Trends in B2B Advertising: Key Takeaways from Our Discussion with SiriusDecisions

Programmatic advertising technology evolves so quickly, even the most advanced practitioners could be forgiven for missing a thing or two. That’s why we sat down with SiriusDecisions to step back and take stock of the rapidly changing B2B advertising landscape. Two key trends B2B advertisers should be considering:

It’s time to admit the painful reality: Leads are the wrong metric

Most advertisers know that digital advertising is not the most efficient channel for lead generation. Much of that may actually be more of an attribution problem than an effectiveness problem – but that’s slightly beside the point.

As SiriusDecisions analyst Jonathan Tam points out, the big picture of the account – its challenges, its buying committee, its priorities, its purchase process – is much more important than merely its key decision-maker (or, as is so often the case with lead-driven advertising, the person who happens to fill out a form).

Fixating on leads as an optimization goal in digital advertising campaigns corrupts the feedback loop, mis-directing our budgets and ultimately leading to waste – steering campaigns toward bidding on impressions for individuals who are less than qualified for our offering.

That’s why forward-looking B2B advertisers start by narrowing down their target account lists using data-driven tools, before seeking to engage the full buying committee with their budget, treating form-fills as a secondary metric.

Don’t tell your ad platform who your buyers are. Let your buyers identify themselves.

Job title and persona targeting miss the mark in account-based advertising in several important ways:

  • They assume uniformity in the shape of your demand center across all your accounts
  • The data segments purporting to identify people by job title are notoriously unreliable
  • Job function and persona segments are often near impossible to scale when overlaid on an account list

Demandbase’s approach puts behavior ahead of identity. Such a proposition would have been impossible before advancements in data infrastructure and artificial intelligence. But today, we can pinpoint buying committees – anonymously – based on their research and content consumption behaviors around the web.

This approach delivers audiences that are more scalable (because we are not limited by data on-boarding match rates or questionable third-party segments purporting to know your job title) and more relevant, prioritizing individuals who are specifically showing intent in campaign delivery.

Get more B2B advertising insights from our discussion with SiriusDecisions and take a look at the next-generation Targeting Solution in the webinar: ‘The Next Generation of B2B Advertising: A Conversation with SiriusDecisions’