In the B2B marketing world, things are changing fast. There’s a new emphasis on transparency, personalization, and measurable ROI. To thrive in this environment, marketers need new strategies and tactics to reach their audiences more effectively and efficiently.
With B2B programmatic advertising, you can automate repetitive tasks and save time by buying media directly through an automated auction process. It also enables you to scale your campaigns with dynamic bidding and targeting options that you can adjust based on performance objectives in real-time.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to leverage programmatic advertising to reach your target audience with less effort. You’ll learn about the benefits of programmatic advertising and its role in the advanced marketing ecosystem. We’ll also introduce you to the principles of programmatic advertising and give you actionable tips for integrating it into your B2B marketing strategy.
What Is Programmatic Advertising?
Programmatic advertising is a marketing automation tool that uses algorithms to create, manage, and optimize digital advertising campaigns. It’s used to purchase ads programmatically based on user data, engagement, and other signals. Programmatic advertising targets a broad audience of potential customers with personalized ads based on data collected from multiple channels. This allows brands to deliver more relevant ads, reach more people, and create better customer experiences.
Put simply, programmatic advertising is buying and selling advertising space through automated channels. It’s typically used for buying media on the open market, such as on third-party networks and exchanges. It differs from direct sales because it’s done through an automated auction process. Programmatic advertising is also often referred to as real-time bidding (RTB).
The Benefits of Programmatic Advertising
The benefits of programmatic advertising are many. It generally enables you to scale your campaigns more effectively with a lower cost per acquisition (CPA). It also allows you to optimize for greater efficiency across different channels and devices. Most importantly, programmatic advertising gives you visibility into the entire campaign.
You can track metrics and KPIs in real-time to improve your ROI and make adjustments as needed. Beyond these advantages, programmatic advertising also allows you to bolster your brand’s reputation. It’s more effective in targeting potential customers and driving leads, leading to increased customer satisfaction. This leads to a lower cost per customer acquisition (CAC), which is good for your pocketbook and brand.
Why B2B Marketers Should Care About Programmatic Advertising
If B2B marketers ignore programmatic advertising, they miss out on a huge opportunity. As media channels become more fragmented, it’s becoming more challenging to reach customers effectively. For example, a company targeting a B2B audience might not have the budget to be on popular networks like Google or Facebook. Most media buyers aren’t interested in marketing to a targeted B2B audience.
B2B marketers who use programmatic advertising can reach a broader audience at scale. They’re also able to reach their audiences more effectively thanks to dynamic bidding and targeting options that they can adjust based on real-time performance objectives. As a result, inventory is often limited and can be extremely expensive.
Principles of Programmatic Advertising
- Audience: Identify your target audience and create a persona that describes the type of person you want to reach. Then, target your desired audience segment and optimize your campaign to reach them.
- Context: Understanding the broader context of your target audience is crucial. Where are they? What are they doing? What are they reading? These factors will help you reach your desired audience more effectively.
- Creative: A/B test your creativity and ensure your message is clear and relevant to your audience. Personalize your creativity where possible, and ensure you send the right message to the right people.
- Delivery: You must consider the delivery of your ads to your desired audience. Where do they spend most of their time? What types of devices do they use? How do you reach them effectively and efficiently?
- Reporting: Monitor your campaign closely and make changes where necessary. Track key metrics to ensure your campaign is delivering the results you need.
Programmatic Buying Methods
1. Programmatic Direct
Programmatic direct buys allow you to buy inventory directly from a publisher’s ad server or a demand-side platform (DSP). This method allows you to buy the same types of inventory you would typically purchase from a retargeting network. Direct buys are ideal if you want to purchase inventory not being transacted on the open market (i.e., inventory not being sold through a third-party exchange).
While direct buys are more manual, they allow you more control over your inventory selection and campaign parameters. Direct buys can be completed through an automated workflow, just like programmatic buys. This can save time by eliminating the need to approve orders and issue payments manually.
2. Real-Time Bidding (RTB)
Real-time bidding allows you to bid on real-time inventory based on your campaign performance. Real-time bidding (RTB) is an automated real-time auction process that enables you to buy media in an open marketplace. To participate in this marketplace, you’ll set up an account with a DSP with access to multiple inventory sources.
The DSP you work with will receive a real-time feed of information about the user, the device, and the impression context. The DSP then evaluates the value of the impression and provides you with a bid price. The DSP will execute the transaction on your behalf, and the publisher will give the impression to the user.
3. Private Marketplace (PMP)
A private marketplace (PMP) is an exclusive inventory source for select participants. In other words, only select brands have access to this inventory source. PMPs give brands access to premium inventory sources that would be difficult to access through a second-party marketplace like an exchange.
You must first meet the third-party marketplace that manages the PMP to access those premium inventory sources requirements. For example, a media company might require that you buy at least $100,000 in media through its platform each month before it allows you to access its PMP inventory.
How to Incorporate Programmatic Advertising Into Your B2B Marketing Strategy
Integrating programmatic advertising into your B2B marketing strategy is simple. First, identify which channels are best for your audience. Then, create your campaign and select an appropriate delivery method. Finally, track your campaign and make adjustments as necessary.
Once you’ve identified the channels where your audience spends most of their time, you can use your campaign objectives to determine which channels would be best for reaching them. For example, if your campaign aims to generate leads, you’ll want to focus on channels where your audience is actively looking for information. Finally, selecting an appropriate delivery method for your campaign is vital. It’s crucial to understand the difference between real-time bidding and networks. Networks typically allow you to reach a broader audience, while real-time bidding will enable you to reach a more targeted audience.
Programmatic advertising is quickly becoming the marketing standard for B2B brands. Programmatic advertising is a powerful tool that B2B marketers can leverage to reach a broader audience at scale. By using targeting and creative optimization, you can make the most of your campaign, reduce costs, and increase the efficiency of your advertising spend.
Real-time bidding enables you to reach more targeted audiences at scale. It also allows you to create personalized customer experiences based on individual needs. As B2B marketers, we must stay on top of the latest trends, especially regarding marketing automation.