Rich Briddock: “CTV stands for Connected Television, and OTT stands for Over-the-Top. Essentially, what they are, at least in terms of the way that most people understand them, is video advertisements that you get on streaming services. If you are using Hulu or AMC or any of those apps that you run on your smart TV and you get ads, those will be connected TV OTT ads. That’s that inventory that you’re buying. Essentially, they look and feel like regular TV ads, but they’re just done through that smart TV and through those streaming placements.”
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Alex: CTV OTT, we’re going to talk all about different kinds of upper funnel advertising today. Guys, what’s up? I’m Alex. This is Rich. We’re going to have fun. He’s been running media here for a decade at Cardinal. Way too long, I’d say, but also has another five years in other places, and engineers the media planning for all of our clients that run it.
Lots of lots of upper funnel performance branding type stuff. This is going to be fun. This is the future of advertising. The patient journey has changed. She’s not just going to Google. Mama’s not just going to Google and determining the dentist for her family. She’s being educated over the last six months of who’s got a prominent brand in town, and then she’s making the dentist decision in a day, but it’s informed over the last six months of touchpoints. Rich, what’s CTV OTT? What do these acronyms mean?
Rich: Yes. Great question. CTV stands for Connected Television, and OTT stands for Over-the-Top. Essentially, what they are, at least in terms of the way that most people understand them, is they are video advertisements that you get on streaming services. If you are using Hulu or AMC or any of those apps that you run on your smart TV and you get ads, those will be connected TV OTT ads. That’s that inventory that you’re buying. Essentially, they look and feel like regular TV ads, but they’re just done through that smart TV and through those streaming placements.
Alex: Programmatic video buying, basically. It’s a little more accurate because what you’re targeting, you have a lot of control over who you’re targeting. You can upload your patient base for lookalikes, I assume, but how are you? A lot of targeting options there.
Rich: Yeah, exactly. All the same targeting options that you would get through any other display or native buy outside of site-side retargeting. Although, you’re not targeting down to the individual level, but you can do household match. A lot of these technology companies will know that this device ID that went to your website lives at this household, and that smart TV is attached to that household, so it serves ads onto that smart TV.
Alex: Man, I love it. I think if you’ve got a big enough pool there, you could even send direct mail offers and stuff because you’ve got a pretty targeted audience there.
Rich: Yeah, absolutely. You could do anything with it. But connected TV, think about it as it is the benefits of digital and the benefits of television advertising. It’s on the big screen, it’s engaging, it’s rich, creative, it looks and feels like a TV ad, but with the targeting specificity of digital.
Alex: Multi-location provider groups are bread and butter. Can they run this? Can you run by location across these platforms?
Rich: Yeah, absolutely. Like I said, all the targeting options that are available for anything else that you do, so for display, native, social, you can leverage on this. It’s the same platforms that you’re using to leverage, it’s just a different placement.
Alex: What platforms do we use to run this stuff?
Rich: We use platforms like StackAdapt, PulsePoint, DeepIntent, IQVIA, a lot of healthcare-specific DSPs.
Alex: Okay. And a little thing everyone should know about all this upper funnel advertising right now is what?
Rich: Don’t leverage your current patient population for lookalike audiences or for remarketing for patient reactivation unless you have expressly sought their permission to do so. Right? Which most people are not.
Alex: Which you haven’t, and you don’t want to get these class actions too.
Alex: This is FTC coming down on everybody. So yeah, don’t upload patient data anywhere. So a marketer in-house is thinking, should I be advertising in over-the-top, or should I be going to video? Would I be better off if I just advertise Facebook, Insta, TikTok for a while? When do you go here? Is this last resort top of funnel branding? Are there better branding options? If you’re new to this?
Rich: The benefits of OTT are a couple of things. One, it’s an audio on placement, right? So similar to YouTube, it’s sound on. Whereas if you think about social, a lot of social video, and even display video throughout the web is sound off, right? So if you’ve got a relatively complex service offering that you want to explain, or product offering, the audio would really benefit, then that’s a huge benefit.
Alex: You’ve got surgery, something complex, high-dollar, yep.
Rich: The other thing too, is it’s not skippable. So if you have an ad that’s 30 seconds or 15 seconds, and you need people to watch the entirety of that ad to understand what you do, OTT is great, because the OTT completion rates are like 99%. You can’t skip them. So almost everybody’s watching them unless you turn [crosstalk]
Alex: I love it. That means it’s more expensive than Facebook, Insta, TikTok.
Rich: It means it’s more expensive. Like CPMs are going to be in the $40 range. So it’s not like necessarily a performance play, but it is a great placement if you want to explain something that’s complex, you want to add a ton of credibility to what you’re doing, right? Because again, sort of the gold standard for credibility is being on a big screen in someone’s house, right? They equate that to TV advertising, so that legitimizes your brand more than other digital placements will. So if you’ve got a very well-defined audience and you need to expose them to a story, a narrative, CTV is great if you can afford to do it.
Alex: Yeah, absolutely. And if you’re low-acuity, it feels like a more high-acuity thing, or you’re just a giant practice, or new locations maybe, it’s really important-
Rich: New locations? Yep.
Alex: -to you to come in and you’re going to open a three or four in Miami and you need to make a strong presence. What about low-acuity that’s been in the air? Derm, dental, behavioral, physical therapy. Is this the place you’d tell them to start with top of funnel branding? Or would you say, let’s start social, start YouTube?
Rich: Yeah, again, it depends on your objectives and your products and your service. I would not necessarily start on connected TV OTT. Most people, if you’re doing patient acquisition, it’s not a place I would start, right? If you have a disruptive product or service, right? So like, let’s say you’re in the clear aligner space or something, right? And you’ve got a new clear aligner product that is going to revolutionize the industry but you have to explain that to people how it’s different in other ways and it needs to be a pretty immersive explanation, the OTT could be great for you, right?
Same with like, you know, if you’ve got some amazing new therapy innovation, right? Like OTT could be great for explaining that to people. But yeah, if it’s just a case of, I need to get tons of eyeballs and I need to convey like a brand story, this wouldn’t be the place to start because the CPMs on connected TV can be, you know, three to five times higher than on other video, and so you’re just not gonna be able to reach people unless [crosstalk]
Alex: What kind of videos work? Highly produced, good social, a lot of UGC, or just kind of looks, you know?
Rich: Yeah, I mean, on connected TV, you are essentially in the TV advertising realm. So you’re not gonna want like low-fi, low production quality.
Alex: Yeah, not shot by a 9.10?
Rich: No, because they sound terrible when you see them on people’s televisions, right? The audio is terrible, the video is grainy, like that’s not gonna legitimize you as a brand. Whereas to your point, like with social, UGC is great.
Alex: I love it.
Rich: So again, that’s another consideration taking place, is you need pretty decent-looking creative if you want to do connected TV, at least to a certain standard, right? It doesn’t want to look like it was just [crosstalk]
Alex: Yeah, do it right or don’t do it at all. How do you measure lift from those channels? Final question for $300.
Rich: Yeah, there’s a couple of ways, right? There’s a lot of them will have like lift recall, brand lift recall, brand lift sentiment analyses.
Alex: The programmatic partners will have it.
Rich: Programmatic partners will do it.
Alex: Anything independent?
Rich: Anything– Well, what I would say is you can also re-engage those audiences down the funnel. Right? So you’ve got those exposed audiences and then you can target them on native, you can target them through display, you can target them through social.
Alex: We are still allowed to pixel.
Rich: Yeah, because those things are not on your site, right? So HIPAA does not– you’re not gathering any information about it through the other site. It’s all there through their ecosystem. So that way is a good way to– that’s probably the best way to validate if this advertising tactic is working because how do exposed audiences perform against non-exposed audiences?
And then the other thing is there are certain connected TV players out there that have Google Analytics integrations. So you can actually send exposed audiences to Google Analytics and then measure downstream performance of how well that exposed set did against an unexposed set. Are they coming back and converting on your brand more than people who have not seen you before and are coming in for the first time at the bottom of the funnel? So there’s definitely ways that you can measure it.
Alex: Okay, beautiful. I love it. Yeah, very cool. So guys, even with the new regulations coming from the FCC, there’s really great ways you can do this. Obviously, you heard from Rich, it’s really a full funnel media strategy, which means great creative, lots of different channels. You have to be able to do something after you’re serving the ads with other media channels and then track them all the way through and then follow up. So this is not simple and it should be done really well. Thank you for joining me. This was Kendall and Roman Roy here from the ATN, the new station. We appreciate you guys joining us. We’ll talk soon. Wait for the next episode next week. I have no idea what it’s going to be, but it’ll be good and I’m already excited for it.[music]
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