Connected TV: The most important innovation in B2B media in 20 years
How would you feel if an ad for your biggest competitor popped up on TV after dinner tonight? What if you could retarget a visitor to your website with a TV spot on CNN, Fox News or during the latest episode of their favorite show? With massive shifts in TV delivery, viewer behavior and technology, it’s not only possible, it’s happening across industries and across the country, and it’s allowing B2B advertisers to make TV a viable part of their integrated media mix.
What is Connected TV?
Connected TV (CTV) is a television able to serve programming through a connection to the Internet, either directly—a Smart TV—or through a hardware device like a Roku or Apple TV. Connected TVs access programs using well-known apps like Hulu, Sling TV and Netflix. Over the past few years this has led to the phenomenon of cord cutting. That’s when people stop getting TV from an expensive traditional provider like Comcast or Dish Network and instead view TV programs through these over-the-top (OTT) providers.
Good News for B2B Advertisers
Unlike Netflix, where viewers pay a monthly subscription fee and see no ads—many of these apps are ad supported. Since they are not part of traditional TV networks, they have had to open their ad inventory to digital buying and programmatic platforms in order to secure the advertisers they need. This means brands can now use digital tools (or the agencies they are currently using to buy online advertising) to place TV ads programmatically as they would with online paid media—buying the audience rather than the broader TV program, network or time slot.
Why Savvy B2B Marketers are Getting in Early
One of the most important benefits to B2B advertisers is that CTV is still very new. While people are used to seeing ads on TV, they are not used to seeing niche B2B players from the industries they work in show up on television. This novelty factor is huge. Being seen in this unexpected space captures attention and can be a real boost to attitudes about your company. It still feels more significant when you see a brand advertising on TV—especially a B2B brand.
The lack of B2B advertisers on TV in the past also means that showing up now, and layering your buy with other highly targeted online placements, can give the impression of your company “being everywhere.” This provides the opportunity to come across like a big player in virtually any industry, and it’s an important part of why early adopters will get the most impact from jumping in and testing the waters early.
More Targetable Means More Affordable
Unlike large consumer brands, most B2B advertisers don’t have the luxury of large media budgets and soft accountabilities. They are better known for their focus on performance and efficiency. With no way to target niche audiences, traditional TV is simply too expensive, there is too much waste and it is impossible to measure performance.
CTV, on the other hand, allows for precision targeting. There are multiple data connection companies in the market offering B2B capabilities. This means the demographic, firmographic and psychographic parameters—as well as other first-party data you use to build robust B2B target profiles—can be used to connect the dots on which audience members are part of your customer base or fall into your primary target audiences. CTV lets you use this data to target them—and them alone. That means your ads will show up only when your prospects are watching, eliminating huge numbers of non-relevant audience members you would have to pay for in a traditional TV buy.
Cross Channel Optimization
Since you know who these viewers are, it is also possible to build campaigns to target them across the digital landscape for maximum visibility, consistency and impact. Tracking performance across channels can give you a better understanding of your target’s typical path to purchase, allowing you to more effectively attribute results to the budgets placed, and help optimize your programs over time.
Willing to Watch a Few Ads
Unlike video ads delaying or interrupting shorter YouTube videos, advertising inserted at the start of or during premium, long-form TV programming on these platforms feels less intrusive because the structure is more familiar to viewers. Additionally, seeing ads that align very specifically with what they do every day for work can be well received since they are much more relevant to the viewer—more engaging and less of an interruption.
All this adds up to a unique opportunity for B2B marketers. A powerful new tool in the integrated marketing toolbox has become available and affordable for the first time. The Connected TV landscape will surely continue to change, and how marketers in various industries use it to maximize impact will vary, but the time to test the waters of CTV has surely arrived.
If you’re a B2B brand that’s curious about how to jump in and take the next step with CTV and other OTT advertising tactics, we’d love to dig in with you to help understand if it’s right for you. Reach out to our VP of Business Development Julia Parisot at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation started. Learn more about how LoSasso has found success for our clients through CTV here.