"On TV And Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.
Today’s column is written by Benjamin Goldman, CRO and co-founder at 180byTwo.
When the pandemic forced many to work remotely and face-to-face events had to go virtual or were canceled altogether, account-based marketers struggled to adapt.
As workers left their corporate offices, marketers faced new challenges in getting their messages in front of their key contacts. At the same time, disruptions at home made it difficult for marketers to hold their contacts’ attention and cut through the noise.
Most workplaces have dedicated corporate networks, and B2B marketers struggled to identify contacts through reverse IP lookups when they began working from home. Since home IP addresses are typically associated with an internet service provider, such as Spectrum, Verizon or Comcast, rather than the company’s domain name, it became impossible to identify target accounts through this method.
As the pandemic drags on and the lines between work and home continue to blur, B2B marketers must harness the platforms and channels that capture their prospects’ attention. Advances in cross-device targeting make it more efficient to reach targets across multiple devices, including where so many consumers are spending more of their time: over the top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV).
While many B2B marketers hesitate to test CTV advertising, there are many benefits to adding this powerful channel to their approach. Combining CTV advertising with retargeting, for example, can provide prospects with an interactive experience that can be tracked, measured and adjusted. As they follow their key contacts along the buyer’s journey, B2B marketers can guide prospects with sequential targeted messages sent to their laptops, their CTV and back to their mobile device.
It is critical to build a B2B marketing strategy to meet an audience on the devices, channels and programming that it will interact with the most. When relevant and helpful messaging is delivered where contacts already are spending their time, B2B marketers not only strengthen their brand recognition, but it is also easier for contacts to engage and interact with the company.
How B2B buyers should approach CTV
With so many CTV and OTT platforms to choose from, including Roku, Hulu, Amazon Fire TV, Pluto TV and more, it’s easy for B2B buyers to get overwhelmed. However, the key to success is less about the platform and more about the cross-channel execution. Ideally, ads should be run across multiple platforms and devices to achieve scale and boost engagement. Running platform- or device-specific ads dramatically reduces scale since users tend to move between streaming platforms and devices frequently.
To make the most of cross-channel execution, there are several must-haves for B2B marketers. To begin with, they need full-funnel attribution and ROAS tracking in order to attribute digital TV viewing to sales, form downloads and engagement.
They also need the ability to target specific audiences by job title; device (CTV, Apple TV, mobile, tablet and desktop); streaming platform (Hulu, DirecTV Now, Sling, etc.); geolocation; time of day; and demographic, including gender or even income. They also need to invest in first-party data so they can create look-alike audiences, which are ideal for using existing site data to enhance targeting.
When adding CTV to a B2B stack, it’s important to remember that it is just a piece of the cross-channel puzzle. B2B marketers should assess their audience, demographics and KPIs to determine which channel and strategy is best for reaching their intended audiences. Mixing in the human element and adapting outreach to attain and engage users is ideal for optimal success.
While CTV provides another opportunity to engage with accounts while many are working at home, B2B marketers still want to focus on lead generation strategies that drive ROI. For best results, they can combine email campaigns with their CTV/OTT ad campaigns. If their business has a large middle of the funnel with leads sitting in their CRM not being touched or moved, they could use CTV and digital to complement their mar tech strategy.
The future of ABM
When B2B marketers start to use measurable and effective tools and a mix of channels, including CTV, ABM campaigns will be stronger. As they are successfully executed, B2B marketers will be able to engage with their target accounts’ decision-makers, even when they are working from home in their sweatpants.
Building one-on-one relationships will prove to be worthwhile during these trying times, and their business growth will be the best proof.