A Crash Course in OTT Marketing

“Cord-cutting” has become so popular, dictionary.com has developed its own definition for the phrase; “A person who cancels or forgoes a cable television subscription.”  If you cut the cord to avoid seeing advertisements, you’ll be disappointed thanks to OTT (Over-The-Top) Marketing. OTT marketing basically refers to any streaming service that delivers content over the internet.  OTT can be audio only, or audio-video, but for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on audio-video advertisements (think TV commercials). So, what streaming devices could serve up a commercial for a small business?  Lots.  And lots.  But one of the largest is Hulu, and they’re going after as many businesses as possible. Hulu recently put out a “state-of-streaming” insight out to those interested in testing their Ad Manager Beta platform.  Here’s what they have to say…


To save a money, many households chose to cord-cut for the less expensive option of a Hulu subscription.  Incentivized Disney+ subscribers get a free or discounted subscription to Hulu, so their audience has grown exponentially.  And when you have a massive audience that wants to support small businesses through a pandemic, many businesses used Hulu to promote their products and services to an audience likely to buy. Hulu viewers stated that they feel “an increased sense of community responsibility”, more willingness to support small businesses, and are more inclined to support a small business with a digital presence during the pandemic.


Because of stay-at-home restrictions and nervousness about stepping outside of their door, consumers shifted their buying habits to online. Coupons and “free shipping and delivery” spattered the world wide web in mass.  Hulu chose to adapt their offering to leverage this as an opportunity for their advertisers. Imagine a commercial is playing on your TV, and with the click of a button on your remote control, an incentive to buy the product displayed on your TV can be emailed directly to you.  Pretty neat, right?  Yes, it is!  And it’s real.  Hulu created this option to consumers a coupon while also providing that business that consumer’s email address for follow-up re-marketing.


You’re a business owner that wants to only get the message out to their target audience.  Well, you can do that through OTT marketing.  Which can be a good thing, or an incredibly bad thing, which is for you to decide.  Most business owners feel like they have a sense of who their target market is but haven’t actually evaluated their target market for some time. Which means if you’re marketing with outdated target-consumer strategy, you’re missing a LOT of opportunity, and probably paying more for it.  OTT is expensive, and like any other targeted digital marketing, the more you target, the more it’s going to cost you.  Also, if your target market tends to skew to an older, more affluent demographic, you may not be reaching them through OTT.  You’re better off reaching them through cable commercials.


It is.  OTT is an effective way to get more out of your commercials than ever before if your targeted consumer is a cord-cutter. But if you think that OTT is the silver bullet to have a crowd outside of your door, down the street and around the corner, you’re mistaken. And it’s always worth talking to your Ad Rep at your cable company to see how they can get you on traditional cable and OTT.  Or better yet, let a Marketing Agency (like us) navigate these waters for you, because they can be choppy.