From Awareness to Action: Connected TV for B2B Campaigns

James Rice

May 22, 2024 | 6 min read

Buckle up, B2B marketers. Video advertising has matured so that ABM and precision targeting can redefine how we approach our audiences in the digital age. As buyer behaviors shift, it's time to expand from the tried-and-true tactics that have guided our strategies for years. And at the forefront of this marketing revolution? None other than Connected TV (CTV) – the channel that's poised to change the game for B2B brands looking to make their mark.

The 95% Principle: Rethinking B2B Audiences

As a high-intent tactics enthusiast, the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute's 95% rule has always captivated me. It suggests that only 5% of your audience is ready to buy at any given time, and the real opportunity lies in achieving ubiquitous "repertoire" presence – being consistently memorable and top-of-mind when prospects reach their category entry point.

For B2B marketers, this means the vast majority of their target audience isn't actively looking to purchase their product or service. They may not be in an immediate decision cycle, but they absolutely represent future potential when their needs inevitably change. Too often, B2B strategies focus solely on highly targeted, bottom-funnel demand capture tactics that only reach the 5% with active commercial intent. In doing so, they neglect what Connected TV (CTV) does best–delivering mass-scale brand awareness and forging memorable associations for the other 95% who will ultimately drive long-term growth.

The first step in unlocking CTV's full potential, then, is realigning your audience approach to balance pinpoint accuracy with enduring brand relevance across a broader universe of future prospects.

Precision Meets Influence: A Balanced CTV Approach

Unlike legacy TV advertising, CTV combines the best of both worlds – stunning creative that elevates brand narratives with the precision of data-driven ad targeting and measurement. This duality is what makes it such a powerful channel for B2B brands.

On one side, you have the accuracy piece. With CTV's advanced targeting capabilities, B2B marketers can home in on specific audiences based on a rich array of account, firmographic, demographic, and intent-based data signals. These laser-focused tactics enable strategic demand capture initiatives that capitalize on immediate high-intent interests.

But as the 95% rule highlights, accurate demand gen is just one piece of the puzzle. The bigger opportunity lies in the mass awareness and memorable brand experiences that CTV's enduring brand relevance provides. It's about showing up with helpful, contextual messaging for high-intent audiences, while simultaneously forging emotive, lasting brand memories that pay dividends down the road.

Crafting Memorable CTV Experiences

The creative approach on CTV is arguably the most critical piece in maximizing the "enduring brand relevance" side of the balanced strategy. You can have the best audience data fueling your campaigns, but if the ad experience itself doesn't captivate and stick with viewers, you've missed the mark.

For B2B brands, this requires rethinking traditional disruptive ad models. Instead, the most effective campaigns on CTV leverage the platform's unique strengths in video storytelling to foster authentic connections and emotional resonance with the target audience. They are based on a deep understanding of the viewer's mindset, pain points, and the type of content experiences they actually appreciate.

The overarching goal is to create impressions that enhance rather than detract from the viewing experience. When your messaging provides enriching value, your brand cements itself as a welcomed part of the audience's content repertoire.

Measurement That Matters

Even with the mass branding element as a core objective, accurately measuring CTV's impact and optimizing investment is still critical for B2B brands to realize its full potential. However, the types of KPIs and measurement models you'll need to evaluate will extend beyond just traditional demand gen metrics.

When analyzing CTV's influence on immediate lead capture and conversion goals, the typical performance indicators like video completion rates, clicks/engagement, cost-per-conversion, and matched audience attribution will be essential.

But then you also need mechanisms for quantifying CTV's brand-building effects over time. This could include metrics like:

  • Uplift in unaided and aided brand awareness, affinity, and favorability
  • Incremental lifts in consideration, preference, and purchase intent
  • Share of search interest and voice in your brand's product category
  • Longer-term market share, revenue, and loyalty impacts

By evaluating both the demand and brand building sides of the measurement equation, you can more accurately credit CTV for its total influence across an omnichannel B2B marketing strategy.

Optimizing the Balance

Crafting an effective B2B marketing strategy with video advertising requires striking the right balance between precision targeting for immediate conversions and broader memorable brand presence. But that balance is not a static, one-size-fits-all equation.

The optimal mix of laser-focused demand capture tactics versus mass awareness will vary based on factors like your brand's industry, the complexity of your product/solution, the makeup of your target audience, and the maturity of your business goals. That's why continuous optimization through relentless testing and measurement is crucial.

The key is using a test-and-learn approach to continually optimize the "precision + influence" balance based on delivering against your unique B2B goals on CTV. Routinely inspect performance data to identify what's driving the greatest incremental lift in the metrics you care about most. Don't be afraid to adapt your audience targeting, ad creative and experiences, budget allocations, or messaging emphasis as needed.


The rapid rise of Connected TV finally presents an opportunity for a more balanced, forward-looking strategy that combines accuracy and narrative. With CTV's unmatched data-driven targeting capabilities and captivating creative brand canvases, B2B brands can simultaneously capitalize on immediate demand while investing in ubiquitous presence that seeds the future sales pipeline.

As consumer behaviors and B2B purchasing paths continue evolving, brands that move first to shift investment toward CTV will gain a crucial competitive edge. For B2B companies looking to forge lasting brand resonance and growth, CTV has emerged as the critical vanguard media channel that harmonizes data-driven precision with evocative storytelling at scale.

So whether you're aiming to fill the funnel with net new demand, reinforce customer loyalty, or establish your brand as a category leader, CTV offers a powerful pathway to success. The question is: are you ready to embrace the future of B2B marketing?

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