B2B Podcast

Here’s Why Clients Should Love B2B Programmatic

If your clients worry about tracking audiences to target their digital ads, here’s something to put their minds at ease.

Tracking is a fact of internet life. We may feel a little uncomfortable about it in theory, but in practice it doesn’t keep us from launching our browsers and visiting one site after another.

Nevertheless, for B2B advertisers, it’s natural to worry about what customers might think about being tracked. Customers expect to see business-related ads on industry websites, but as soon as those ads appear on ESPN.com or their local weather app, they know they’re being followed.

That client concern is, in fact, a positive sign, revealing their customer-first approach—which is as it should be. And while their worries are valid, the pluses of programmatic advertising may put their minds at ease.

What Makes an Ad Programmatic?

You can show your digital display ads to a B2B audience through direct buys on industry websites (endemic advertising), or you can target your audience programmatically. A programmatic buy reaches an industry’s audience regardless of the websites being viewed, and appears to the right people in an unrelated editorial environment.

Essentially, it’s an automated process of buying and selling digital ad inventory through an exchange connecting advertisers to publishers. It allows advertisers to target a specific audience based on geography, interests, behavior, web history, etc. and reach them wherever they are online.

Programmatic’s Three Big Pluses

Programmatic is an opportunity for B2B advertisers to expand their digital footprint far beyond the narrow reach of endemic industry websites (also known as vertical websites). Those sites are highly relevant to customers, but their reach is limited to small audiences made up of monthly unique visitors. Not only that, but many industry websites may not see engagement with monthly unique users on a consistent daily or weekly basis. Ad campaign messages limited to industry sites therefore can miss a sizable portion of the target audience.

So, aside from the limitations of endemic campaigns, what are the key benefits of programmatic advertising?  The easy answer is targeting, efficiency, and performance.

Real-time targeting
Campaigns reach a target on whatever site they choose to visit across the web, upping the chances of getting timely messages in front of current and potential customers.

Cost efficiency
Our 2020 programmatic display ad CPMs range from $2 – $12. Our 2020 CPMs for display ads on endemic sites range from $10- $250.

Marketing performance
For the B2B programmatic campaigns we managed in 2019, click-through-rate performance was 52% higher on average vs. endemic sites. Also, endemic cost-per-click was over 7x higher than programmatic.

How do Audiences Really Feel?

Despite the limitations of endemic advertising and the benefits of programmatic ads, the key issue remains: How does a B2B audience feel about seeing ads for their business on non-business sites? And how do they react when they’re using the web for their own entertainment on their own time, only to see your B2B ad?

Here at R+K, we’ve run years of programmatic campaigns for B2B clients investing in digital advertising, and honestly, we haven’t seen any customer backlash. For one client specifically, we’ve purchased hundreds of millions of programmatic impressions for dozens of different B2B brands over the past year, and not once has any agency, client, or publisher partner experienced customer complaints around ad targeting or customer tracking.

That said, internet users who strongly object to having their activity tracked for advertising purposes always have the option of updating their privacy settings to block tracking cookies. This, too, has its benefits, since advertisers can remove people from their audience pool who are least likely to engage with their ads.

B2B audiences are digitally savvy people. They understand they’re being targeted with digital advertising whenever they go online, open an app, or visit social media. In our experience, the vast majority of business professionals have grown to accept this practice and don’t find it overly intrusive. The fact that people click on programmatic B2B ads at a rate that’s 52% higher on average than endemic sites definitely supports that conclusion.

Visit Marketing to Farmers for more R+K knowledge about endemic vs. programmatic advertising. Have questions about how programmatic advertising could enhance your marketing program? Contact R+K Business Development Director Gino Tomaro at gtomaro@rkconnect.com.

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