Performance Power Players: Ashley Parducci on the role of CTV in Holiday Shopping campaigns

Performance Power Players: Ashley Parducci on the role of CTV in Holiday Shopping campaigns

Ashley Parducci, Head of Customer Insights and Measurement at tvScientific discusses how CTV campaigns can ensure advertisers meet their KPIs during the Holiday shopping period and beyond. For advertisers interested in finding out about running successful CTV campaigns during the Holiday shopping period please take a look at this free paper from M&C Saatchi Performance and tvScientific; ‘The Retail Marketer’s Guide to Holiday Shopping Campaigns‘.

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure creative versions and Call to Actions align with business operations and sales targets. For example, provide urgency to shipping deadlines as they approach for last-moment shoppers.
  • Be in tune with how target audiences behave, and what is important to them in the run-up to the Holiday period. For example, understand when colleges break from school, and when families will be reunited to sit around the big screen.
  • Keep in mind there are three different types of holiday shoppers:
    • On-the-fly shoppers are shopping throughout the season and you are starting to influence them now.   
    • Early shoppers may have already started shopping as fall hits as well. 
    • Last-minute shoppers haven’t decided on their gifting yet and are scrambling at the last minute.
  • Ideally, run testing ahead of time so that you have a good understanding of what is working before the all-important Holiday shopping period.

What are some of the benefits of running CTV campaigns?

CTV helps reach broad audiences, which allows advertisers to reach incremental shoppers who may not have seen campaigns in other channels. Even better, CTV is not just an awareness channel as linear TV is, but also a performance channel for marketers intent on measuring the outcomes of their advertising spend. That might be measuring app installs for mobile first brands, or footfall into stores for brick and mortar. CTV can do both.

There is also a halo effect of CTV campaigns on other marketing channels. We often see other channels succeed while CTV campaigns are running. For example, search & social results can improve when a CTV campaign is live because people often have a habit of dual-screening, watching the big screen with their mobile or tablet.

However, one of the major benefits of CTV is the immediacy of KPI impact if campaigns are executed well. In some other marketing channels seeing the effect of a campaign can take a lot of time depending on the goals. Advertisers have to wait for the campaign to launch and then wait to see the impact of the results. With CTV advertisers can see the impact of being on the big screen immediately. Ads can have an impact from day 1 given they could offer 30 seconds of non-skippable content across a myriad of CTV supply.  With other marketing channels getting a campaign launched can take time to execute, but with CTV as long as you have creative you can be on the big screen as soon as you launch

With CTV the effect can be seen more immediately. For example, if the shipping deadline ahead of the Holidays is approaching and there is still stock to be sold. Updating immediacy to the messaging, boosting the budget, or adding new audiences to a campaign can impact sales almost immediately. 

“I love the fact that the channel offers urgency and immediacy that other channels may not offer. With CTV there is a much shorter lead time from getting impressions live and seeing purchases being tracked can be very short and impactful.”

Ashley Parducci, Head of Customer Insights and Measurement at tvScientific.

How can CTV help find and reach different types of customers?

According to a YouGov survey, 65% of U.S. consumers watch holiday-related content on TV in the fall and winter and 98% of U.S. households are reachable via open programmatic CTV ads which means there is a significant opportunity to reach people during this period. 

Some customers shop early, some leave shopping until the last moment, and then there are a myriad of people in between. When you layer on top of all the other elements people think about when planning Holidays (groceries, presents, travel, visitors, etc.) there is a lot to consider. The Holiday shopping season is complex for many customers and marketers alike.

However, this is why CTV can be a valuable channel for marketers because it allows different messaging and creative to run across multiple audience segments while allowing analysis of results quickly. For example, broad demographic audience segments such as High Household income or gender, and then more granular level targeting is available for audiences such as those with interests in fashion, reading, foodies, movie holiday lovers, etc. 

As marketers plan campaigns they should know what their customers are thinking about and how they can capture their attention. With CTV you can plan what the Holiday campaign should look like and think through the creative to align with customer behavior.

“CTV allows you to reach Holiday audiences easily, and you can find them any time. One of the advantages of CTV over linear TV is that you don’t have to wait for your favorite TV show or movie to be scheduled you can find it at any point in the day rather than waiting.”

Ashley Parducci, Head of Customer Insights and Measurement at tvScientific

What should advertisers consider when it comes to creative for CTV?

CTV is a premium placement, the big screen that sits at the heart of the home with the ability to capture the attention of multiple people at the same time. Well-produced 30-second non-skippable CTV creative can be highly impactful. CTV is also a different experience compared to a mobile device which is very much one-to-one as opposed to one-to-many opportunity.

“It’s important to be specific with creative and messaging. For example, different creative could be needed for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or shipping deadlines. Plans should highlight exactly when creative needs to be swapped out to deliver urgency at the right time.” Says Parducci.

She continues; “Think through the creative as you think about the campaign, creative that targets early shoppers vs. late will require different versions, with different messaging to be created.”

However, advertisers need not have huge production budgets, tvScientific can help brands get started on their CTV creative. For example, taking User Generated Content and revising for CTV, or can assist with full-scale production. “It’s a good idea to have several versions to test, Millennials and Baby Boomers may require different creative, and this should be tested rather than one creative deemed as not working too quickly.”

There is also a lot of test and learn that needs to happen when developing campaigns that take users from big to small screens to understand what creative is working. We find the best practice when producing CTV creative for mobile marketers is to show how to use an app, so the actor is holding the device, with a screenplay about how to use the app, if the app needs to be explained or people educated then this should be shown so that people move through the onboarding journey or understand the benefits of the app. Make the messaging clear and the logo prominent so it can be recalled and recognized in other channels. 

“Typically when testing creative we run a linear model based on last-click attribution where all impressions with an attribution window get equal credit for a conversion. When adding a new creative version break the windows into smaller time slots to see what the impact of a new creative is.” says Parducci.

What sectors can benefit from CTV campaigns?

Though retail is an obvious sector, others can benefit from Holiday shopping, such as food and beverage, gaming, travel, etc.

The post-holiday period could be an interesting period to run CTV campaigns for many brands. During the Holidays there are often new devices in the household that have been gifted and are being activated for the first time. More screens of all sizes are available for targeting. Plus this is a time when some people are at home spending time together, watching their favorite films or TV shows.

Geotargeting, local and brick-to-mortar strategies

Local, smaller retail outfits that might not have a year-round budget can capture an audience in the run up to the Holiday shopping period. If you are a brick-and-mortar retailer and Holiday is crucial you can use geo and zip code targeting to bring users into their shops. This tactic works for both large chains that have multiple stores, and also local stores.

“Creative that drives people into store could help make a difference for brick-and-mortar retailers, so brands should run geotargeting lift studies to see the impact of CTV on the footfall.”

Ashley Parducci, Head of Customer Insights and Measurement at tvScientific

What KPIs should be considered?

There are multiple KPIs for brands to consider, such as 

  • Completion rate – those who watch the full ad (note tvScientific benchmark of 97% CR)
  • Website visits
  • App installs, conversions, opens
  • Completion rate – those who watch the full ad
  • Cost per completed view
  • ROAS
  • Brand Lift
  • Store visits

Mobile and app marketers should consider incrementality testing, adding CTV can bring new, incremental audiences and is especially important for performance marketing. Incrementality will show mobile marketers the value of CTV and data-led decisions.

Tips to getting started in CTV

  • Allow enough time and budget to run test & learn campaigns ahead of the peak shopping period, to enable enough learnings ahead of time. 
  • Testing with a smaller budget, and with multiple strategies will take longer to build statistical confidence as to what is working. $30k and one to two strategies should be enough to gain learnings.
  • Be clear on the KPIs you want to track and optimize and ensure a tracking pixel is implemented to enable outcomes to be tracked and campaigns optimized. 
  • Work with data and analytics teams to understand the halo effect of CTV. It is likely that a CTV campaign will improve the conversion rates across other channels, so ensure the right frameworks are in place to be able to measure and understand this.
  • Be patient and ensure that stakeholders understand this too. What happens on day 1  of a campaign is not going to be what happens on day 30 or day 60. The longer the campaigns run the more value will be provided as the more data will be available to evaluate and and optimize to meet KPIs.

“We suggest a minimum spend of $30k a month for a testing period to provide enough impressions across multiple ad groups to see what is working. Different Calls to Action may influence visit rates for example and you need to have had time to understand this rather than just change creative direction. For example, creative might not work on a boomer audience vs. a millennial audience and you need to have had time to understand this before changing approach.” 

Ashley Parducci, Head of Customer Insights and Measurement at tvScientific

About Ashley Parducci

Ashley brings more than 18 years of experience to the table as a skilled leader in both technical and client-oriented aspects of performance marketing. Her career path has uniquely positioned her to blend complex technical expertise with forward-thinking leadership seamlessly.

Currently serving as the Head of Customer Insights & Measurement at tvScientific, Ashley is dedicated to helping both prospects and clients grasp the potential of Performance TV for their brands.

Armed with a degree in Computer Science from Pacific University, Ashley skillfully combines technical know-how with strategic leadership, leaving an enduring impact on the industry

Further Reading

Why Mobile Marketers Should Test Streaming TV Campaigns

Steaming TV’s Time to Shine