data collection. Some form of tracking will happen, probably with consent.
And in the immediate aftermath of third-party cookie loss, online ads may be laughably inappropriate instead of uncannily specific, like they are now.
It will take a while to see how privacy issues shake out, especially considering the effects of stringent privacy regulations. Privacy is an area where consumers most certainly come out on top regarding their relationships with brands. The more companies struggle to gain control over their data, the more they will need to entice consumers to voluntarily provide the sensitive information brands desperately need to understand consumer buying trends.
Enticements could range from sign-up and sign-in (identifiers and authentications giving permissions) to incentives to opt-in to different forms of data sharing. No matter what method they choose, companies will need to try harder to get close to consumers.
3. Companies with First-Party Data Collection Strategies
The third winner in this new post-cookie world will be the companies that have invested in first-party data collection and activation. Too many companies have relied solely on third-party data collection to gain new customers. This strategy has put them right on the chopping block now that they have to pivot their advertising campaigns toward first-party data collection methods when hoping to create mirror audiences.
Time is running out, and 2022 is just months away. That doesn’t leave much wiggle room for creating an entirely new data infrastructure. Marketers with well-managed first-party data collection and activation strategies will have an immense advantage over others for adapting to a third-party cookie-free world. They will be in the perfect position to respond quickly to ever-changing privacy regulations and learning the secrets to making Google work.
The companies that aren’t there yet better get a move on or face the consequences of entering the new era unprepared.
What can you do now to prepare for the loss of Third Party Cookies?
One excellent strategy is to begin collecting first-party data through your advertising campaigns on Google, Facebook, and Connected TV. The more data you are able to collect on who responds and buys your product or service the better. Don’t focus on just one advertising type or outlet. Each one has its strengths and weakness. Use an experienced advertising agency or media buyer to help you navigate each outlet and put strategies in place to make sure you are getting a good return on your investment while you are collecting first-party data.
Why is first-party data so important for your future advertising campaigns?
When you collect First-party data you then have the power to build a look-alike audience. So that data helps you market exponentially to customers who have the same wants, needs, buying habits, and media habits. Your first-party data becomes a secret weapon for reaching people just like your current customers. You don’t have to waste dollars and time hoping your advertising is hitting your target market. The data does that for you.
The death of cookies allows marketing organizations to re-establish relationships with customers and create new strategies for handling consumer data.
Now is the time to act for the future of your business
Surviving the cookie apocalypse means learning the secrets to making Google work for you, not against you. With the pandemic dominating the way people work, think and act, it’s understandable that advertisers haven’t given the demise of the cookie their full attention. However, more activities are happening online than ever before. It gives advertisers access to more people, but when the cookie crumbles, this extra internet activity won’t help.
With the shutdown of third-party cookies by the start of 2022, advertisers need to take action now. They need to take a proactive role in considering alternatives and deciding how to move forward. They need a solid plan on how to fill the massive gap that the death of the cookie will leave.
By collaborating with analytics, agencies, and ad tech providers, companies have the unique opportunity to control the planning and operating of digital advertising. They must take over the investment and measurement end of the business once and for all. In the end, this means better performance metrics, more transparency, and enhanced customer experience. It is a true win for all concerned.
Next year may mark the end of an era, but it’s the beginning of an even better way to market to consumers.