November 08, 2023

CTV: Emergence of the Performance-Based Storyteller

CTV: Rise of the Performance Storyteller

By Liz Emery, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Affinity Solutions

A meticulously crafted media plan is only as impactful as the story it tells. How can marketers seamlessly marry strategic media tactics with compelling narratives in an ever-evolving advertising landscape? Affinity Solutions’ Chief Business and Marketing Officer, Damian Garbaccio, explored this question during Advertising Week New York alongside industry experts Esther Maguire of LG Ad Solutions, Jake Richardson of Moloco, and Georgina Thomson of Omnicom. The session, titled “CTV: Rise of the Performance Storyteller,” delved into the delicate balance between creative storytelling and data-driven media tactics to ensure optimal engagement and lasting impact. Their discussion was a powerful reminder of the endless possibilities that exist when we marketers blend technology and creativity. 

Here are the three biggest takeaways from the discussion: 

1) Integration of Strategy and Story: Understanding the essential balance between a meticulously crafted media plan and a compelling narrative is crucial in today’s advertising landscape. Thomson emphasized the importance of proper planning in utilizing CTV data effectively. “We have access, from a CTV standpoint to a lot of data and attribution. It’s easy to get carried away…we need to sit back and say, ‘What am I trying to do with this initiative? What role does video play?’ Understanding the role of a specific media tactic helps establish the right narrative.” 

2) Data-Triggered Advertising: In this new era of responsive advertising, real-time data, such as weather conditions, can prompt specific ad displays. Garbaccio and Richardson highlighted the shift from cohort data to outcomes data, emphasizing its role in driving performance. Richardson pointed out the importance of real-time insights, “tightening the feedback loop so we can optimize in real-time, with mid-flight data-driven results…to identify that we’re seeing a ton of performance in certain pockets. How do we do more in these pockets and pull back elsewhere?” Having real time data insight allows you to refresh who you’re going after once they complete the necessary action.  Thomson suggested effective data usage in marketing should also be about control – the right message to the right user at the right frequency – to provide audiences with personalized and positive experiences.   

Using the right combination and types of data is crucial at every stage of the campaign process, particularly during strategic planning. It’s the key to unlocking a truly effective data-driven strategy. Garbaccio believes brands want a deeper understanding of the customer journey and its outcomes. “While Affinity Solutions is the ‘consumer purchase insights company,’ we stress to our clients the importance of using outcomes data, consumers’ buying behaviors, your competitors’ strategies, and other subtleties during every phase of the campaign process – from planning to targeting to optimizing. Luckily, technology and data providers are coming together to build the technological infrastructure that allows marketers to use this data for planning and measurement in ways that weren’t possible before.” Thomson supported this claim about data being instrumental at every stage of the process.  

3) Future Media Trends and Storytelling: Gaining insights into upcoming trends in the media landscape and how evolving storytelling techniques can align with these changes ensures media campaigns remain effective and impactful in the face of industry shifts. 

A major change is the shift in the role of programmatic – from a vehicle for measurement into a vehicle for accountability. Marketers are going beyond vanity metrics like views, focusing more on what the exposed user did after the ad. The industry shift to transparency is key. Thomson highlights the positivity of this shift – “From a media budget management standpoint, it makes life a lot easier. In the past, it’s been about not necessarily what’s working but what we can be held accountable for now. Programmatic is helping expand that so that when we need to make real-time decisions, we now have the data to do that.


As the advertising landscape evolves, the session shed light on the intricate dance between strategic media planning and compelling storytelling. It’s not just about data; it’s about the narrative that data helps shape. The future of CTV advertising lies in this delicate balance, where each element, when harmonized, creates campaigns that resonate, engage, and drive measurable results. This is where Affinity Solutions steps in as the pivotal partner in shaping this future.  With a keen understanding of the customer journey, we equip brands with the precise knowledge they need to tailor their messages, optimize their reach, and ultimately, control the narrative in the most responsive and responsible way. 

Related Insights

Discover How Affinity Solutions Can Help Your Business Grow