Programmatic Platforms in B2B Markets Makes Good Sense

Programmatic buying became a priority for digital media buying in 2015, according to a recent Forrester survey in conjunction with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in the US. According to the research, more than half of marketers surveyed in 2014 were not familiar enough with programmatic buying to use it. Now, more than 43% of marketers admit to using multiple demand-side platforms (DSP) to enhance their programmatic efforts.

Fueled by video and mobile adoption, programmatic adoption will skyrocket and by 2020 over half of video advertising revenue will be sold and executed programmatically. Mobile will be next to go programmatic the survey said.

Marketers have made substantial changes to their media buying strategies since 2014, with online display the most common media used for programmatic in 2014 at 77%, compared to 36% for mobile. But, as mobile adoption increases, businesses are shifting to a mobile-first direction with 89% of marketers confirming they used DSP to purchase mobile display in 2015.

Programmatic is very relevant for B2B marketers too, although they have been slower to adopt online display - and programmatic - because targeting has been a challenge for them.

Identifying when a consumer is browsing for work or for personal matters is not straightforward, and B2B targeting databases are smaller and less reliable than B2C. This often means that B2B companies do not have strong targeting tools they can leverage for online advertising.

Programmatic platforms have developed capabilities that help B2B marketers get around these restrictions, and can help them better use online advertising for customer acquisition, according to Forrester analyst Samantha Merlivat.

In addition, the ability to leverage first party/CRM data to target prospects with more relevant messages also changes how B2B companies are now able to use online advertising to nurture prospects and engage them across their customer life cycle. Data-driven B2B companies are already doing so quite effectively and others will follow, Merlivat noted.

The questions around mobile and video are also very relevant to B2B marketers. The cost of producing and distributing video, in particular, is more affordable than it used to be, and therefore accessible to more firms. The ability to buy targeted impressions opens up new capabilities for B2B companies, which traditionally don't advertise on TV. And interactive video ads also let B2B marketers customize creative units to provide more content to prospects through video, giving them the option to use video ads in ways that are closer to content or native advertising.

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