The Truth About CTV and Mitigating Fraud

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On television and video“is a column exploring the opportunities and challenges of advanced television and video.

Today’s column is by Ken Harlan, Founder and CEO, MobileFuse.

CTV is taking center stage as the next frontier in the digital media industry. But there is still some confusion in the market regarding best buying practices, the realities of fraud, and what is actually achievable.

With 60% of U.S. advertisers shifting ad dollars from linear television to connected television (CTV) or overhead (OTT) in 2021, it is critical that the industry lands on a unified set of solutions, fraud protections and capabilities of measurement.

Instead of addressing these short-term needs, what can brands and marketers do to ensure their CTV efforts are well developed and deliver a significant return on investment? Here’s where we are today and how the industry can optimize CTV’s efforts for maximum return.

Laying the ground

Right now, there are three different CTV inventory sources that marketers have access to: Streamers (Hulu, HBO, etc.), CTV-enabled devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV Stick), and Smart devices. TV (Samsung TVs, LG TVs, etc.). Each of these sources provides different inventory and measurement capabilities.

Each inventory source provides different information. For example, some vendors can run pixels in their environments, while others claim they can’t – and that’s changing every day. Asking this question is essential, as pixels are often required for measurement. The continued volatility of rapidly evolving solutions presents ongoing challenges for marketers.

Marketers are also plagued by the age-old problem of silos when using the biggest players. Most inventory sources behave like walled gardens, forcing brands and advertisers to work directly with them and not allowing data to leave their respective platforms.

While large ad-supported inventory providers offer strong reach, the inability to use their platform’s data as part of a larger campaign introduces ambiguity into the platform’s actual return on investment. -form. These walls also make it difficult to perform the tests necessary for creative and messaging optimizations. It’s also worth pointing out that the prices associated with big players can be sky-high.

Marketers who focus their CTV efforts on long tail apps like Pluto TV, Crackle, and Xumo TV can find immense value. While these apps have a relatively smaller audience footprint, they provide a nuanced set of information that helps marketers better engage specific audiences.

For example, a CPG brand marketer purchasing inventory from Kidoodle, a family-focused, kid-friendly streaming video platform, can reach parents around vacation-themed deals. Or, for a holiday like Halloween, brand marketers could incorporate the inventory of Midnight Pulp, one of the nation’s largest distributors of American horror movies and TV shows, to engage the relevant audience. . These long-tail inventory providers actually offer more valuable and actionable data that can be integrated into larger campaigns.

Take a holistic approach

Since the CTV inventory is issued at the household level, it is more effective for the channel to be part of a larger marketing initiative. It’s hard to know exactly who is watching at any given time despite the possibility of adapting the efforts contextually according to the type people who enjoy watching different kinds of content. Simply put, the desired one-on-one interactions with consumers are not as prevalent with CTV as they are with mobile devices.

By using CTV in conjunction with other strategies such as mobile and digital outdoors, marketers gain access to another point of contact with consumers. To do this effectively, marketers must embrace contextual targeting with open arms, a lesson they first discovered at the start of the iOS 14 and “cookie death” discussions.

CTV’s household level information can be combined with other contextual data such as time of day, app, video content, location of video playback, weather, etc. By combining this information, digital marketers can better understand who the audience is and when they are most receptive to advertising.

Fight fraud with friends

Marketers often ask about visibility metrics when they start buying CTV. However, most companies claim that their CTV inventory is 100% viewable because it is not skippable unless the viewer turns off their device or leaves the platform. Full visibility looks promising at first glance, but actually poses major questions from a fraud perspective. For example, malicious players could implement server farms and create bots that simulate someone watching a CTV ad.

Interesting way, DoubleVerify found that between January and April 2020, there was a 161% year-over-year increase in fraudulent impressions of CTV ads. Clearly, the industry needs a solution to ensure that advertising dollars are spent to reach real consumers.

The best method to minimize fraud is to set requirements for inventory partners. Marketers should use accredited third-party verification partners and work with inventory that allows pixel tracking. A third party testing and review of inventory sources is a step in the right direction to minimize fraud and build confidence in CTV’s return on investment.

As the CTV chain grows, it is critical that digital marketers double down on holistic campaign approaches and ensure that their inventory partners meet the requirements for measurement, visibility, and zero awareness. fraud.

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