By Marketing on September 8th, 2021
Top B2B Programmatic Advertising Tactics to Increase Lead Gen
Account-based marketing has experienced a resurgence due to evolving technology, improved use of data, and a changing B2B landscape. ABM can be applied to a myriad of marketing channels including email, social media, webinars, events, and direct mail. But how is ABM best utilized to improve paid advertising performance? In this article, we outline five ways you can apply ABM to improve lead generation from your digital advertising campaigns.
B2B advertising is in a whole new era, and it is an era defined by data. We previously discussed intent data in this blog series, but it’s not the only source of data you should be using to power your B2B advertising campaigns. The advanced programmatic advertising tactics we explore below all leverage data to target business decision makers at key accounts. These game-changing ABM strategies are ideal when marketing budgets are tight but you need to deliver more than ever. Without further ado, let’s explore the advertising tactics you can implement to reduce media waste and improve your advertising ROI.
5 B2B Programmatic ABM Strategies that Improve ROI
As we previously defined in part one of our series, ABM concentrates resources on a set of high value target accounts within a market. Additionally, ABM focuses efforts on the specific business decision makers within those target accounts.
With an account-based targeting strategy for paid advertising, you can target ads to specific companies on a targeted account list. Typically, mid-market and enterprise B2B marketers generate a list of target accounts by exporting audience or account segments from their CRM software. As a best practice, it’s important to segment target accounts based on their level of awareness or engagement with your organization. As an example, a B2B marketer may segment target account lists in the following manner:
- Target accounts not contacted by sales or marketing (cold prospects)
- Accounts engaged by sales/marketing that are not ready to make a purchase decision (awareness stage)
- Accounts engaged by sales/marketing showing an intent to purchase (consideration or conversion stage)
- Current customer accounts that can grow with cross-sell or upsell offers (expansion stage)
- Current customers who are coming up for renewal (retention stage)
Once segmentation in your CRM is complete, you need to activate these custom audiences in your preferred media buying platform(s). A cutting-edge B2B marketing and data platform like Bombora helps marketers with this process. A best practice is to upload a file that contains the URLs of target accounts you want to engage through advertising (e.g., amazon.com, microsoft.com, salesforce.com, etc.).
For smaller B2B companies who may not have a robust list of target accounts segmented in their CRM system, you can manually input the URLs of companies you want to advertise to, and the technology platform can use those URLs as seed data to recommend similar businesses to scale your target account list.
Alternatively, if you do not have the URLs of businesses within your target account lists, you can utilize other first-party data attributes like email or physical addresses and upload these lists to a data onboarding platform LiveRamp. Using this method may reduce the number of accounts you can target with ads as the match rates will likely be lower compared to the URL method described above.
Once you have distributed the custom account segments to your preferred media buying platform(s), it’s important to personalize your ad creative based on where your target accounts are at in the marketing funnel.
Job Title Targeting
Job title targeting allows you to target high value business decision makers by their specific job title, job function, and seniority level. It helps you concentrate your ad dollars on the business professionals who can influence or make the ultimate purchase decision. It also reduces media spend that could potentially be wasted targeting professionals who do not match your job targeting criteria.
Job title and job function targeting can be executed through industry leading programmatic advertising platforms like The Trade Desk. As a supplement to job title targeting through a programmatic DSP, the LinkedIn advertising platform is another option for B2B marketers. Through LinkedIn, your company gets to leverage data that is already collected on individual user profiles, including job titles and roles. Four out of five people on LinkedIn drive business decisions, and according to LinkedIn, its audience has twice as much buying power as the average website audience. The platform also offers unique retargeting opportunities that can keep your company at the forefront of your targets' minds.
Firmographic Data and Targeting
Marketers are accustomed to utilizing demographic data when it comes to executing B2C campaigns. Firmographic data is the B2B equivalent. Where demographic data tells you about a consumer’s age, gender, and household income, firmographic data enables B2B marketers to target accounts based on an organization’s size, industry type, and total gross revenue.
Firmographic data is incredibly powerful for targeted B2B advertising. You'll be able to hyper-focus marketing efforts on companies that are most likely to purchase your products and services based on their firmographic data profile.
Technographic Data and Targeting
Technographic data, or technographics, refers to the technology and software systems that companies use to run their organization. B2B marketers can use technographic data to build a full technological profile of a company that wish to target through paid media.
When leveraged correctly, B2B marketers can identify companies who are currently using, or have previously used, competitive technology as a conquesting tactic. For example, a marketer for a human capital management (HCM) software company may want to target HR directors who use competitive technologies as showcased below:
Alternative B2B Third-Party Data Sets
Many B2B marketers are leveraging first-party data to inform their programmatic B2B advertising. Fewer, though, are taking advantage of custom B2B third-party data segments that can drive new prospects and leads into the sales funnel. Leveraging B2B third-party data sets can help you expand your potential audience reach.
Third-party data helps you reach, engage, and convert business decision makers who may not be aware of your brand, products, or services. By testing a variety of third-party data segments and allocating ad spend to the top performing audiences, B2B marketers can drive net new prospects and leads into the sales and marketing funnel. Therefore, third-party data presents an opportunity to find target accounts and to identify decision makers and influencers who may have been previously overlooked.
Whether you use third-party data on its own or combine it with first-party data, it's a powerful tool for targeted B2B programmatic advertising. Third-party data performs best when you are accessing it from industry leading and trustworthy B2B data providers. By working with credible B2B data providers, you will be able to acquire new customers at a lower cost and improve return on ad spend (ROAS). In addition, some B2B third-party data providers can help you unlock valuable insights on new target account opportunities, enabling you to quickly identify new prospects to add to your ABM campaigns across other marketing channels.
Implement B2B Programmatic ABM Tactics to Increase Lead Gen
HubSpot reports that 70% of marketers are now using ABM tactics in their marketing strategies. Implementing, testing, and optimizing the B2B programmatic advertising tactics we outlined above as part of your overarching ABM strategy can help boost your revenue. While many B2B marketers apply ABM to channels like email and social media, a much smaller percentage utilize advanced ABM tactics in their digital advertising campaigns. All the tactics showcased above can be executed through programmatic media channels and some can be implemented in your paid search and paid social campaigns as well.
In the fourth part of our series on account-based marketing, we'll take a look at some advanced audience insights, campaign measurement, and reporting solutions for B2B programmatic ad campaigns and how your marketing team can put them to use.
Don't want to wait for the next article in our series? To learn more about B2B programmatic advertising, schedule a free consultation with a member of our team today. We'll help you implement powerful B2B advertising strategies using account-based targeting, intent data, and so much more.
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