Smash the silo: Let’s aim for a total TV strategy in 2024

Smash the silo: Let’s aim for a total TV strategy in 2024

Closed-mindedness when it comes to CTV means agencies and advertisers are missing big opportunities as technology continues to advance.

Agencies know siloed thinking is a problem in our industry — it causes friction and holds us back from better performance.

But it’s not just limited to the confines of individual agencies or businesses — it extends to the media channels we use and thus the strategies we create, such as that for connected TV (CTV).

I wish I had a silver bullet for eliminating all silos for our entire industry (what a utopia that would be!). But what I can offer instead is a plan for how and why we should tackle silos and siloed thinking when it comes to CTV and how this will unlock more opportunities for success.

It’s all TV, right?

According to the latest IAB Digital Adspend report, CTV spending grew 21% in 2023 — good growth, but we’re nowhere near its full potential.

Not only does CTV have a great growth trajectory, but it is also in a strong position to innovate further as the technology matures. So it’s frustrating when it is held back by silos and outdated thinking.

Despite the fact that there has been a significant shift over the past decade, unifying a number of previously separate media streams across streaming and linear, TV planning is still a game of navigating alphabet soup: BVOD, AVOD, SVOD, FAST. To viewers, these are all just one thing: television.

Jon Longhurst, founder of LongTerm Digital, shared with me some anecdotal feedback he got about CTV. From conversations with agency leaders and decision makers, he was aware of how emotional bias and siloed thinking were impacting attitudes towards particular TV environments and thus how they were included (or not) in media plans.

“I had many conversations that went along the lines of ‘Well, I don’t watch FAST, so therefore I don’t think anyone does’ or ‘That’s why I don’t see it as valuable’. And, to me, that is quite dangerous thinking”, he said.

Not only is this kind of thinking reckless, it’s also not true.

Growth away from SVOD

European Samsung Ads data show that, yes, subscription VOD services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are currently top of the food chain in the CTV mix. However, growth in viewing time for these services has begun to plateau.

Where we are seeing the biggest growth is actually from ad-supported VOD and free ad-supported streaming TV, with the latter experiencing the most growth at 32% year on year.

Even the concept of a “smart” TV is becoming increasingly outdated. At last count, nearly three-quarters of all households have at least one and soon non-smart TVs will be a thing of the past.

As the focal point of media consumption in the home, television has never been more powerful and it presents a key opportunity for advertisers. But this is only possible if we free ourselves from the siloed thinking of the past and embrace what TV is now, not what it used to be.

More than incremental

Even those who have embraced CTV aren’t immune to closed-mindedness. Jon shared a further stat from his research: 93% of agencies view CTV’s role as only incremental. This is a clear example of the pigeonholed position of CTV as a “nice to have”, not a fundamental part of a holistic campaign.

CTV presents a data-rich TV landscape, where data can be used for enhanced targeting and audience optimisation, greater accuracy in data collation and to inform pre-campaign insights. The hope from a more holistic approach to CTV is twofold: creating an improved advertising experience for the viewer and connecting advertisers to the audience they’ve missed with a fractured approach.

Optimising advertising on the biggest screen in the home is also effective at targeting a full range of demographics, from young digital-native streamers to older, more traditional viewers.

Effective adtech solutions over the coming years will harness this data to help advertisers reach previously unreached audiences. Heavy streamers are some of the easiest audiences to miss for advertisers — especially for those that have placed CTV in its own, misunderstood silo.

CTV has more potential than many in our industry realise. Once the sledgehammer is taken to the silos, advertisers will be free to make CTV work for them in better ways than ever before.

Matt Bryan squareMatt Bryan is director of analytics and insight at Samsung Ads. 

Watch his talk on this topic at The Future of Brands

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