CTV Strategies & Tactics for Automotive

Connected TV Strategies

Connected TV Advertising is a term that’s been tossed around a lot in the advertising and marketing recently. (If you haven’t heard it before, check out this blog on the Rise of CTV.) The sheer volume of OTT and CTV devices being added to households means that it’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ CTV will take center stage. Now it is more critical than ever for marketers to figure out where and how to bring in this new dominant form of advertising.

In this blog, we aim to provide you with the best guidance so you can build a successful CTV/OTT strategy for your automotive clients. 

Like traditional advertising, Connected TV Ads are still seen as a top-of-the-funnel play, but eventually (and probably sooner than you realize), it’s going to move across the funnel. In the very near future, you’ll see sophisticated cross-device marketing that enables you to track and market audiences — regardless of the device they’re using or where they are in the funnel. Audience segmentation will get smaller and smaller, eventually narrowing down to 1 to 1 (or close to it). To give yourself the best odds of staying relevant and successful, both now and in the future, you’ll need to embrace CTV.

We’ll take you through everything that your boss wants you to know about CTV Advertising Strategy. From media buying to analytics, you have your work cut out for you if you’re getting started in this space. Luckily, your efforts to build a solid foundation will not go unrewarded. The vast majority of the CTV audience will have the resources and disposable income you’re looking for in a prospective customer. 

There are only three but key elements that will shape your strategy.

Identify, Deliver, Measure


As an agency or an auto dealer, you need to identify who you are showing your ads to by choosing the right Media Source and Target Audience.

There are three major media sources if you want to get started with CTV marketing:

  • Programmatic: Those just starting with CTV will often choose this option because it’s built for limited budgets. With a DSP, the minimum spend and bidding process is more reasonable, and you can still access the analytics and segmentation features you need to tailor your strategy.
  • Platform direct: When you buy directly from the platform, you may be able to secure good rates and better placement. However, this can unnecessarily complicate your Connected TV Advertising strategy. If you’re not buying in bulk, the rules for each platform can become too complicated to justify the time investment. 
  • Publisher direct: This CTV strategy is recommended for companies who know they need to be featured only on specific programs or channels. As with platform direct though, the restrictions will vary across the board. Plus, the more demands you make, the more expensive it is.

Targeting Car Buyers

Your target demographic has turned their back on traditional TV in favor of something much more modern, and this savvy audience isn’t necessarily interested in traditional marketing tactics either. As you debut the content for your CTV Campaigns, you have a chance to observe and measure the behavior of your prospective customers.

Use 1st party data to find new audiences who are similar to your current audience (lookalikes), or to retarget your Connected TV Advertising Strategy to invested leads. Use second and third-party data to see which programs are being watched across different screens (including smartphones). Once you know exactly who you’re targeting (lookalikes, soft leads, etc.), you’ll have a better idea of how to start the next step. 


Deliver meaningful Advertising experience.

Content is king at the end of the day no matter how much time and effort is spent on targeting and other aspects. If your Ad content doesn’t strike with any relevancy to your audience, it’s a miss. That is why you need to pay attention to the quality, length, technical specifications, and more importantly, the call to action. 

Based on your target audience, you can choose a specific platform to concentrate your CTV marketing efforts or spread your budget across multiple platforms. When it comes to ad formats, keep the following in mind. 


Video Completion rate is a key metric for a CTV Campaign, and it is largely based on the length of the content. 30-seconds is the standard length of an ad, but this will limit the timing of your ad slot. A 15-second advertisement gives you more flexibility. Or you may want to experiment with a 60-second interactive ad for heavily interested audience segmentation, such as people who are actively searching for cars right now. 

Tech Specs 

Your audience is likely to react to an ad that has the right specs. This includes anything from aspect ratio to bitrate to resolution. Experts recommend a minimum of 5k kbps and 1920 x 1080 for a 16:9 aspect ratio. If your video is too grainy or experiencing transmission problems across the digital network, you are actively throwing your marketing dollars away. 

Call to Action 

There should be no confusion when it comes to what you want your audience to do. Whether it’s scheduling an appointment or visiting your website, you need to spell it out so viewers know how to take the next step. They may not be able to click on their TV, but they tend to grab the smartphone that’s lying 5 inches away from them to get more information. 178 million Americans regularly use a second screen device while watching TV. Using cross-device continuity you can track and measure conversions made on their phones, and instrument multi-touch attribution. Talking about measuring, that’s the last but important step to build your strategy.


Measure to learn and improve. Identify and decide on KPIs that matter.

As you collect data across multiple channels, you can measure the efficacy of each campaign. KPIs become easier to define once you know what your same-screen and cross-screen metrics are. Same-device attribution allows marketers to test several formats and retargeting strategies. For example, compare the response of an interactive ad on a tablet against a standard ad on the same device. Cross-screen attribution can help you see how a variety of systems are stacking up against mobile. Test a 30-second ad for customers watching on their regular TV, and a 15-second ad works better for those watching on their smartphone. 

You’ll see which KPIs have the biggest effect on your sales before manipulating your ad formats to get your audience to take action.  

The Beauty of Data

While cross-screen is a heavier initial investment for your CTV advertising strategy, the quality of data analytics may be strong enough to get you to the most competent strategy faster than you ever dreamed possible. See who’s clicking through and how many conversions can be traced back to CTV auto advertising, then use the data to start a dialog about how the larger brand can better adjust to the target customer.

While cross-screen is a heavier initial investment for your CTV advertising strategy, the quality of data analytics may be strong enough to get you to the most competent strategy faster than you ever dreamed possible. Click To Tweet

Every agency has holes in its advertising strategy — places where customers are turned off, dropping out, or becoming frustrated along the way. Real-time monitoring and post-campaign analysis give marketers a way to start devising solutions that will address the heart of the problem. 

The consistency of your messaging is what will make or break your campaign. The more you can get this message across via CTV marketing, the more your customers will begin to remember you and the values you stand for. This doesn’t mean you can’t alter your messaging based on who’s watching, what programs they’re watching, and how they’re watching it. However, the essence of your brand and voice should still come through to your audience. 

CTV Ad Strategy for Auto Agencies 

Advertising has been dominated by auto agencies since the inception of TV, but it’s the agencies that can successfully pivot who have the best chance of thriving. This is a new age of programming, and the time to enter is right now. Once you master the basics of your strategy, you have every opportunity to become the marketing powerhouse that will bring motivated customers to your company who are ready to spend. 

Demand Local’s CTV Strategy

If you’re looking to get started in CTV, this blog is a great place to start. However, many of the key strategies that were covered in this post, such as cross-device continuity, multi-touch attribution, and advanced household targeting, are still in their infancy. Almost no one is taking advantage of these tactics because few marketers have the time or the connections to make it happen. 

That’s why automotive agencies look to advanced marketing agencies like Demand Local as their solution. In the same way, your customers come to you because it doesn’t make practical sense to build a car on their own, our customers come to us because we know how to manage and scale CTV campaigns to optimize your ROI.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, why not take advantage of the resources and expertise we’ve spent years perfecting? This way, you don’t have to throw your budget down the drain with costly trial-and-error. When you outsource to Demand Local, you can start precision testing customers at every stage of the funnel. 

When you’re in the automotive business, your best bet is to figure out how to get new sales — not whether your ad is in its ideal aspect ratio. Your time is too valuable to venture into this new frontier of CTV advertising. We know how to structure your marketing, so you can achieve the metrics that translate to higher revenue. Let Demand Local do the heavy lifting, so you don’t miss out on the marketing technology that is quickly becoming the dominant player of the entertainment industry.

Written by

Demand Local

Demand Local empowers Automotive Advertising & Marketing Agencies to Scale and Grow their Businesses. Our Digital Ad Infrastructure was built from the ground-up specifically to serve the Automotive Sector by unifying our proprietary technology with some of the industry’s leading media and technology services. Demand Local is a pioneer in adopting newer media, and technologies to better bridge the gap between advertisers and buyers.

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