By Zachary Weiner
CEO, CTV Advertising, and Co-founder Connected TV Marketing Association
Spring: Flowers bloom, temperatures warm up and the TV Upfront season hits once again. Just as newsworthy these days is the chatter about the digital NewFronts, as they indicate an intriguing shift in advertiser behavior in our continually evolving content landscape. So what does this mean for Connected TV, a hybrid blend when it comes to both TV and digital advertising?
The big question being asked in regards to the Connected TV marketplace is what advertisers are doing to address the medium, and when dollars will shift from traditional TV budgets into Connected TV. While I am bullish that these shifts will occur, I believe there are still a few obstacles to overcome in order for large ad dollars to shift from the still effective tried-and-true towards a more nascent, yet rapidly growing medium. Fortunately, perhaps the biggest obstacle is very correctible—a lack of industry awareness and education of the medium itself. But this is already beginning to change as trade groups and vendors take a more pro-active role in the space, and device proliferation and adoption rates among consumers continues to grow. In addition, there are a few smaller side issues such as I.E. standardization, fragmentation challenges, and translation issues between converging industries that must be addressed before Connected TV can achieve its full potential.
What we are beginning to experience, however, is an increasingly strong interest (and in my opinion need) to begin heavy experimenting and testing within the space. There is a striking call to action to do so. Connected TV holds a vast, potential superiority over traditional television buys in many ways. We can track, target and create true two-way interactivity within connected television platforms in ways that do not mortgage the benefits of the traditional 10 ft screen. We still maintain ads that can be viewed by groups to create immersive and emotive experiences, but can do so in highly advanced ways that marry the strengths of the TV world with that of the digital universe. Now is the time that agencies can begin to play in this new sandbox and create strategy, benchmarks and studies to allow them the knowledge and experience they need to lead the space. With technology and consumer behavioral patterns moving forward at an exponential pace, brands and agencies will need to have the adaptability and agility to transition very quickly from the experimental phase into a value driving position.
The other large catalyst that will shape ad budgets moving towards Connected TV is not just the general proliferation of devices, but more so, robust content experiences that are not available to consumers on traditional TV. As both of these factors roll out, consumer value will expand, and we will see a huge demand to follow consumers where they can be best engaged in the Connected TV world.
Zachary Weiner is CEO of boutique emerging TV consultancy CTV Advertising
(ctvadvertising.com) and the Co-Founder of the Connected TV Marketing Association (ctvma.org) follow him on twitter at @itvadvertising