Attribution Is the Key to Unlock the Full Potential of Connected TV

Bridging the gap from advertising spend to conversions

Connected TV offers a wealth of opportunities for brands to more precisely connect with their ideal consumers where and how they live. The key is figuring out how exactly to quantify the potential.

That’s where CTV runs into the same issue that linear TV has: attribution.

Traditional TV has always offered metrics on awareness and exposure. But today’s marketers want to connect advertising dollars to tangible results, such as foot traffic and sales. Validating and quantifying CTV’s effectiveness at conversion is critical for advertisers to realize the full value of this emerging media.

Understanding current attribution gaps

Certainly, proposals abound for making the connection between CTV and conversion, but most leave a lot of questions unanswered, including the most important one: “Did my ads actually drive conversion?” This is mainly because the digital advertising ecosystem continues to struggle with three major attribution gaps:

Identity resolution: Cookies are fading fast for most digital media, but they simply don’t exist at all for CTV. So, most attribution methods lack a reliable way to even identify who is seeing the ads, not to mention who responded by visiting a store or buying a product.

Data sources: Often, attribution requires a third-party tracking device or depends exclusively on online activities. What happens when your audience isn’t tracked by a third party or when offline activities figure prominently into your attribution calculations.

Data stability: Validating data assumptions with both online identifiers and physical addresses is important to help triangulate what is really going on. Many attribution methods rely too heavily on one data source, while others are disproportionately impacted by consumer privacy choices.

Achieving a transparent view of the customer

Unfortunately, the attribution approaches many media companies follow do not successfully bridge these gaps. As a result, advertisers are often in the dark about the real-world impact.

What’s missing is transparency. From beginning to end, advertisers deserve to know who they are targeting, how that audience responded, how the insights gained can improve future campaigns, and of course, actual sales and the return on advertising spend.

The best attribution starts with a complete understanding of the targeted audience, including a comprehensive mapping of digital households to physical locations. This ensures that you hit the right audience with your message based on who they are, where they are and what they are in the market for.

Then, it’s one thing to know the type of customer you are reaching and it’s quite another to be able to reach the audience you select. Done correctly, you should be able to execute a campaign against over 80% of your intended audience—both via CTV and across other digital and traditional marketing channels.

Finally, the goal is to connect with your intended audience. So, the best solutions provide a clear view of who your CTV campaign targeted compared to your first-party data. This enables you to watch the impact of the campaign as exposure flows into engagement and turns into purchases.

With 70% of consumers currently using streaming services, CTV offers more brands the opportunity to connect with an engaged audience. Working with a reliable partner to achieve a transparent view of the consumer will not only allow marketers to quantify CTV’s conversions but to benefit from this quickly growing platform.

Gary Galloway is a senior product marketing manager at Valassis, focused on high-growth digital products. He has over 19 years of experience implementing digital marketing products and solutions across industries and channels.