Over the last twelve months we have witnessed a boom of interest and investment in Connected TV (CTV), with many marketers now eager to capitalise on the opportunities this new channel presents.  

CTV As A Digital Channel?

There has been a lot of discussion around how best to approach CTV and unsurprisingly, there is a tendency by some to see TV as almost a purely digital channel – looking at the strategies that have been so successful in digital marketing and hoping to recreate this elsewhere.

I understand why this might look like an attractive strategy – and there are definitely some elements of digital that we should seek to implement in CTV. Programmatic buying methods, for example, have real potential to bring something new to TV, offering opportunities for efficiencies in that space.

However, simply trying to reformulate digital strategies and apply them directly to the TV environment is not the best way to maximise this channel. In fact, copying over our marketing methods too blindly could hinder our progress in the space and make a mess of this opportunity.  

As a relatively new avenue for brands, CTV poses a chance to look across the marketing spectrum and hand-pick key ingredients to suit this unique and exciting channel.

In fact, looking closer at the characterises of CTV, we can start to see that - rather than digital - CTV has many more similarities with classic CRM, such as direct mail.


The relatively high cost of impression, rich media experience, ability to do robust measurement and precision targeting – all of these characteristics remind me of my own time working in CRM and suggest that, when it comes to marketing tactics, there are learnings here we can apply. 

The similarities between the two range from that heavy use of first-party data, the sophisticated segmentation of audience, and robust testing control measurement. CTV also provides a chance to really invest and experiment with the creative of our marketing and use the measurement and targeting benefits to give insights into real life behaviour such as in-store transactions.

If we apply the lessons we hold from CRM and combine them with the buying qualities of digital, we can hand-pick the best of both to create a unique strategy for CTV tailored for its success.

Getting started with CTV

CTV has been on the rise for a few years - but the timing has never been better for brands looking to take the leap. There might be concern that the sale of CTV inventory is currently too small to warrant investment – but to dwell on this is to miss the bigger picture.

It is vital to remember the measurement possibilities that CTV can provide, particularly the ability to do closed-loop measurement at individual level. This granular level of measurement makes CTV the perfect environment to conduct testing: marketers can leverage the insights to learn more about their audiences, as well as the impact of creative and context. They can then apply these learnings to their existing linear TV campaigns.

The heavy focus on first-party data in CTV should also be an attractive element for marketers. The recent announcements from Google and the deprecation of third-party cookies has placed even more emphasis on first-party data and creating trusted relationships between marketers, brands and consumers.

The time is now

CTV is in a strong position right now and worthy of serious consideration, for two reasons:  

1. Firstly, CTV never relied on third-party cookies in the first place, meaning that cookie deprecation – despite its huge significance for digital teams – should not derail CTV strategies. 

2. Secondly, as broadcasters have digitalised, they have successfully built good direct consent with customers, communicating the value exchange in a way that native digital channels often struggle with. Because of this, CTV will be able to leapfrog some of the challenges facing the digital marketing industry. Issues such as trust and privacy will still impact CTV and the overall marketing approach for brands, but there is an opportunity here to embrace a different channel with different characterises, building strategies that have trust, privacy and robust measurement at their heart.

Steve Martin is MD International Data and TV at LiveRamp.