Cross-device: the key to unleashing OTT’s value


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Remember when the whole family would sit down on the couch after dinner to catch the latest episode of Friends, Cheers or M*A*S*H? Today, TV looks very different—and I’m not just talking about the special effects in Game of Thrones or the unusual narration of House of Cards. I’m talking about the way we watch it.

Instead of buying hefty cable packages, consumers are starting to choose cheaper “skinny” bundles, watching shows on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. And instead of just sitting on the couch, they’re streaming content across our devices from the subway, the kitchen, or in bed. This shift is so significant that a recent study from Level 3 Communications suggests that over-the-top (OTT) video will overtake traditional TV within five years.

Fortunately, today’s viewers aren’t the only ones benefiting from the OTT boom. Advertisers also have much to gain from the move to streaming: FreeWheel reports that OTT has now surpassed desktop as the largest platform for ad views.

When brands embrace these changes—and adopt technology and strategies to capitalize on them—they can deliver effective, one-to-one advertising campaigns like never before.

Here are three high-level strategies to bring the precision of digital advertising to television.

Power TV With Your Own Data

Today, companies aren’t short on data. In fact, with data production set to increase by more than 4,000% by 2020, according to an IDC forecast, most organizations will need to figure out how to deal with it all.

With data analytics, brands can collect, analyze and activate data across devices to personalize ads, including OTT ads. How? Brands can harness data from devices found within the household on any channel (including their own websites, mobile apps, and CRM data) to craft and deliver targeted ads to the household’s TV viewers.

One of my favorite possibilities here is that a music-streaming company can serve TV ads to customers suggesting they upgrade because they are frequent users of their free service. Brands can not only activate that data for creating segments, but they can also use it to help with measurement and optimization after an ad is served.

Interested in learning about the other two strategies? Read the rest of the article at