By Ted Kohnen
Technologically speaking, programmatic advertising has the power to disrupt a long-standing paradigm for business-to-business marketers.
That paradigm states that are the best source for driving quality engagement (i.e. brand and demand). In some instances, with early adopters, this paradigm has been disrupted, but the full promise has yet to be fulfilled.
While many B2B and B2C marketers gravitate towards programmatic advertising because of its attractive pricing, the value for B2B marketers goes way beyond that to include:
- Powerful audience targeting that aligns with the buyer journey
- The ability to know and adapt messaging when a target’s needs, wants and sensibilities change
- The ability to achieve reach, targeted reach, beyond the endemic sites
I’m not saying B2B marketers should abandon the “tried and true” vertically centric websites. Quite the opposite. Marketers should understand how programmatic advertising works with the “trades” and augments overall performance.
I believe greater value, and ultimately the promise of programmatic advertising, will skyrocket in 2015 if two very important things happen:
- Including firmographic criteria in the overall leaning ability of an algorithm.
Firmographics are key identifiers, such as company, title, industry, etc., that put the learnings from digital activity in a business context. Including firmographic criteria in programmatic technology would enable B2B marketers to more efficiently distinguish decision-makers from influencers and, therefore, align the proper message at the proper stage of the journey.
- B2B marketers must embrace the full power of programmatic.
For example, successful programmatically driven campaigns are ones that utilize either large volumes of creative or dynamic creative. The volume achieved with programmatic, combined with an algorithm’s ability to rapidly learn, is one of the most powerful tools in a digital marketer’s toolkit. But, how actionable can the learnings be if the campaign only utilizes a single creative with a single call to action? Not much.
At Stein IAS, we were early adopters of programmatic advertising, and we tested until the promise was realized. But, we know there is still tremendous opportunity for programmatic to increasingly impact performance and change the way B2B marketers look at their digital marketing toolkit.
By Ted Kohnen, Chief Marketing Officer @ Stein IAS