CTV (OTT) “Works”

by Laura Hudson | July 24, 2023

We hear it all the time. This anecdote or that one-off comment but really, what does “works” mean? 


Let’s start by talking about ‘conversion.’  That word alone has so many definitions, and context is everything. It’s used in everything from football, to religion, to science, to I.T., to marketing, and finally, to legal operations. In each context, the definition is subtly different from the others. 


In short, your definition of ‘conversion’ may not be the same as mine. And it’s always a good idea to define (and many times, redefine) terms. The media world is home to confusing acronyms and words that can cross wires between marketing and operations. Conversion is one of those. 


Marketing (CTV/OTT) Conversion: 

A conversion happens when a user is served an ad and then that same user visits the advertiser’s website.  Vendors will say that the user ‘converted.’ 

Vendors use conversions as a measurement of success because it does confirm the existence of a lead opportunity. However, that converted user may not necessarily become a lead, much less a workable case. 


Legal Operations Conversion: 

In the world of legal operations, a qualified lead is converted when it becomes a signed case. 

Right now, there is no way to match a user that converted from a CTV ad to a lead that converted to a case. Internet privacy laws prohibit that kind of data tracking. 


While vendors will claim that CTV (OTT) “works” because “look at all the conversions we brought your way,” they likely aren’t speaking your same language. And while we’re on the ‘define everything path’ – let’s talk about what ‘works’ really means, too. 


To us at cj, something “works” when we see a sustained lift in leads long after a campaign has launched and has been given enough time to gain traction. We also consider a campaign to be ‘working’ when that campaign contributes to the building of a brand over time.  For example, while we know that Outdoor is not a direct-response media, we also know that it works. Given time, Outdoor will help build and sustain your brand and increase leads over a longer time-frame.  Because it all ‘works’ together.  


So, if you hear someone talking about CTV and conversions, don’t get too excited; instead, get their definition.  It may be completely different from your own. And while you’re at it, explain what ‘works’ means for you and your law firm – this is critical when determining how efficient your various marketing efforts truly are.