With Performance TV, Retail Brands can up the Ante on the Big Screen


On Football’s Favorite Sunday this year, Beyoncé dropped a new single: “Texas Hold ‘Em.” While the song itself isn’t really about poker, it certainly brought the game to the front of our cultural consciousness. (For those of us who don’t tune in to the World Series of Poker every year, anyway.)

Poker, like baseball, is one of those competitive events we love to use as a metaphor in our daily lives, mostly because it simplifies both our problems and their solutions. Why say, “You must understand your limits, and know when to walk away from an insurmountable challenge,” when you could say, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em”?

So Beyoncé got me wondering: what challenges could poker analogies simplify in my own job as a marketer?

Full disclosure: I don’t really play poker. I saw the movie Rounders once, and that’s about the extent of my knowledge. But I do know about table stakes. It’s the minimum amount a player needs to buy in to the game — and a guarantee that, whatever happens, the players know they have a shot at winning at least that amount of money.


What assurances does TV guarantee? For consumers, a lot. Access to limitless entertainment? Check. 24/7 news? Absolutely. Cost-effective babysitter? Yes, but no, but also yes.

For marketers and advertisers, especially those who work for retail brands, TV guarantees brand awareness. The ability to broadcast a big message to a large, tuned-in audience has kept major retail advertisers coming back to the table for seconds (and thirds, and fourths) for the better part of a century. You don’t have to do anything except get that commercial out there and you’re bound to raise awareness. It could be a lot, it could be a little, but the fact remains: awareness will have been raised.

For TV advertising, awareness is table stakes.

But if you walk away with table stakes alone, are you going to be satisfied with the outcome of the game — or in this case, your TV campaign? Your C-suite probably won’t be.

That’s because just getting your commercial seen and heard isn’t enough anymore — retail brands like yours need TV campaigns that perform. You can’t get that with traditional linear television. But you can with Connected TV (CTV).

One of the things advertisers love about CTV is that it solves many of the challenges retail brands face with linear TV campaigns. On linear, they can’t reliably target precise audiences, much less measure the true impact of their ads; this makes it nigh impossible to know just how effective their strategies are. According to a study from MNTN and World Business Research, 82% of retail advertisers currently run linear TV ads, but 74% of them say their ability to measure linear TV campaigns against their goals is only somewhat effective.

With paid search and social campaigns, retail marketers never just cross their fingers and hope their ads reach relevant audiences — and now they don’t have to do it with their TV ads either. They can raise the stakes beyond simple awareness and make Connected TV work like the performance marketing channel it is.

This is because CTV has the same digital DNA as paid search and social, allowing retail marketers to optimize campaigns to meet KPIs and improve business outcomes through precision audience targeting, A/B creative testing, and reliable measurement and attribution. And the retail brands that do use CTV as a performance marketing channel are already reaping the benefits.

Take one of our customers, the retailer Tuckernuck, which used MNTN Performance TV to increase its conversion rate during peak holiday shopping season — a particularly crowded time for advertisers. Collaborating with our Customer Success team, Tuckernuck developed a comprehensive advertising strategy focused on driving results during, and after, the season.

To ensure top performance, they kept existing evergreen campaigns running throughout the first part of the quarter, and used our precision audience builder and integrations with third-party data providers to target ideal segments like luxury buyers, winter fashion shoppers and Black Friday shoppers.

Using a strong, holiday-focused CTV strategy, not only were they able to successfully grow key metrics throughout the season, but they saw lasting effects too, including a 304% increase in conversion rates year-over-year, a 56% increase in return on ad spend and a 26% lower cost per visit quarter-over-quarter.

CTV fills traditional TV advertising’s capability gaps by giving retail marketers the tools to produce better performance — and prove it with data. Not all CTV solutions offer these performance capabilities, of course — many just focus on impressions and reach, without offering tools that help marketers take full advantage of the channel’s possibilities.

That’s why we built our platform to not just do what linear can’t, but to also work toward your specific goals. MNTN Performance TV uses your target metrics and objectives — like increasing return on ad spend, conversion rates, or site visits — to maximize the potential of CTV.

The results aren’t one-and-done, either. Advertising on Connected TV with a performance mindset creates ongoing growth. According to a MNTN Research report, advertisers with an always-on Performance TV strategy saw average conversion rates increase by 21% YoY. As an added bonus, they saw year-over-year impressions increase by 69%, too.

If your retail brand needs to drive concrete results with your TV campaigns, it’s time to up the ante with performance-focused Connected TV advertising. It’s a bet you — and your C-suite — won’t regret making.

As SVP of Marketing, Ali Haeri leads all product, performance, and content marketing efforts at MNTN. Haeri is also an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, teaching product marketing in the Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program. Previously, Haeri served as principal product designer at Symantec working on the Norton Security and LifeLock lines of consumer software. Prior to Symantec, Ali oversaw digital marketing for the Digital Media Services division of Verizon.

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