At a time of such financial instability, combined with the ongoing changes across the marketing landscape that are affecting tracking, measurement and reporting, it’s no wonder brands and advertisers are looking around for new and innovative, but also safe places to invest their budgets. 

Since 2007, when YouTube launched their advertising platform, smart TVs and the Connected TV (CTV) network have been quietly growing in strength and opportunity. Following the dramatic increase in time spent watching TV during the global pandemic, advertising through CTV (including VoD, Programmatic and so much more) peaked with enough impact for the marketing world to sit up and take note.  

During that time, global streaming subscriptions increased by 26% YOY and of the billions of people that this represents, a reported 76% of them admit to using a second screen while watching their connected devices. A proven captive audience on two devices at once? A marketer’s dream. 

Advertisers have increased their spend on CTV in proportion to this increase in viewership. Spend jumped by 57% from 2020 to 2021 and a further 39% since last year, now representing a $21bn annual spend according to the IAB.  

For marketing managers at non-profits, there is a recognized trend that while Direct Response Television (aka DRTV) is still driving strong direct response, there is a clear chance to innovate and complement this activity with a more diversified video portfolio; step on up CTV. Many turn away from CTV advertising as a viable acquisition option with the opinion that it would be far too expensive. Looking at the CPMs (cost per mille/thousand) on face value, they might seem high to many who have been used to trading in CPT (also cost per thousand) and know the DRTV landscape inside out. However there’s so much more to this story. 

The latest Global Ad Trends report finds that globally, TV costs have increased 31.2% since 2019 and are up 9.9% since 2021. This is the steepest increase seen in decades. In the US, these CPMs are said to have reached $73.14 this year, an increase of 40% against pre-COVID costs. Suddenly the average CPM across CTV doesn’t look so scary. 

Additionally, if you’re looking to target by specific program, these spots can often be out of budget on linear TV, but they might be affordable on Video on Demand (VoD). Even without program specificity, this is a more cost efficient way to reach your audience while they’re watching TV. Think about the way in which you currently target across your digital channels: As with everything, you’re willing to pay more to reach a more valuable audience. This thinking can now be applied to your TV strategy. While some costs may look higher than you’re used to, you’re reaching a targeted audience with a higher propensity to engage with your brand. So if cost efficiency is the first reason to consider investing in CTV alongside your existing DRTV strategy, what are the others?


While linear TV remains excellent at driving mass reach, CTV flips the script and puts the audience first. The targeting capabilities are much more aligned with that which digital marketers have been used to for years, which breeds an interesting testing ground for audience-first TV creative. If we think about mass reach and granular targeting, combining DRTV and CTV strategies increases holistic frequency against your most valuable audiences. 

Existing acquisition audience strategies can be extended to TV with the interest- and behavior-based targeting options that are on the table. Similarly, if your strategy is centered around value-based audiences, consider how you can use your first party data to reach those segments within CTV, as you would within your digital marketing campaigns. 


The ability to personalize creative to your audience is difficult within DRTV, unless you’re using program demographics to do so, and this becomes expensive. Because of the targeting and buying options within CTV, it’s never been easier to treat your TV creative as you would your online video or social media assets. Look into dynamic creative optimization and audience interactivity to optimize your creative towards each segment and measure how this impacts engagement and onward action rates. 

Offline-online integration

Perhaps most importantly is the ability to measure the impact of this activity across other online channels. The age-old question of how to measure the wider impact of TV accurately becomes much more interesting when using CTV. The integration of marketing pixels and attribution solutions allows for a more thorough picture of how your marketing channels integrate and how the real impact of your CTV investment might be seen on another channel entirely. 

If you’re thinking about how best to innovate your DRTV plans and begin integrating your strategy with your digital colleagues, have a closer look at the opportunities that CTV presents you with. You may find that this offers the chance to reach a more targeted audience, driving more cost efficient returns whilst also offering new insight and learnings into audience behavior across devices. It’s also easier than you might think to get access to this inventory….

If you’re not sure where to start or aren’t convinced about how this can drive effective response for non-profits in particular, feel free to reach out.