It’s Time For B2B Marketers To Get Off The Advanced TV Sidelines

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

Today’s column is written by Brienna Pinnow, co-founder at Blinc Digital Group.

Advanced TV advertising promises marketers better targeting and measurement capabilities, underpinned by rich viewer data. Not only are Americans flocking to the services and devices that deliver addressability, but the success stories are rolling in. Everyone from local advertisers to D2C brands are using addressable, over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV (CTV) advertising to drive awareness and acquire customers at scale. Six in 10 marketers plan to turn up the dial on their data-driven TV strategies to drive better media efficiency.

For advertisers, It’s inspiring to hear about startups using TV as a growth lever. Headlines tout the success of consumer-facing brands, but what about B2B companies?

Despite trillions of dollars in spend across products and services, most B2B companies have historically written off traditional TV advertising as too expensive, broad, unmeasurable and heavy-lifting. With advanced TV, those excuses don’t hold as much water. It is not always easy, but advanced TV does have the potential to be game-changing for B2B advertisers.

A rise in everything from addressable inventory to data-enabled tech and even drag-and-drop creative tools means it is time for B2B companies to go beyond vanilla social networking messages and unsolicited inbox bombs to create a lead gen strategy that aligns with the merging worlds of people’s personal and professional lives.

Reaching Prospects

Today, strategies such as account-based marketing (ABM) are core to many companies’ business development efforts. Marketers leverage B2B data sources to fuel highly personalized, outbound prospecting strategies. They can use the data they care about, from firmographics, including company types and titles, to psychographics, such as whether they’re price-conscious or relationship-focused. Data linkage and onboarding companies can help connect the professionals who marketers want to reach with their personal, at-home touchpoint in a privacy-compliant manner. Addressable TV and video means the message is no longer confined to an email, postcard or retargeting ad, but can be unleashed through the power of sight, sound and motion.

B2B Can Stand Out

As a connected consumer, I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of streaming a show and seeing the same ad 15 times, leaving you either mad, annoyed or completely tuned out. It’s easy to become jaded by high-frequency campaigns. It’s even easier to tune out when it’s a message or brand we expect, such as gum, detergent or cars.

But what if the ad is unexpected because it’s B2B? I recently experienced this myself when I saw an ad for SteelHouse, a streaming TV advertising platform. When I saw the ad, I immediately thought, “Wow! This is so cool! It’s actually an ad about the field I’m in.” Beyond capturing my attention and delivering a strong call to action, the ad positively elevated my overall impression of the company’s seriousness and presence in the industry – a wonderful halo effect that only TV has the power to deliver. When it comes to TV, a B2B message has the power to stand out in a sea of B2C ads.

Link TV leads to sales

Many B2B marketers are absolute tracking ninjas. Which tactics are bringing in new, high quality leads? Content, paid search, events, email?

Now TV can make the list of trackable tactics too. Of course, marketers can instantly glean high-level insights by comparing their “pre-TV” pipeline performance to their “post-TV” metrics. Marketers can measure lead volume, lead quality, penetration into key accounts, opportunity size and speed to close.

To go from macro to micro level insights, many advanced TV media and measurement companies enable brands to anonymize and link other activities, such as website visits or app downloads, back to the target audience for a true ROAS analysis.

Depending on the typical deal size of a company’s product offering, a single new client could make the entire campaign worthwhile.

Self-serve

For some marketers, advanced TV sounds interesting but a bit out of reach, especially if they don’t have agency support, TV experience or handy TV-ready creative on hand. Fortunately, there are tools available now that are lowering that barrier to entry, enabling advertisers to ramp up their investment across screens and inventory, assemble creatives in a matter of clicks, and integrate measurement into their current tech stack.

The biggest hurdle that may have held B2B advertisers back from unleashing a data-driven TV strategy is just that – the data. But there are a number of data companies that can now connect B2C and B2B data for a holistic person-level view and then onboard it for cross-channel marketing.

As with any marketing tactic, connected TV will not be the perfect fit for every B2B brand. But the targeting, creative and measurement opportunities exist today that should have every brand leaning forward to consider this lean-back experience.

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3 Comments

  1. I appreciate Brienna's perspective on Advanced TV and the potential it holds for B2B's. I agree it is an untapped channel for most companies. Where I would like to see her comment is around video creation. Having worked in B2B for a long time and now on the agency side, all but the largest companies have video, let alone compelling video that would resonate in a 30 second format. How would she look to address the lack of compelling content most B2B's have in video?

    Reply
  2. It depends on what data they are matching from a audience/CRM perspective. If it is a business email the match/scale is likely extremely limited. If they have address identifiers then it is more likely able to be considered, although Addressable TV does have cost premiums, and similar measurability restrictions to standard linear TV. Those are tough to get around if scale is limited.

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  3. Sharing Matt's concern about ads. Certainly this opens up an opportunity for agencies to pitch the concept to their B2B clients and ad creative development (usually from scratch) will be a critical part of the process.

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