We hear a lot these days about the importance of delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. This might have been challenging in days gone by, but with the development of programmatic media it’s now little more than a breeze. This is an advanced way of targeting your ideal audience with digital advertising placements based on data and analysis, and marketers are rapidly adopting the new display advertising technology as a means to generate leads while freeing up their time.
Understanding Programmatic Display
Programmatic display helps you “automate” the advertising process by using artificial intelligence (AI) to target specific audiences and market segments with suitable ads during their browsing. The targeting is based on criteria such as age bracket, income level, interests, work occupation and internet browsing habits.
Using data, software and logic, programmatic display ad placement can take place at certain times of the day on specific sites, when the target audience is online. This facilitates a more efficient advertising strategy with higher conversion rates, which requires the involvement of fewer team members in the media planning.
A 2017 report from Dun and Bradstreet indicates almost 70 percent of B2B marketers intend to increase their programmatic spend this year, with 22 percent intending to increase by more than one quarter. This constitutes around three quarters of the total media spend in programmatic channels. In addition, 88 percent of major advertisers will either sign up for or increase their allocation of funds to this medium. These statistics show growth of 25 percent since 2015.
How B2B Marketers Use It
Programmatic display ads come into their own when a B2B user visits a company website and performs an action such as reading a blog post or article, or viewing a webinar. The technology tracks the behavior and then begins to display ads and content related to the topic the prospect showed interest in. This enables marketers to expand their lead database, generate interest in the problem their product solves, and establish their brand as an authority in the market.
Developing a Strategy
The role of programmatic display in B2B should ideally be integrated into the overall strategy. This enables companies to apply real-time insights to media investments, and work towards a comprehensive, omni-channel marketing program that yields measurable results in all areas. To achieve this, the programmatic strategy should align with the broader business strategy. To develop an effective plan, marketers need to start by identifying clearly the goals for this component of the strategy and the channels that are the best fit for delivering them.
Media Planning and Buying
There are two types of programmatic ad buying: direct, premium programmatic advertising (PPA) and real-time bidding (RTB). The first follows a fully automated, data-driven method for buying, selling and fulfilling the ad placements, and works well enough for marketers who don’t have the knowledge or time to learn RTB.
The second, however, offers a much higher ROI, and is rapidly becoming the most popular method of programmatic display advertising. RTB bidding works either at open auction or audience targeting, or in private marketplace deals that allow for fixed pricing and data overlays.
Clients can also utilize demand side platforms (DSPs) with partnerships among local Data Management Platforms (DMP) that provide statistics on the sites audience segments visit. Some of the most popular DSP platforms are:
Benefits for B2B Advertisers
The general principle behind programmatic display advertising is to create a better user experience, and this requires more than just great content and innovation. It needs advertising delivered at the right time and place, aligned with the right people, or prospects simply won’t engage with it. In the world of B2B marketing, it’s essential to build meaningful relationships between buyer and seller. Here are some benefits to B2B advertisers, specifically in the context of targeting, branding and lead generation:
- The nature of programmatic display advertising enables you to spend your marketing dollars only where they will definitely be effective, increasing your ROI.
- The opportunity to use real-time information to enhance your use of a quality platform or publisher and know exactly who you are engaging with and where.
- Reduced financial risk, based on a predictive yield, the ability to iterate quickly, and to instantly discontinue efforts that aren’t producing the desired results. This results in more effective lead generation and less time and money wasted.
- The ability to customize data to target users with a specific intent across a number of platforms, based on their current browsing session.
- By using programmatic advertising in a members-only environment such as LinkedIn, marketers are protected from bots and various other ad fraud methods. And when they incorporate usage of the publisher’s extensive data, they amplify the value gleaned from the technology.
The future is now, and programmatic display advertising is only going to get bigger and better from here. Leave the “hit and miss” methods of old behind in 2017 with a new foray into targeted, customized ad placement that always delivers results.