5 Tips for the First-Time Programmatic CTV Advertiser

Connected TV (CTV) is one of today’s fastest-growing digital advertising channels. As forecasted by eMarketer, total programmatic CTV ad spend is expected to reach $24.44 billion in 2024, a 23.1% increase year over year. In this same vein, the migration of viewers from linear TV to CTV will also continue to accelerate, leading more and more marketers to “follow the eyeballs” and shift their dollars to CTV.

While pharma marketers have traditionally prioritized linear TV, there is now an abundance of opportunities to reach healthcare audiences across channels and devices. And thanks to advances in advertising technology, these audiences can be targeted with precision in a privacy-safe, HIPAA-compliant way.

Based on the current landscape, there’s no question that advertising on CTV will be an absolute must in the future. But that doesn’t mean you have to put all of your eggs in one TV advertising basket.

Here are five tips to help guide your approach to establishing a programmatic CTV strategy this year.

1. Plan to make a gradual shift to CTV.

Traditional TV has dominated the advertising world for decades, and for good reason. No one can deny the power of video over any other advertising medium. But as CTV gains a larger share of total viewing time and healthcare audiences continue to engage with video content across channels and devices, our strategies need to evolve to reach them.

Linear TV can still play a big role, but consider shifting your budget to include programmatic CTV. A 2020 study from FreeWheel and Comcast Advertising found that 57% of reach achieved from streaming was incremental to linear TV buys, and that reach is highest when 10-40% of the media spend is allocated to streaming. So, even if you’re starting small, you can still see a huge impact.

2. Activate your campaign in premium, brand-safe content.

With so many different players in the streaming TV space, not all video advertising is created equal. When building your programmatic CTV strategy, you’ll want to make sure your campaign is running in premium, brand-safe content on the ad-supported platforms your target audience is most likely to watch.

Since privacy is of the utmost concern these days—especially in an industry as highly regulated as healthcare—pharma marketers should seek out a CTV advertising solution that goes beyond HIPAA compliance. They must reach audiences with precision while ensuring they can never be re-identified via their health data.

3. Measure your reach with different types of data.

The beauty of advertising on CTV is that you get all the benefits of advertising on traditional TV, plus the added benefits of digital, specifically with regard to measurement. While the industry has yet to establish a standard method for CTV measurement, several emerging technologies can provide you with the insights you need to understand how your campaigns are truly performing.

By leveraging automatic content recognition (ACR) data, for example, you can more accurately determine whether your ads are being run—and seen—on certain devices. This data can then be combined with other metrics to assess the overall reach and frequency of your CTV campaign.

4. Optimize based on the metrics that matter most.

With the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence in advertising, one of the main elements of a programmatic CTV campaign is the ability to optimize automatically based on how the ads are performing. For pharma marketers looking to connect their campaign performance to real-world business outcomes, focusing on metrics like unique reach, audience quality, and script performance can paint a clear picture of the campaign’s overall impact.

At DeepIntent, we conducted a campaign analysis comparing the effectiveness of advertising on CTV to linear TV. Leveraging recent campaign data, ACR data, and our patented DeepIntent Outcomes™ technology, we found that CTV delivers 82% higher on-target reach and 50% higher audience quality compared to linear.

5. Choose the right programmatic CTV partner.

Making the shift to CTV advertising can seem daunting, especially when you consider how significant of a role traditional TV has played in the history of pharma advertising. If you feel uncertain about where to begin, or how to reach your most relevant healthcare audience with CTV, choosing the right partner and platform can make all the difference.

Our advice is to proactively seek out a partner who can help you eliminate overlap and manage frequency among the fragmented audiences watching both linear and CTV. In addition, by selecting a health DSP to plan, activate, and measure your CTV campaigns, you can feel confident about reaching precise healthcare provider and patient audiences in a HIPAA-compliant manner.

Thinking about making the shift from linear TV to CTV advertising? Read this blog for three considerations to keep in mind.

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