What Really Are The Benefits of B2B Advertising on Connected TV?

Over the last several years, the balance between our work lives and our home lives has been in flux. In the hybrid work era, employees at companies across industries, from B2B to B2C and beyond, now spend a significant amount of their time working from home. More often than not, this means we’re taking a larger share of our work life home with us after we punch the clock because, for better or worse, our home has become an intrinsic part of our job. 

That said, wasn’t this technically true even before the paradigm shift of 2020? Having any kind of work on the brain as we relax at home is part and parcel of life (again, for better or worse). Disconnecting our work life from our home life is always the goal, but regardless of our best efforts, our minds will invariably wander toward the challenges of our day job, even as we’re catching up on our “TV to Watch” list at night.

And sometimes, we may even enjoy (?!) ruminating over work when we’re away from the office, even if that office is mere feet away.

So if our minds are already thinking about everything we have to do at work while we’re chilling on the couch, binging a new show on Netflix, would that make us more receptive, or less receptive, to being served a TV ad for a product that could help us solve a professional problem?

Okay, that’s a loaded question, but the answer we’re nudging you towards underlines our point: B2B brands should use this common experience to their advantage. You might not call a lead at 8 o’clock at night (…right?), but you can catch them while they’re watching TV and winding down for the evening. 

By turning the TV screen (or, more specifically, the Connected TV screen) into a demand generation tool, B2B brands have the chance to advertise a product that just may be the solution their target audience has been looking for, at a time when they least expect it. This way, you’re not trying to carve time out on their busy calendar; you’re making the case for your brand right there in their living room when they’re relaxed and leaned-in — even if it’s just over a coffee table as they dig into dinner.

A Better Way to B2B

B2B brands routinely pull from the same tried-and-true playbook. On LinkedIn? Check. Advertising on search? Double check. Creating landing pages, drip campaigns, and (let’s call it like it is) semi-stale ad creative? Check, check, and — unfortunately — check. This isn’t to say that there is anything inherently wrong with the B2B marketer’s age-old playbook. You could continue to run the same successful strategies year after year, making adjustments as needed and still be in good shape — after all, the classic B2B playbook does work.

But if you and your competition are all running the same strategies, it can make actually standing out more difficult. Picture that “Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man” meme, except it’s all of us B2B marketers with our well-worn playbooks realizing our strategies are carbon copies of each other. This can make ads targeted towards B2B audiences feel a little samey, forgettable even, which makes standing out seem like an uphill battle.

But there is a way to gain the high ground, because what many B2B brands are not doing is going full tilt into the Connected TV winds. A 2022 survey from 3Q/DEPT found that only 29% of B2B marketers were investing in CTV, while another 2022 report from MarketingProfs found that only 32% of B2B marketers cited video as a new tactic they planned to explore the following year. All this means is that CTV is currently a channel with a lack of B2B competition, and with less competition, savvy B2B marketers have the chance to grab more captive attention at a time when business owners and their employees aren’t already being battered by a flurry of other B2B ads. 

However, according to a study from Ascend2 and Wpromote, 66% of B2B marketers said their spending on streaming TV had either increased, or stayed the same, in 2023. On top of that, research from LinkedIn’s B2B Institute found that 90% of LinkedIn advertisers who used CTV in 2023 believe it helped reach their B2B buyer audiences more effectively. CTV solutions, like through LinkedIn, can help generate major upper funnel outcomes, while MNTN’s platform helps them move further down the funnel into the realm of hyper-specific performance

So competition for B2B marketers’ attention on CTV, however nascent, is slowly starting to grow. And you don’t want to be left in the dust by not moving fast on the opportunities the channel can provide, especially for early adopters who have the ability to play in a space relatively devoid of market rivalry.

CTV Gets B2B Brands Front and Center

Not to bury the lede here, but there is a specific reason why CTV is arguably more important than any other platform in a B2B brands media mix: it can get them significantly ahead of the buying cycle and into the ever-important initial consideration set.

Research indicates that up to 90% of B2B decision makers engage with companies they already know at the start of the buying process. The challenge for B2B marketers, then, is ensuring that their brand gets front and center in the minds of those decision makers weeks, months, or even years in advance of the buying cycle. 

That’s what CTV can effectively do. With its slate of digital marketing tools, like precision audience targeting, automated optimizations, and reliable attribution, marketers can place fully measurable ads in front of the right B2B decision makers well before they begin to explore potential vendors.

And because they’re harnessing the high-impact nature of TV advertising, B2B marketers have a greater chance of leaving a lasting impression, so when decision makers are ready to buy, their brand’s name will be at the top of the list.

No Place I’d Rather B2B (Than On Connected TV)

Shifting strategies to CTV not only optimizes the audiences a B2B marketer can reach, it gives their brand a unique spotlight, borrowing some of the creative shine that has long been the domain of B2C companies. 

This has created an inflection point for B2B marketing to grow in new creative directions. To fully capitalize off the power of CTV and get into the initial consideration set most effectively, marketers must break away from the stereotypically stale, stuffy, and overly technical B2B ad, and embrace CTV creative that is entertaining above all else. This will give unique weight to your message, so that your content is not only educational and inspiring, but also just plain fun to watch. This lets B2B brands create a connection with their audience in ways similar to B2C brands — after all, B2B audiences are, surprise surprise, regular people too, who find relatable, authentic, and engaging content resonant.

In this new era of B2B marketing, it’s no longer a question of whether to adapt to Connected TV, but how swiftly to embrace it. While CTV may currently be an underutilized tool for B2B marketers to stand out and generate leads, it won’t be that way forever. By diversifying their strategies today, B2B brands can stay ahead of the curve and reach more customers more effectively than ever before, all thanks to the living room screen.

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