Innovating with Intent: Our Top 3 CTV Advertising Takeaways

In a first for DeepIntent, we hosted “Innovating with Intent: A Pharma-Focused CTV Forum,” an event focused exclusively on CTV advertising insights for pharma. Over the course of the half-day conference, thought leaders from the worlds of pharma, CTV, and ad tech came together to discuss the opportunities presented by CTV to reach healthcare provider (HCP) and patient audiences more effectively.

In his opening remarks, DeepIntent founder and CEO Chris Paquette spoke about how CTV is shaping the future of pharma advertising, especially when compared to linear TV.

“CTV is the new brand battlefield. It’s a war that will be fought with technology and data,” he said. “The brands who seize the opportunity to lean in, test and learn, and build relationships with innovative partners will be in the position to outcompete and outperform their competition.”

While linear has consistently played an important role in the overall media mix, it will continue to be disrupted as time goes on. Therefore, CTV should not only be seen as complementary to a linear advertising strategy, but an absolute necessity for reaching healthcare audiences today. This point was emphasized in each of the sessions throughout the day, and supported by plenty of actionable insights that agencies and pharma brands can use to guide their campaigns. Here are our top three takeaways.

1. CTV advertising is like linear advertising, only better.

Linear TV has long served the pharma industry well. A sentiment expressed in multiple discussions throughout the day, several panelists cited the power of TV — specifically, its sight, sound, and motion — in delivering complex advertising messages about treatments and medications.

But the TV landscape has undergone some major changes over the last few years. The rise of cord-cutting and the emergence of free, ad-supported streaming players has resulted in more viewers consuming CTV content than ever before, greatly impacting linear TV viewership.

In a presentation on “Patient Views During the CTV Renaissance,” AJ Kintner, VP of Sales at LG Ads Solutions shared that, “More LG TV households are watching streaming TV only (54%) than watching any linear TV (46%).”

Knowing that CTV is where a vast majority of audiences are spending their time, advertisers can now reach them more effectively and efficiently thanks to CTV’s programmatic advertising capabilities.

The first panel of the day was moderated by FINN Partners’ Global Digital Health Partner Ritesh Patel and focused on how CTV is changing the way TV media is transacted. During that conversation, DeepIntent’s SVP of Strategy Carrie Craigmyle and Matterkind’s VP of Addressable Strategy Adam Thomas discussed how CTV has revolutionized the way campaign performance is measured and optimized. Adam noted that you can “track CTV as you can with digital and video, versus waiting six months for the results to come in with linear,” and optimize campaigns in real time toward metrics like audience quality and script performance.

With more efficient reporting, and the ability to power campaigns with health data, CTV advertising takes everything that linear TV does well and vastly improves on it, helping pharma brands better connect with relevant HCP and patient audiences, and making your dollars work smarter.

2. Marketers are looking for reassurance about making the switch to CTV.

While CTV may be the next frontier for pharma advertising, there is a paradigm shift that needs to happen within the industry first. For marketers looking to extend their strategies beyond linear, a few factors must come into play. According to Lisa Kopp Johnson, SVP of Agency Development and Brand Partnerships at Integral Ad Science, its starts with education.

“A lot of pharma marketers are comfortable in what they’re doing with TV, which has been a safe place because it hasn’t evolved in 50 years. It’s changed so much in the last three years, and it’s our job to educate the market on the benefits of CTV,” she said.

In a conversation about brand safety in CTV advertising, Lisa spoke about how marketers need transparency and trust on the buy side, as well as assurance that their ads are running in quality environments. Chris Langel, GVP and General Manager of Global Management at Oracle, added that “reach and frequency, and more sophisticated brand safety within video will help break down the wall between linear and digital,” leading more marketers to feel comfortable about branching out into CTV.

Particularly as it concerns the healthcare industry, privacy in CTV advertising is another major priority. During a panel about bridging identity and CTV, participants discussed the need for data consistency and a scalable framework for consent from both patient and provider audiences.

Looking ahead to the next five years, Scott Menzer, co-founder and SVP of Customer Operations and Product at ID5, predicted there will be more standardization across privacy, identity, and data to allow marketers to reach the audiences they want in a privacy-compliant way.

3. The productization of CTV viewership data will be critical for optimizing reach and frequency between linear TV and CTV.

The TV landscape faced its most dramatic shift two years ago. During the LG Ads Solutions presentation, AJ Kintner described how “the pandemic took what would have been a 6-10 year curve and condensed it into six months,” leading more consumers to cancel their pay TV subscriptions, and therefore, become unreachable on linear TV. In a similar vein, Jason Patterson, SVP of Business Intelligence at Publicis Health Media also mentioned how “linear TV isn’t going away, but the reach potential is eroding.”

Fragmentation between linear TV and CTV is a huge challenge that exists for marketers today, with many questioning how they can measure the audiences they’re not reaching on linear. The answer? Incremental reach, which is defined as the unique audience that an over-the-top (OTT) or CTV campaign engages with in addition to the audience reached by a brand’s linear campaign.

Highlighting the importance of capturing this reach, Jason Wiese, SVP and Director of Strategic Insights at the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) said, “The more reach you get, the more sales you get. Incremental reach is just the starting point, and from there, it cascades through the funnel.”

In his fireside chat with DeepIntent SVP of Analytics John Mangano, Jason Patterson spoke about how automated content recognition (ACR) technology can help fill some of the gaps in campaign measurement.

“From my perspective, we focus a lot on measurement and the efficacy of programs; it’s about measuring as much of the campaign as we can so we can have the most holistic view,” he said. “ACR data is fantastic in terms of helping us understand that — for example, exposures we wouldn’t get from a set-top box.”

While it’s clear that the industry still has a ways to go in terms of standardizing measurement across linear and CTV advertising, ACR data is just one of the ways we can better tell the story of incremental reach.

For more coverage from “Innovating with Intent: A Pharma-Focused CTV Forum,” visit our event page.

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