Programmatic advertising trumps social media for B2B marketers

Programmatic advertising trumps social media for B2B marketers

By Danielle Wegert                 

Finding the perfect advertising platform and campaign is a constant, ongoing struggle in the advertising world. Lately, social media has taken the main stage. Facebook versus Twitter. Twitter versus LinkedIn.

An article on Business 2 Community recently provided statistics proving Twitter is the best “bang for your engagement buck per post because you have the potential to engage more followers even if you have a smaller community than you do on Facebook.”

These statistics, however, only demonstrate Twitter’s superiority over other social media platforms. Advertising platforms are not limited to social media, and Twitter might not be the best overall.

When it comes to business-to-business marketing, programmatic advertising is quickly gaining momentum – and attention.

According to statistics from AARM and Magna Global, “Programmatic buying will represent 48 percent of all global digital display advertising at the end of 2015.” It is undeniable that programmatic is taking advertising to a new place, and marketers are quickly catching on.

What takes programmatic advertising to the next level over social media?

Here are a few reasons:

No more babysitting campaigns

One of the main benefits of programmatic is the ability to automate and self-optimize. Big data and first-party data allow programmatic to learn about audiences and change ad buying procedures across a wide range of medium – even including social media platforms. This does not mean complete automation with no human interaction, though. What it does mean is the ability to grow campaigns without having to grow your advertising team. It means the ability to provide targeted, useful information to the right audience without the need for constant monitoring.

No more one-size fits all marketing

You can create different advertising campaigns for different audiences online, using programmatic advertising – all under the same brand. With social media, the tweet or post sent goes to all prospects, regardless of where they fit into your brand.

Social media is also limited in the sense that it is typically constricted to a single platform. What makes programmatic advertising so appealing is the ability to advertise on multiple sites with an endless number of campaigns – a practically limitless approach to targeting.

No more non-quantifiable gains

Programmatic advertising engagement reveals more information about B2B marketers than social media ever could. Advertisers can capture useful lead gen information such as company name, location, phone number and even email addresses (without having to ask) through something as simple as a click.

According to information from Duke University Fuqua School of Business Professor Christine Moorman, “only about 15 percent of marketers believe they can show the impact of social media on their businesses using quantitative approaches – an important prerequisite for marketers to get their ‘seat at the table.’” Success needs to be proven quantitatively, and without this proof, it’s hard to secure long-term funding. Quantitative data is limited from Twitter and other social media sites, limiting the capabilities of marketers.

Social media is limited – in many ways for B2B. Programmatic levels the playing field – getting beyond the degrees of separation that keep B2B marketers from finding and engaging with prospective buyers.

Social media and programmatic advertising are friends, not enemies.

Social media is by no means useless – it is not the enemy of programmatic advertising. Rather, it can be considered a useful tool as one more element of targeting, segmenting and planning digital media outreach.

Social media is a useful source for gathering data on sentiment analysis, which can later fuel powerful to creative executions and digital marketing campaigns that move B2B prospects closer to the buy.

Direct response, user-generated content and storytelling for “digital word-of-mouth” also find a suitable home on social media.

However, social will never lead in the B2B advertising world.

B2B marketers, it’s time to focus on marketing’s MVP – programmatic advertising.

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