B2B Online Advertising: Improve Targeting by 10x (or more!)

B2B advertising begins with the target audience. Until you know who you are targeting, you cannot identify the publications, sites or ad networks you should be working with.

However, one of the first things advertisers do is generalize their target audience. Here are a couple examples of how B2B target audiences are generalized for advertising:

  • Juniper targets companies with large data centers. However, before that can be turned into a broad advertising plan, it is generalized as large companies or specific industries likely to have large data centers.
  • UPS targets companies with national and international logistics and high volume shipping needs. Again, that is generalized into industries, large companies or even geographic regions before it can be used as a target for advertising campaigns.

What if you didn’t need to generalize your audience? Instead of targeting large companies or industries, what if Juniper could directly target companies with large data centers or UPS could directly target companies with complex logistics needs?

Today they can. [Read more…]

Bad Advertising Advice: Go Where Your Audience Is

It sounds obvious, on point, and innocent, but the oft-told advice to “go where your audience is” is one of the worst pieces of advice B2B marketers receive.

This advice leaves B2B marketers looking at what their audience does. Do they watch the Super Bowl? Are they on Facebook? Do they read Sports Illustrated?

Media sales representatives perpetuate the problem, comparing reach to their competitors. The “more read our stuff” chart is in nearly every major media kit in one form or another and every day it leads marketers astray. [Read more…]

Using New Data for Marketing that is “Just Right”

You go to Macys.com and you see baby clothes prominently featured on the homepage. You sign up for the newsletter that promises daily special deals on baby clothes and toys. It is a no-brainer, your first child is on the way.

Macy’s newsletter arrives in your inbox promptly at 5:55 AM every morning, just as you sit down with coffee and fire up your email. On Fridays, it arrives at 6:30 AM. You always sleep in a little on Friday.

On Saturday, you walk into your local furniture for the nursery. On Monday, you notice a crib in the sidebar of your Macy’s email.

Across town, your friend receives an email from Macy’s at 8:25 AM. Well timed, it arrives as she sits down in the office to check personal email before the real work day begins. [Read more…]

The New Boundaries of Targeting for B2B Marketing

In B2B marketing, standing out from the crowd and getting your audience’s attention is absolutely critical. The investments you have made in building your marketing database, creating content, and developing a nurture program carefully mapped to the buyer’s journey does nothing if your communication doesn’t get through.

What if your message could get through to more of these individuals and companies?

Today, there are a number of new and emerging opportunities to do exactly that. Here are three of the opportunities I am watching. [Read more…]

Modern Media Buying and Enterprise B2B Demand Generation

The current trend in digital media is to move online advertising to trading desks, ad exchanges or real time bidding platforms. These platforms provide access to enormous pools of advertising inventory and allow media buyers to cherry pick their exact target audience, based on a wide range of audience data available for targeting.

However, for enterprise B2B marketers, these approaches are not mature enough to broadly support demand generation marketing. The challenges these platforms continue to face are access to sufficient high quality inventory and access to data appropriate for targeting company sizes and roles.

Published market research differs on the relative importance on audience and context, however the research I have seen does not align with the typical B2B marketing audience experience.

The problem: consuming traditional B2B content used for demand generation requires a significant time commitment. Taking the time to dive into a whitepaper or watch a webcast imposes a major time requirement. [Read more…]

Ad Networks, Exchanges and … B2B?

Ad networks and exchanges are not just for consumer marketers. There are opportunities for B2B marketers to cost effectively add ad networks and exchanges to online advertising campaigns, increasing reach and cost efficiency. And with the emergence of self-service platforms, even marketers with small budgets can test adding these to programs.

Here are three opportunities every B2B marketer should at least consider.

Retargeting allows you to reach people again that visited your site but did not register. If you already have a way to nurture contacts that you don’t have a lot of information about, you know how to use retargeting. The difference is that your message is reaching people that may be earlier in the buying process (they were not willing to give up their information yet), but they already looked at your content. These are your highest value anonymous prospects, [Read more…]