Home On TV & Video Is OTT Right For B2B Marketers?

Is OTT Right For B2B Marketers?


On TV And Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.

Today’s column is written by Sarah Wilson, associate media director at DWA Media.

TV-connected devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Google Chromecast are proliferating. Half of US Wi-Fi households now stream over-the-top (OTT) content directly to their TV an average of one hour and 40 minutes every day, per comScore.

But as Americans grow increasingly comfortable with OTT, B2B marketers are often confused by the terms and question its scale and whether they should test it. OTT, which may have lower CPMs than linear or addressable campaigns, offers accessibility to B2B marketers looking to experiment. Other benefits include intentionality and impact.

But while many hail it as the best of internet with the added branding play of TV, marketers should view it as improved TV versus improved digital – don’t expect the granularity of targeting or measurement.

The Case For OTT

While marketers can target select audiences and programming, doing so limits the number of eyeballs. Services like Sling and cable VOD will become mainstream as cord cutting continues. Luckily, more cable offerings have on-demand, and OTT promises many benefits.

Accessibility is one. You don’t need a big TV ad agency to execute a premium content buy. OTT often has lower CPMs than linear or addressable, and the minimums required to test won’t blow a campaign’s budget.

Intentionality is another pro: Marketers can target beyond daypart and programming and layer on behavioral or first-party data segments. And they can re-engage exposed OTT views with display ads to drive a consumer back to their site and hit lower-funnel KPIs.

Finally, few mediums compete with the brand impact of TV’s large-screen format. A 15- or 30-second spot can convey a message about a complex product or solution better than digital can, which is something B2B advertisers need. Soon, users will be able to use their remotes to access additional content, such as product galleries or longer-form video, deepening engagement beyond awareness and aiding brand recall.

The Case Against OTT


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Video assets are vital for a large-screen experience: You need a TV-type spot to repurpose for easy execution.

As mentioned, marketers should view OTT as a better TV option versus an enhanced digital format. While OTT is making strides toward the precise targeting and attribution of digital, the granularity required to home in on niche B2B audiences can result in limited scale and measurement beyond standard metrics.

Agencies need to be creative with measurement and establish proxies. In lieu of direct engagement or conversion, for example, marketers could look to viewability and video completion rates as proxies for awareness and brand recall.

To measure efficiency, consider low cost per video completion or cost per household reached. And to gauge engagement, look to onsite actions, such as website visits, form fills and content engagements. Marketers can also feature a unique URL or phone number in their TV spots to track the resulting traffic.

Taking The Plunge

If B2B marketers are interested in OTT, they should run tests to gauge the impact OTT has on their audiences. A test-and-control group to determine how different DMAs react to corresponding display ads can help build out the most effective plan.

Some OTT partners offer cross-device tracking and execution, letting marketers build OTT into a larger media plan and attribute performance back to OTT. Retargeting an audience based on OTT spots with programmatic advertising can create subsequent touch points to drive consumers down the sales funnel.

B2B marketers must realize that the channel is relatively new and convey that to their C-suites. Weighing the impact of TV against the granularity of measurement that digital video and display offer requires a leap of faith.

Looking to proxy metrics for success can help make the case for OTT. They should look to trends versus gaps in current offerings; remember, it was the “year of mobile” for five years before it became reality. Cord cutting will continue, so advancements in OTT advertising will follow suit.

When the scale arrives, and it will soon, there will be more granular opportunities to reach a particular audience, and the measurement will come too. B2B marketers might as well dive in and get experience now so they can see what works for their brand and audience.

Follow DWA (@dwaTechMedia) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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