Case Study Creative TV & Audio

From Toe-Dipping to Cannonballs: How Tinuiti Validated OTT’s High-Value Acquisition Performance Before Scaling Spend

M1 Finance Logo

The Challenge

M1 Finance is a digital investment platform that allows its customers to invest, borrow and spend as a way to build long-term wealth. Positioning itself as the Finance ‘Super App’, M1 seeks to empower its customers to take control of their finances via their innovative technology and intuitive mobile app. Since partnering with Tinuiti in Fall 2020, M1’s business has grown significantly. As a result, the M1 Finance team is constantly challenging Tinuiti to find new audience and channel opportunities to fuel its prospecting pipeline and acquire new customers at scale.

M1 Finance tasked the Tinuiti team with finding a way to reach new targeted audiences, not only to drive more overall brand awareness in an incredibly saturated and competitive market, but to achieve the primary goal of bringing in new quality accounts with high-value deposits. Six months into the relationship and running multi-tactic level campaigns primarily across Social and Paid Search, the team went to work putting together a recommendation that would not only explain M1’s value proposition to net-new users, but also make M1 Finance’s overall media mix work harder.

Tinuiti’s Client Strategy team pitched Streaming Video (OTT) advertising as a way to broaden M1 Finance’s digital footprint while doing so in a definitive way: by testing the effectiveness of the new channel in driving high-value accounts across several different audience segments.



New App Account CPA


Homepage Visit CPA


OTT Incrementality

*Timeframe: March 1, 2021 – July 12, 2021

How We Did It

Given the rapid growth of OTT, Tinuiti recommended a 30-day test to see if it would be a viable acquisition medium for the client. The hypothesis of Tinuiti’s OTT team was that a targeted approach using non-skippable, sight, sound, and motion video on Connected TVs would be the kind of impactful creative experience that would effectively communicate M1’s value prop, and efficiently drive growth.

M1 Finance agreed to test OTT—only with the understanding that Tinuiti would provide attribution and measurement of acquisitions driven by OTT exposure. Tinuiti demonstrated the granular performance attribution reporting that M1 would be provided direct access to via data visualization dashboards. These dashboards provide full transparency into each dollar spent at the publisher, device, audience, market and market levels and more, and how each of those factors performs in driving site traffic, app downloads, and new account conversions.

Tinuiti recommended launching with a three-pronged audience test using 3rd party data. The audiences created for M1 were extremely granular, going so far as to pinpoint households to addressable deliver M1 messaging based on the specific liquidity volumes available in their investment portfolios while effectively eliminating waste. Once these homes were reached with Streaming Video (OTT), they were sequentially retargeted with display banners for lower-funnel pull-through.

Once Tinuiti demonstrated that Streaming Video (OTT) was a touchpoint leading to new accounts, M1 required Tinuiti to further analyze the new accounts to understand if the new acquisitions had a high lifetime value potential with results that were incremental and would not have been acquired without Streaming Video before M1 was ready to scale investment into the medium.

To accomplish this, Tinuiti’s data team ingested M1 Finance’s first-party (1P) acquisition data (while maintaining privacy compliance based on state and national requirements for the financial sector) to match exposure data for the purposes of Linear TV attribution and optimization of OTT exposures.

Conversion data was gathered via a site pixel, including homepage visits and new accounts. Mobile app account data was also gathered via M1’s Mobile Measurement Platform and the client’s 1P data were passed through to Tinuiti via an s3 bucket. Matched account conversions were identified using IP address, last impression timestamp, and pixel/conversion timestamp. Streaming Video (OTT) attribution was verified by matching IP addresses in exposure logs to IP addresses conversion logs—when the IP address of an exposure matches the IP address of the conversion on desktop or mobile, and the exposure time stamp predates the conversion, we are able to deterministically attribute credit to Streaming Video in the path to conversion..

After the test in March 2021, Streaming Video (OTT) ads reached over 1.1M consumers with an astounding $17.75 CPA for new accounts created on their mobile app and a homepage visit CPA of $0.67. Most importantly, we found that these new acquisitions were over 90% incremental, meaning that 93% of new high-value accounts with an OTT touchpoint in the path to conversion would not have occurred without the impact of the OTT in the mix. With these promising results, M1 Finance and Tinuiti decided to increase monthly spend by nearly 70%.

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