GUEST COLUMN: Five ways digital attribution can improve CTV & OTT advertising return on ad-spend

Mumbai: CTV/OTT viewership has exploded in India since the start of the pandemic, opening a new market of opportunities for advertisers. Combining the best of digital and traditional linear TV advertising, CTV/OTT advertising has become marketers’ favourites because of its ability to reach the right audience at the right time. These platforms provide advertisers with easy access to a vast pool of active buyers with high purchasing power.

It is estimated that more than 500 million Indians are already consuming OTT content. The number of CTV (connected TV) users is expected to reach 80 million households or nearly 320 million users by 2025. As linear TVs continue to lose viewers’ attention, advertisers are scrambling to make the most of the rising CTV/OTT viewership. This has also led to an increase in the amount of money spent on advertising on CTV/OTT, especially by B2B marketers.

In the OTT and CTV spaces, marketers have the advantage of clear targets, ideal buyer profiles, and clear-cut targeting strategies. While some other factors may affect the overall impact of CTV and OTT campaigns, these platforms also help in improving the return on ad spend (ROAS) through the right digital attribution.

Here are five ways in which digital attribution can help improve the ROAS:

Identifies customer touchpoints better

Marketers have to engage with customers at multiple touchpoints for successful conversions. In video campaigns, it is not easy to identify the exact touchpoint at which the viewer decides to convert.

Advertisers must have a comprehensive understanding of the customers' journey for better ROAS. This issue can be mitigated by adopting multi-touch digital attribution for CTV/OTT, as it will enable the advertiser to locate the touchpoint that triggered the conversion. Such knowledge will empower them to reduce ad spend wastage.

Filters out non-performing tactics

Through conventional attribution, specific campaigns walk away with sales and conversion credit without giving an insight into what parameters actually worked. This technique fails to take into account that some of the sales may be due to repeat customers or old customers who may have restarted their services. For CTV/OTT, conventional attribution will fail to give the real picture as advertisers use multiple tactics to drive conversions. Digital attribution can help identify the exact ways that resulted in sales on CTV/OTT. It will enable advertisers to focus more on winning tactics and avoid unnecessary ad spending on non-performing strategies.

Real-time optimisation

CTV/OTT metrics provide real-time data on customer responses to ad campaigns, allowing marketers to make in-the-moment adjustments. If something is not working, advertisers can withdraw the campaign and launch its alternative or improved version in real time. Digital attribution plays an important role here by enabling advertisers to identify the highest-performing tactics and make adjustments in real time. For example, during live streaming of a new movie on CTV/OTT, if a 30-second video ad is outperforming a 60-second creative, the advertiser can use this data to allocate more budget towards the better-performing 30-second campaign rather than giving in to the length of a video campaign.

Targets the right audience

The CTV and OTT streaming markets have exploded since the pandemic. As a large part of the population was confined indoors due to lockdowns, the demand for new entertainment platforms and content also increased. The availability of cheaper data across the country further amplified viewership on OTT and CTV. The surge in OTT/CTV content demand gave advertisers access to a massive new audience.

However, it has also become important to segment audience attributes for better targeting. With the right attribution, advertisers can easily segment customer databases to identify at which stage of the purchase the customer is actually converted.

Identifies “buy signals” more accurately

One of the most common differentiators between a successful and unsuccessful marketer is their ability to identify the “buy signal” from a prospective customer. The "buy signal" on CTV/OTT is an action or behaviour indicating a viewer is ready to become a customer. The actual sale often takes place much after the campaign is over. The right attribution can help in identifying the buy signal correctly. It will further enable marketers to match their strategy with sales insights to optimise the campaign for better results.

To sum up

Converting sales from a digital campaign requires slick digital attribution. This beats conventional ad-based tracking. It not only provides precise data points where the customer is most likely to convert, but it also provides insights into consumer purchasing behaviours. A modern world needs more contemporary digital attribution techniques, and we are already ready with one.

The author is VDO.AI founder and CEO Amitt Sharma.

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