What Does B2B Retargeting Mean?

what-does-b2b-retargeting-mean-lgWith 67% of the B2B buying process taking place online, buying signals on your website are not something you can afford to miss. You need the ability to tune in to these signals and then reach out, ensuring those interested prospects stay engaged. If you’ve even been chased all over the Internet by an image of sneakers, you know how B2C companies handle this problem: site retargeting. Using cookies, companies can target individuals based on site visits, behavioral data and demographic data.

As a B2B company, it’s tempting to grab this technology and run with it, but deep down you know that consumers and companies just don’t behave in the same way. As B2B marketers, we need to take a different approach, which means not just different strategy but also different technology.

But What Exactly Does That Mean?

Well, first, let’s think about what that doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean using the same cookie-based technology and slapping a “B2B” label on it. Cookies don’t have the ability to give us data on companies, which means that in order to do B2B retargeting, we need new technology.

This was a topic of discussion at IAB Ad Lab this week, during the session “Retargeting: Making it Smarter.” The panel featured:

  • John Bergman, Sr. Manager of eCommerce & Interactive Marketing, Time Warner Cable;
  • Joe Meehan, VP Media Client Services at Merkle;
  • Louis Moynihan, VP of Business Development, Demandbase; and
  • Matt Cohen, President and Co-founder, OneSpot.

It was moderated by John Busby, SVP, Marchex Institute and Dave Tan, Head of Performance Media Agency Development, Google. The panel addressed some of the ways that retargeting is currently being leveraged and how we can improve on that. Essentially, for B2C companies, using retargeting technology to capture and market to all website visitors is a smart idea. For B2B companies, not so much.

Optimizing For Your Most Valuable Segment

That’s because 85% of B2B web traffic is from people or companies that never have a chance of buying. If you retarget every visitor to your website based on behavior alone, you’re shifting your spending to consumers, students and consultants.

B2B companies know who their most valuable prospects are, yet cookie-based technology is optimized to capture consumers. The way cookie-based campaigns are run don’t serve B2B companies. Most cookie-based targeting is based on recent history, but longer sales cycles in B2B business require an “always-on” execution, nurturing potentially interested buyers over time.

There are three key elements to successful B2B retargeting:

  1. Early detection of companies and assessment of onsite behavior that enables retargeting early in the buying process
  2. Using a company filter on traditional cookie pools by company, allowing consumers to be omitted and companies to be messaged distinctly
  3. Ongoing retargeting of valuable prospects – rather than one-off campaigns that count impressions

Why It Matters

Not only is B2C technology an ineffective way to reach and sell to B2B buyers, it’s extremely inefficient when it comes to cost. If only 15% of your traffic (at most) is actually from B2B, you’re wasting thousands of dollars and valuable energy targeting visitors that will never become customers.

To learn more about using retargeting to drive B2B business goals, read how Demandbase helps you advertise to B2B buying signals.