Connected TV has become a powerful performance channel for brands looking to achieve specific outcomes with greater attribution. As connected TV viewership has increased, and advancements in ad tech allow for better, more unique experiences, marketers need to incorporate CTV more thoroughly into their marketing strategy. Through CTV, brands can connect directly to business results, feed the brand funnel with new, fresh prospects, drive retention and acquisition rates, and allow brands to diversify from search, social, and display. There are many ways in which retailers can best capitalize on connected TV and drive successful results.

During the pandemic, the growth of connected TV viewership and new advertising technologies gave rise to this powerful performance channel, not to mention it is immune to the depreciation of third-party cookies. Now, brands see that CTV can drive acquisition and help deliver on sales goals. Research shows that CTV is…

With recent advancements in CTV technology, there are more emerging T-commerce shoppable formats than ever before. With the ability to switch between devices using QR technology, on-screen browsing options, and send-to-phone from device capabilities, more brands are harnessing the power of these valuable CTV advertising tools. The benefits of these tech advancements are clear to see.

CTV advertising also allows for real-time measurement that shows the immediate impact of CTV campaigns with a cross-device graph that ties TV exposure to online action. Real-time tracking also means brands can better conduct real-time optimization, such as budget fluidity to shift top performing partners and remove poor performers, adjust advanced bidding strategies on audience and brand value, manage frequency, and increase reach. Brands can then accurately score each impression in order to deliver highest ROAS.

Capitalizing on the CTV wave means following best practices, like:

CTV is a powerful channel to help deliver business goals. Marketers are reallocating budgets into CTV from linear TV, Social, and Web Display—don’t let your brand fall behind the curve.

Your brand might be thinking about internalizing some aspects of media management for a variety of reasons. Maybe you want to take more control of your customer data? Or perhaps you want more transparency into media activation? And there’s a good chance you also want to reduce costs.

These are all valid goals, and your agency partners should be there to support you in achieving them. Whatever portion of your operation you want to internalize, there will always be a role for agencies to play in supporting you with complementary services, technologies and teams, as well as offsetting any pain points you encounter along the way. You can learn more about how this hybrid approach to media operations might work in our recent post.

When brands set off along the path to internal media management, most of them quickly encounter operational obstacles, and almost all discover the investment in capital and resources is far greater than they expect. From hiring teams to integrating systems, internalizing media is a big undertaking. Timelines are inevitably pushed out and budgets have to increase.

For these reasons it’s vital to level set expectations before you begin the journey of internalizing media management. And we’re here to assist you with that.

Matterkind’s Advisory Services team is well positioned to work with brands that are considering internalizing media management. We can help you understand what you really want to achieve, what is possible and what it will take to get there. We take a holistic approach to evaluate where you are currently and where the gaps are, so we can recommend a path forward. This helps you to be realistic about resource, time, and budget requirements, and prevents your brand biting off more than it can chew.

Level setting expectations is a two-part process:

Stage 1: Getting everyone on the same page

The first, and arguably most important step in setting expectations is making sure everyone across the organization agrees on what they want to achieve.

Most brands with the resources to consider internalizing media will be large organizations with many different lines of business, each with its own operating principles. It’s likely each team will work to its own KPIs, whether that’s pushing brand metrics, generating leads, or driving sales, so creating a single in-house team to support all of these is challenging to say the least.

Resolving internal conflict is a key part of this initial phase. There are likely to be some teams or individuals that are committed to the idea of internalizing media, while others aren’t convinced of the benefits. Some may doubt the brand’s capacity to support the shift from a financial or operational viewpoint. It’s very rare to find a brand where every team is in total agreement on how they want to manage media internally.

To make sure everyone is on the same page at this critical, early stage, Matterkind performs an audit known as the Maturity Canvas. This combines stakeholder interviews and in-depth questionnaires across multiple functions to find out what different teams are looking for. From the results of this audit we’ll put together a mission statement, around which everyone can be mobilized. This mission statement is continually refined until your entire organization is in agreement about what it is working towards.

Stage 2: Auditing the tech and the team

Once the entire organization is aligned around a mission statement, the next phase is to explore what advertising and marketing technology the brand already has internally and determine what else is needed to support the plan.

In addition to looking at which platforms are present, this also means determining whether systems are already integrated or whether they are managed in silos. It includes checking whether the brand has relationships with multiple inventory suppliers with different specialties. It involves looking at how business intelligence is managed, how data flows across the brand’s systems, who has access to that data, and how it is being modeled. And it means finding out whether the brand has capabilities around optimization, consent management, brand safety, verification, and audience value analysis, to name but a few.

This evaluation is designed to reveal any gaps in your brand’s tech stack, determine what additional tools or platforms are needed, and explore how best to deploy them.

Alongside the technology audit, we can also help brands with a people assessment to understand whether they have internal talent capable of carrying out their media management plans. If so, we can help integrate these teams and ensure they are rowing in the same direction, rather than competing against one another to meet the goals of different marketing departments.

If internal talent does not exist we can help brands determine what an operating structure might look like, and the new roles they might need. This could include ad ops and campaign managers and strategists, as well as data scientists and analysts.

Hiring the team required to internalize media management can have a big impact on the organization, which isn’t always obvious at the outset. We can support by creating job descriptions and helping with the recruitment process. We can also deliver custom training and seminars, both for new and existing team members.

Working towards a hybrid approach

The two stages outlined above are vital to help you understand what internalizing media management really means to your brand and what is involved in achieving it. It also reveals ‘in-housing’ is not an all-or-nothing proposition.

With a better understanding of what they want, the vast majority of brands opt for a hybrid approach to media management rather than trying to build an entire internal operation. The ideal model varies greatly depending on your brand’s goals, resources and capabilities. But overall the hybrid approach enables you to focus on the things that really matter to you, while still enjoying complementary support from your agency partners in the form of managed services, technology platforms and experienced people.

By level-setting expectations, we can make internal media management work to meet your brand’s goals, while still maintaining valuable agency-client relationships.

In this latest Adweek article, our new application, Outcome Navigator was featured. Outcome Navigator is a collection of new applications focused on delivering business outcomes for brands, where only pay based on outcomes generated. This allowed for a low risk, fixed cost per action model that saves clients time and performance marketing spend dollars. Adweek goes on to discuss the client reactions to our new offering, the success seen, and the future of performance marketing budgets. Check out the full Adweek article here.

Most brands accept they need to build out their first-party CRM database. But in the current climate, this is largely seen as a defensive move; a way to safeguard audience insight when third-party cookies make their much-discussed departure.

It’s true that first-party data does provide an effective safety net, and brands should certainly look at it that way. However, it also opens up a wealth of other possibilities and a chance to take ownership of the customer relationship, regardless of cookie deprecation. This opportunity is particularly exciting for CPG brands that have so far relied on retailers for customer insight, but really it’s something every brand should be doing.

The bottom line is, the world is changing and first-party data will help your brand change with it. An ongoing effort to maintain and grow first-party data won’t just protect your brand, it will also put you in a proactive position to stay ahead in the evolving landscape.

Connecting through an identity spine

In the past, there was a limit to what you could do with CRM data. You might be able to send emails to a customer, or potentially even an SMS, but that was about it. Now, in a world where ecommerce is exploding and everything is interconnected, the possibilities are limitless.

With first-party data, your brand can create a central identity spine, appended and enriched with second-party behavioral attributes. Every team within your organization can connect through this identity spine, enabling a more holistic media strategy. Your comprehensive media plan can encompass a wide range of channels, from social, search and digital advertising, to connected TV, email and direct mail—all built around CRM data.

Right now, distinct marketing teams like search and social are often disconnected, with their own tech partners, their own budgets and – most significantly – their own data sources. With first-party data you can address this disconnect. Everyone can operate under a standard key, such as a hashed email, so you can connect the dots between different departments—even outliers such as affiliate and direct mail. You can develop a cohesive plan where everything is trackable and data driven. It’s time to bring your marketing teams together and that means taking ownership of data.

Building out your own first-party data delivers:

Enhanced customer experience

If your teams work with distinct providers for individual marketing channels, and each one sources data from different places, it’s virtually impossible to control the customer experience. Valued customers and promising prospects are bombarded with repetitive, or even conflicting, messaging from multiple directions, quickly damaging their perception of the brand. When all parties can tap into a first-party identity spine, you have far more control over how many ads people are exposed to, as well as when and where they see them. First-party data puts you in control of communications to deliver more relevant customer experiences. When we talk about conscious marketing, these types of experiences are at its core.

Personalization opportunities

Unique messaging for each individual customer or prospect may not be a realistic goal, but marketing interactions do need to be as personalized as possible to forge strong connections and drive intended outcomes. First-party data gives you a far better understanding of your customers, enabling you to break out audiences into cohorts that can be pushed to activation platforms, so individuals receive more relevant and engaging experiences. This can be a gradual process, with your brand slowly building in a greater level of personalization over time.

Meaningful measurement

When your brand’s entire media plan is built around a common identity spine with person-level data, measuring the true impact and effectiveness of marketing tactics becomes far easier. Data across all engagements with a particular person can be used to analyze performance in real time. The powerful insights this uncovers can enable you to shift budget to more effective channels and tactics and optimize towards your chosen outcomes. You’ll be positioned to understand the impact of emerging channels—such as connected TV—as part of a unified media plan, rather than trying to measure their performance in silos.

The resurgence of lead generation

While the value of building out first-party CRM data is clear, getting started is often easier said than done. In a privacy-first world, where there is increased scrutiny of consumer data use, brands need to establish a proper value exchange for people to consent to sharing their personal information.

But there are still ways your brand can get going with this process. The recent focus on privacy has spurred a resurgence in lead generation practices as a way to accumulate customer data ethically, with full consent and transparency into what it will be used for. Possible entry points might include newsletters, or inter-brand partnerships with co-branded sponsorships and sweepstakes.

Some channels provide easier wins than others. Platforms such as Facebook and YouTube are trusted by their users, and lead forms in these environments can be pre-populated, making users more likely to share information. Embedded lead forms are becoming more prevalent in these spaces as the necessity of first-party data is increasingly recognized, with Google Ads lead form extensions being a prime example.

Ongoing effort is required

It doesn’t really matter how or where you get started with building out first-party CRM data. For most brands, it will be a case of learning to crawl and then walk before you can run. What matters is that there is an ongoing, evergreen effort to grow and maintain first-party data in a privacy compliant manner. This means implementing not just the mechanisms to collect that data ethically, but also the right tech partners to safeguard information in a way that complies with the relevant regulations.

We all know the importance of first-party data will increase with third-party cookie deprecation, but it shouldn’t be seen as a mere safety net to protect brands at that point in time. Building your entire, multi-channel media plan around a single identity spine, based on first-party CRM data, can allow you to take ownership of the customer relationship and deliver personalized, measurable experiences designed to drive your brand’s desired outcomes, regardless of the cookie situation.

In this article, discusses data defined in terms of veracity and value as it relates to a business. Specifically, he shares how focusing on Veracity & Value in the lens of deploying a self-developed smart home improved his overall skillset as a data scientist. “The technology and products we develop shall be smooth and easy to use, meet expectations of our users and integrate seamlessly with existing tech stacks, workflows and all channels involved.

Kinesso is our partner and parent company.
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