Watching B2B TV: Thursday’s Daily Brief
Plus getting the most out of AR and VR.
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Good morning, Marketers, and do you switch on the TV to watch B2B?
The new trend towards B2B vendors in the tech space streaming quality video content brought out some skepticism in some of my colleagues. Are people really going to watch a show about ABM after they’re done with work? Or are they more likely to fire up Netflix or HBO Max?
I honestly don’t know the answer to that. Salesforce, itself planning to get into the streaming game soon, has a Trailblazer community numbering in millions around the world. If 10% can’t get enough of Salesforce in their daily routine, that’s an audience. In a more focused space, Sangram Vajre likely brings the highly motivated #flipmyfunnel community with him (10,000) when he debuts on Terminus’s upcoming streaming service.
B2B marketers certainly listen to podcasts about their work outside their work. I can see them tuning into TV shows too.
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Balancing risk and reach: The brand safety dilemma
Do you know where your clicks are coming from? Do you know where your ad is going? No one wants to see their product advertised on a website pushing fake news, conspiracy theories or extremist politics. Marketers practicing brand safety can prevent that from happening, but that practice is imperfect.
A good example of brand safety backfiring revolves around COVID-19. Yes, the pandemic boosted online shopping and brought more readers to news sites. But those banner ads at The New York Times and Wall Street Journal simply showed clouds against a blue-sky background. The reason? Keyword blocking.
“Brand safety technology is so crude it harms news publications,” said Dr. Augustine Fou, Group Chief Digital Officer of Fou Analytics, a marketing science consulting firm. Brands that don’t want to be associated with misinformation surrounding COVID-19 use that term to block ad placement. They avoid being placed on fake news sites trafficking conspiracy theories, but also lose placement on news sites that trafficking facts.
“Good guy detection technology can’t keep up with bad guy technology,” Fou said. Rather than wasting time in a never-ending tech arms race, Fou offered a human solution: know who you are dealing with. Marketers can take the direct route straight to publishers.
Demandbase jumps out ahead in B2B streaming race
Last week, B2B ABM software company Demandbase launched a hub for their streaming video content, called DBTV. It’s part of a new trend that finds a number of vendors ramping up their video offerings, in some cases approaching the production value and authority of what viewers would expect from a committed TV publisher.
Salesforce announced their own streaming service, Salesforce+, slated for next month. It will broadcast live events and on-demand content. In their release, Salesforce President and CMO Sarah Franklin draws comparisons with other content and product brands, including Disney, Netflix and Peloton.
Terminus also promises high production value with a trailer for their upcoming lineup (also launching next month), which will include a regular series hosted by Terminus co-founder Sangram Vajre. Vajre already has a significant following built around the vendor-agnostic “#FlipMyFunnel” podcast. The associated community boasts more than 10,000 members.
Jon Leiberman, Demandbase VP of Content, Social and Influencer Marketing, indicated to us that last week’s unveiling of DBTV represents phase one of the strategy. Leiberman will also host his own video series on their DBTV hub, called “I’m Thinking of…”.
Leiberman has served in the content role for four months, and in his audit of Demandbase’s content, he found a lack of video.
“One of my initial ideas was, why don’t we do a streaming video hub?” he said. “We know it works for B2C, with the success of Netflix, so why can’t we make it work for B2B? That, coupled with attendance being down for virtual events, showed that it’s a hard ask to show up at a given time and commit to the event. It’s not how people are living their lives these days. They want it when they want it. Even for TV, appointment viewing doesn’t exist except for news and sports.”
Getting the most out of AR and VR experiences
With the pandemic still a major concern for shoppers, marketers in the retail space should be looking at how better to engage with consumers digitally. It used to be that there were certain categories of products and services that needed to be purchased in-person, which was often the case, especially for big-ticket items. But now in the world of virtual and augmented reality, consumers are test-driving electric vehicles, and renters are inspecting and leasing their new homes.
Consumers expect more, and marketers have to cast a wide net to build the right experience. VR and AR experience software company Wool & Water has done its own consumer research on AR and VR. Co-founders Jeff Bodzewski and Justin McAneny recently shared some best practices with us as marketers pick and choose from this emerging channel. They define the concept of “extended retail” as a broader strategy that helps marketers avoid getting tied down to a single platform or technology that includes AR, VR, smart displays and, eventually, holograms and metaworlds in the years to come.
Quote of the day
“Marketing is about understanding people. It’s that simple. And that hard.” Katelyn Bourgoin, CEO, Customer Camp