With the lines between branding and performance marketing blurring, the days of archaic, one-size-fits-all ad campaigns are over.

Creating an OTT/CTV performance campaign that works and works well relies on a number of things, but what trumps the list in 2023 may be more holistic than what we’ve seen in past years.

To ensure your connected TV advertising efforts are optimized for success, you need to know what makes an effective performance marketing strategy aligned with today’s best practices.

Branding Vs. Performance

When starting a connected TV campaign, marketers face a choice: Is this a branding or a performance campaign? Not that the two are wholly mutually exclusive—a branding campaign will have a performance impact and vice versa—but the choice between the two will determine the primary campaign objective.

With a branding campaign, your main goal is to build brand equity—establishing your value proposition regarding your reputation, values, quality of offerings, and trustworthiness, all in the minds of your customers. This type of marketing is mainly used to raise awareness about your overall brand, or it can be an effective way to generate hype on the product level, particularly when it comes to a new launch.

These campaigns involve slow-burning strategies, and their return on investment may not occur immediately—rather, taking weeks, months, or even years to witness real results. Along the way, however, you can track KPIs to measure how well your brand is resonating with your audience with metrics like engagement and interaction.

On the flip side, performance marketing aims to improve brand performance and impact real-world outcomes like sales, leads, or site traffic. Digital marketers who choose this type of media planning strategy have high hopes of guiding their audiences through the marketing funnel all the way to conversion. Performance marketing implies 2 key facets:

  1. Outcome Measurement: Ability to measure real-world outcomes
  2. Optimization: Ability to move budget toward what’s driving those outcomes and away from what isn’t

With high-volume lead generation and quick, easily trackable ROI, performance marketing is favorable for immediate results or when budgets are tighter, where every out dollar must correspond to an equal or greater amount in. Powered by personalized messaging, clear calls to action, and compelling ad ideas, these campaigns encourage viewers to respond directly to the ads in ways that drive bottom-funnel KPIs.

Bridging the Gap Between Branding and Performance Marketing

Traditionally, branding and performance have existed as two completely separate disciplines: Branding as a long-term strategy; performance as a short-term one. Branding to drive perception; performance to drive demand. Branding as a trust builder; performance as a sales pitch.

The list goes on.

Fortunately, the gap between brand and direct response marketing is starting to close, and advertisers are no longer left scrambling to pick a side of the coin.

Measurements for what were once considered upper-funnel media channels are starting to improve, highlighting what many advertisers may have missed all along: Lower-funnel media can impact branding, and upper-funnel media can impact performance.

Brands are now paying equal attention to how they tell their story and the ways they target and measure their true impact.

Bridging the gap no longer entails a drastic shift in mindset—there’s an art and science to both that can never fully merge. But a clear alignment of the two will bring about a holistic, granular understanding of the effects of your cumulative investment, considering the nuances of every stage of the buyer’s journey.

When marketers combine the data, technology, and benefits of the two once-opposite disciplines, they can craft strategies with both long-term brand awareness and measurable outcomes.

Selecting the Right Creative Strategy

Savvy marketers know that bringing an ad idea to life isn’t just about the desired outcome—it’s also about the right creative. With the average person seeing an estimated 6,000-10,000 ads a day, cutting through the clutter is no easy feat unless your ads are made to be remembered.

Whereas linear TV was once the traditional branding channel, recent advancements in ad tech have brought newer, more innovative opportunities to deliver an incredibly engaging audience experience.

OTT/CTV, in particular, offers the high-impact brand storytelling power of traditional TV coupled with the targeting, analytics, and interactivity of digital. These capabilities create a compelling environment for audiences to interact with messaging alongside premium content, helping to drive conversion rates.

When launching a creative strategy that works for your brand and advertising goals, it’s important to segment your marketing channels by funnel level and different messaging strategies based on customer touch points. You’ll need to plan to allocate your spending based on:

  • Upper funnel: OTT/CTV is treated—and operates the best—as a paid awareness channel that serves as a first point of introduction. While ads in this stage of the marketing funnel likely won’t lead to same-day conversions, with attribution reporting, you’ll be able to study your customers’ journey after that first touch point, helping you pivot your strategy accordingly.
  • Middle funnel: When targeting consideration audiences, you’ll want to get them to your site so they can learn more about why they should do business with you. OTT/CTV campaigns that provide relevant, personalized messaging are more likely to capture the attention of your middle-funnel audience and distinguish you from the competition.
  • Lower funnel: Whether you’re driving real-world action or retargeting your customers for further engagement, your lower-funnel strategies are what seal the deal. Audiences in this stage of the marketing funnel are ready to buy—meaning you need CTV creative that nudges them to that final path towards conversion.

The right creative strategies look different for every marketer, and they aren’t built overnight. But with knowledge of the industry’s best practices, you can ensure your strategy is up to code, speed, and the standards of your target audience.

Best Practices for Your Media Planning Strategy

A performance marketing strategy that combines the best of both worlds—branding and direct response—can be a shot in the dark if not executed correctly. To avoid blindly firing into the abyss, you need to cultivate an expert media buying strategy that hits the target without misses.

Some of the industry’s best practices to keep in mind as you navigate a multi-dimensional performance marketing strategy include:

  • Invest in high-impact creative within premium content: CTV advertising is on the rise, bringing the mighty hand of your competitors with it. Brands can deliver an engaging ad experience for audiences through interactive & dynamic creatives. These attention-grabbing and impactful formats will help improve campaign performance and ensure your brand surfaces in customers’ minds long after they’ve watched your ads. And what good is an eye-catching creative if not run in a brand-safe ad environment? Running campaigns within premium OTT inventory/publishers will ensure your budget is being spent on impressions from real humans, not bots.
  • Leverage data to create personalized creatives: Studying your audience to create data-driven, personalized experiences is not a new concept in marketing. Yet, over 97% of programmatic advertisers fall short in the personalization of their target audience segment. Data helps inform your future business promotional ideas in the most relevant, granular way. Consider leveraging a sequential creative messaging funnel strategy to reach key target audiences with relevant messaging following initial ad exposure to help guide them along the path to purchase while keeping your brand top of mind.
  • Beware of using highly specific value propositions/benefits: For viewers who know very little about your brand, it’s hard to see the relevance of the specifics. Ads with very specific features are best suited for retargeting ads, as viewers have already gotten the chance to get to know what you’re all about.
  • Test different messaging/creatives: Not so long ago, marketers looking to make their way to the traditional big screen couldn’t adequately test their messaging and creatives. Testing makes perfect, and, fortunately, it’s what OTT does best. With a premier CTV platform, you can test and retest all your greatest assets, whether it’s a quick A/B run or real-time monitoring of how your audience received your last ad.
  • Work with a premier media planning partner: In any advertising strategy, performance is the ultimate objective. But you won’t have the insight you need to drive your future decision-making without a media buying partner that provides full transparency of how well you’re pacing toward your goals. By working with an experienced, industry-leading partner in your media planning strategy, you’ll have the tools you need to optimize your campaigns and overall performance.
  • Utilize multiple attribution methodologies to improve campaign performance: Work with a performance partner that provides you with the comprehensive reporting needed to identify exactly what’s driving desired results among consumers. By measuring and assigning credit to different variables in your campaign, you can determine the true impact of each of them on any KPI.

Discover how incrementality analysis helped our QSR client determine which creative messaging drove the highest incremental lift. From these insights, the client shot additional video spots that aligned with the high-performing messaging.

Digital Remedy As Your Performance Partner

Performance means different things to different marketers (and has traditionally been associated with direct response). At Digital Remedy, we believe in having a solid base for delivering performance, no matter the KPIs (upper- or lower-funnel)—meaning more outcomes and more ROI for our clients.

We’ve spent 22+ years building and evolving the best performance solutions in the market—while providing a new standard in tracking, transparency, and results via comprehensive attribution insights.

Performance is at our core. Our omnichannel performance branding solutions enable advertisers and agencies to effectively activate, measure, and draw insights across the right channel to drive a stronger impact and performance outcomes.

We recognize the importance of understanding the complete consumer journey so that no marketing funnel stage is ever optimized in isolation. Your consumers’ attitudes and behaviors are bound to change—meet them where they are with a flexible, agile approach and platforms that evaluate your most effective journey to purchase.

Speak with a member of our team to learn more about how we can help you maximize your OTT/CTV performance strategy today.

Mike Seiman

Mike Seiman, CEO & Chairman, is the founder of Digital Remedy, a digital media solutions company leading the tech enabled marketing space he co-founded while still a college student at Hofstra University in the early 2000s. The company has grown quickly and is now a major player within the crowded digital advertising landscape. The rapid growth of Digital Remedy, formerly CPXi led to its inclusion on Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing privately held advertising/marketing companies in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. Mike was selected as a semi-finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year initiative in 2010 and 2013 and as a finalist in 2009 and 2014. In his free time, Mike serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Hofstra University. He also focuses on numerous philanthropic initiatives including sitting on the boards of the H.E.S. (Hebrew Educational Society non-profit community center) and Children International, where he spearheaded the development of community centers in both Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2010 and Barranquilla, Colombia in 2014.

David Zapletal

Before graduating in 2005 with degrees in Retail and Consumer Science (with an emphasis in eCommerce) and a Minor in Public Business Administration at the University of Arizona, David Zapletal had already successfully grown a start up ad network from serving an initial 1 million impressions per day to over 10 million impressions per day. It was his deep understanding of internet advertising during the industry’s beginning stages that led him to another start up at the time, CPXi. More than 8 years that have passed and Zapletal currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Digital Remedy. In that role he continues to help grow and implement optimization tactics across various ad serving platforms, oversee daily operations of the account management and trafficking groups and maximizes ROI for Direct Response advertisers as well as for Publishers. Outside of Digital Remedy, Zapletal commits his efforts to an organization called Camp Dream Street, a camping program for children with disabilities, where he serves on the Board of Directors.

Jeff Reitzen

Jeff has worked in multiple facets of the online industry, from sales to operations as well as consumer engagement, content analytics and most recently in data optimization. His career began as a wedding, bar mitzvah, and Sweet 16 DJ where he learned the delicate balance of crowd energy management. Quickly, this skill made him incredibly successful in managing online sales for Geico. He joined CPXi at its startup stage as employee number 4 and has been a key driver of continued growth. His unique knowledge of what converts in the digital ad space, the application of data, and how to optimize platforms for efficiency continues to be invaluable to Digital Remedy clients. Today, Jeff is responsible for innovating and optimizing all Digital Remedy offerings including platforms, systems, tools, and internal processes—ensuring the organization remains on the precipice of the marketplace.

Mike Juhas

Mike Juhas, has over 13+ years of experience in ad tech client services, working with brands, agencies, and publishers ranging from top 10 advertisers to small regional organizations, to rep firms, holding companies and independent shops. An integral member of the Digital Remedy team, Juhas leads all client relationships, including facilitating onboarding and integration, establishing relationship protocols, overseeing Quarterly Business Reviews and status meetings, navigating financial coordination, and overseeing 24/7 team support. His specialties include consultative services, planning strategy, and account management disciplines. Juhas lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife and two daughters, and their dog, Perry–the unofficial company mascot.

TJ Sullivan

TJ Sullivan has over 20 years of media sales and leadership experience. His knowledge of the digital media landscape, ability to develop strategic solutions that solve brand challenges, and talent for motivating sales teams, have made him a vital member of several media and ad tech organizations. Before joining Digital Remedy, Sullivan was VP, Connections at iHeart Media, a cross-divisional group that enabled national advertisers to seamlessly work with multiple iHeart business units; CRO of Reelcontent, a video distribution company for brands; SVP of sales at AdoTube, a video ad network; and was Co-Founder and SVP of video measurement company, OpenSlate—for which he is still an advisor.

Sullivan had served as the President of 212, New York’s Interactive Advertising Club, and currently advises many early stage start-ups in the programmatic and video space. Notably, RUN (sold to Publicis in 2014), Futures Media, Transmit.Live, and Kubient.

Outside of his work in the media industry, Sullivan sits on the Board of St. Elizabeth School in Wyckoff, New Jersey and the Advancement Committee of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey. He resides in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

IP Zone: Leverage the relationship between users and the location of their IP addresses in a cookie-free, safe and scalable way.

Behavioral: Combine first party with network analytics and enormous scale to define custom audience channels that are optimized to sites with high brand engagement.

Demographic: Reach the right audience based on demographic characteristics such as age, gender and income.

Mobile Device: Target users by mobile device type (Smartphone, tablet, etc.), carrier and operating system.

Geo-Location: Target your audience residential cluster, proximity to retail locations, campaign level DMAs and more.

Contextual: Place a relevant ad in front of a user who is reading content that contains specific terms.

Buying Power and Quality

Let’s be honest. Your ad ops are limited by your access to only a handful of channels and DSPs. You want more reach and better prices, but don’t want to sacrifice quality in order to achieve those goals. Digital Remedy has access to a vast multitude of channels based on relationships we’ve cultivated over nearly 20 years in business. That means we get the best prices, have personal relationships, and don’t get sent to voicemail when we call.

It also means that we can execute omni-channel ad ops for better prices than an internal team, while ensuring the quality is up to industry standards. On top of access to all sorts of specific audiences we’re able to to leverage first- and third-party data across all your campaigns and pivot across platforms based on results. Any campaign, any budget, any platform, any audience. Digital Remedy backed by AdReady is restriction free ad ops….and what could be better than that?

Resources, Time, and Overhead

When was the last time you enjoyed balancing budgets, reading resumes, dealing with aggressive sales teams, or wasting years of time for small gains in performance. By partnering with Digital Remedy you get the full support of $30m in OPEX including marketing teams, sales teams, and a dedicated 24/7 ad operations team. No hiring new employees for media optimization, business development, or account management. No months of training and on-boarding. No long meetings crafting sales materials. Just your team focused on making deals, and our teams and tech focused on supporting and executing those deals in a tech-enabled, digital ecosystem designed to get the most out of any KPI.

Reporting and Support

How nice would it be to have all of your data and insights in one location. We don’t mean an excel sheet sent out once a week with complicated charts, or an XML file with pages and pages and pages of tables (what is this, 2003?). We mean a fully customizable dashboard reporting in real time, or as real time as possible. You get to decide the how, what, and when of the reporting you’re seeing. And that’s ALL of the how, what, and when’s. If you want to see breakouts of all of the individual campaigns in your system, done. If you want broad scope comparisons of all of the campaigns in the last year, done. If you want to see CTR’s for specific audiences and compare them to CPM for your best performing advertiser but limit the scope to campaigns greater than 30k, done. All of this is at your fingertips with the AdReady Dashboard, all in one place.

Jessica Cortapasso

With more than a decade of experience in human capital management, Jessica Cortapasso serves as SVP, People at Digital Remedy. After graduating from Muhlenberg College, she quickly recognized her passion for people and entered the workforce in Human Resources where she gained expertise in employee relations, designing strategic benefit plans, and the development, implementation, and curation of corporate engagement initiatives for big-name brands and small companies alike. Becoming a member of the Digital Remedy family in 2013 while simultaneously acquiring her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and Development from New York University, Jessica has steered company culture through significant events ranging from acquisitions and a rebranding, to the development and application of our Core Values that shape our daily business practices. Cortapasso resides in Brooklyn, plays competitive volleyball, and loves spending time with her nieces.

Erez Feld

Responsible for the financial and legal practices of Digital Remedy, Erez brings 22 years of experience in precision financial analysis, growth management practices, strategic acquisition, and investment leadership. A graduate of Hofstra University, Erez began his career modeling for corporate finance, and expanded his accounting prowess in the real estate sector. Erez joined Digital Remedy in 2008 as a senior accountant, and helped to create and build an accounting department that could support the rapid growth of the company and aligned with those needs. Over the past 12 years he has evolved through various positions at the company within the finance discipline, supervising and mentoring additional finance personnel, while growing under the tutelage of Michael Fleischman, former CFO of Digital Remedy. Today, he leads the Finance Department by supporting high-level projects such as acquisitions and restructuring, and is responsible for overseeing all financial assets, establishing financial procedures, controls, and reporting systems.

Michael Fleischman

After a successful career as an accomplished Fortune 500 financial professional leading Corporate Finance and Strategic Planning at Cablevision Systems Corporation and its programming subsidiary Rainbow Media Holdings, Michael currently plays a role in the overall management of Digital Remedy including direct responsibility for all financial-related activities including accounting, financial planning, M&A, legal, insurance, real estate and banking relationships. Michael brings more than 25 years of media experience at Cablevision and Rainbow Media and during his career was instrumental in the launching and managing of a number of cable television networks including 10 Regional Sports Networks across the US, American Movie Classics, Bravo, and the Independent film channel as well as the structuring of corporate partnerships with companies including Liberty Media, NBC, Fox/NewsCorp and MGM. Additionally, he was the finance lead on a number of professional sports team acquisitions including Madison Square Garden, the successful IPO of Cablevision and a tracking stock at Rainbow Media.Michael was involved in the creation and launch of Rainbow Advertising Sales which was one of the Cable Industry’s first Local Advertising Sales Divisions.

Tony Pascal

With over two decades of experience in the design, product, and technology space, Tony joined Digital Remedy as a graphic designer in 2007. His responsibilities quickly expanded, landing him in leadership roles across multiple disciplines including creative direction, analytics, monetization optimization, and management of platform development. He continued to grow with the organization over the last fourteen years, overseeing all design, development, and execution of Digital Remedy products and platforms. In his current role as SVP, Product & Technology, Tony leads product and technology development for the company and acts as the go-to liaison across teams, ensuring alignment on all aspects of internal and client-facing technology initiatives.

Prior to Digital Remedy, Tony built and ran his own direct response company from 2002-2007 after graduating from New York Institute of Technology, where he learned the fundamentals of digital advertising and optimization strategies that still remain relevant today.

In a previous life, Tony was a ski instructor and still remains an avid skier today. When he is not leading product development, he can be found working on old cars, rock climbing and hitting the slopes.

Gayle Meyers

Gayle Meyers is an entrepreneur, venture partner, investor, and operating resource in the digital media and marketing industry, with over two decades of executive leadership experience. After launching a management consulting firm, Growthing which is focused on optimizing growth strategies for executive leaders and their organizations, Meyers has frequently been tapped for high-profile consulting and advisory positions to help marketing technology companies enhance their in-market presence.

“Gayle is widely recognized as a leading strategist with years of expertise in the ad tech space,” said Mike Seiman, Chairman and CEO of Digital Remedy. “Her career in discovering and integrating game-changing technologies in the marketing industry will serve as an invaluable resource as we continue to enhance our product suite in the months ahead.”

With expertise spanning multiple disciplines, Meyers frequently serves as a keynote speaker at industry conferences for companies such as Google, Verizon, Omnicom, LiveRamp, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Oracle. A list of her notable past clients who have benefitted from her unique insights to increase shareholder value includes Tinuiti (acquired by New Mountain Capital), Adometry (acquired by Google), MediaForge (acquired by Rakuten), Integral Ad Science (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), and Tapad (acquired by Telenor).

Matt Sotebeer

With 14+ years of experience in ad tech and emerging technologies, Matt Sotebeer brings an uniquely innovative approach in his role as Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Remedy. As CSO, Matt focuses on the intersection between the product, product marketing, tech, data, and sales teams, while fostering productive cross-functional company-wide relationships to inform and influence sales, educate clients, and optimize company performance.

Matt has an extensive knowledge in the integration of data science, creative, and media solutions to drive sustainable growth for companies, with a focus on designing customized, scalable solutions leveraging machine learning alongside human intelligence. Throughout the tenure of his career, he has successfully managed global teams aligned to common goals, encouraged collaborative problem solving, and supported talent growth for entrepreneurial companies including MiQ, Rocket Fuel, and Audience Science.

Jeremy Haft

A proven strategic, revenue, and team leader with over 20 years of experience managing and scaling revenue in the competitive ad tech landscape, Jeremy serves as Chief Revenue Officer at Digital Remedy.

Before joining the team in October 2022, he served as CRO at Channel Factory, where he reorganized the revenue team for sustainable growth and increased the sales team by 3x to drive predictable and more accountable revenue. Prior to that, he served in a decade of leadership positions. Most notably, as SVP of Sales at Amobee and as VP of North America Sales at Viant/Adelphic. At both organizations, Jeremy successfully built and scaled platform and business solutions from their infancy to achieve the desired corporate goals.

Jeremy graduated from The University of Vermont and currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and two children. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling to tropical locations, dining out, cooking feasts with friends, and any new fitness trend he can get his hands on.