Why A Single B2B Display Ad Campaign is a Waste of Time

display-adsA successful B2B target account display ad campaign requires a fair amount of hard work and planning. Your target account list needs to be built and segmented, relevant content needs to be created and matched to the campaign targets and the web experience needs to be consistent with the advertising experience.

There’s a popular misconception that once you’ve shipped the ad creative, all the work is over. In fact, getting the first campaign started is just the first step. If you don’t review and iterate once the campaign is live, you lose the opportunity to foster deeper cust omer relationships and to be honest, you’re not likely to get (or prove) ROI for that single B2B ad campaign.

That’s because in B2C, one ad campaign is sufficient to drive a purchase. In B2B, a single ad campaign is only one element of a long, multifaceted customer lifecycle.

In B2B, a single ad campaign is only one element of a long, multifaceted customer lifecycle.

While display advertising is often thought of as a top-of-the-funnel tactic, if you connect your ad campaigns to activities through the buyer’s journey, you’ll ultimately be able to trace them directly to a sale. On the other hand, if you don’t include account lifecycle management as part of your process, you lose out on the full benefits of a successful ad campaign. All the hard work you put in to that initial campaign will go to waste as your connection with the customer ultimately fizzles.

To get the most out of your company-targeted advertising, follow these three steps to begin account lifecycle management.

  1. Stick with your target account list for a set time period
    Results do not happen overnight, particularly in B2B. Allow time for campaigns to work and for your prospects to be come familiar with your message. Commit to a specific number of weeks or months – your average sales cycle length is a good place to start
  2. Review progress consistently
    Review the status of target accounts on a consistent basis to see how they’re engaging with ads and also how they’re moving through the funnel. This can be a daily, weekly, or monthly but an up-to-date understanding of account progress helps you asses the effectiveness of your message and can also influence your next communication.
  3. Identify and proactively move accounts through the funnel
    Based on the progress review, identify accounts that are ready to move forward in your sale process. At a certain point, your target accounts will need a different message or content to support the sales process. Move high-performing, highly engaged accounts into nurture campaigns or even share extremely active account with your sales force for a more direct approach.

Given how much work it takes to launch an ad campaign, it’s ironic that ad account lifecycle management is often overlooked by many B2B marketers. Following the three simple steps above is the difference between a one-off “we think that might have worked” campaign and cohesive ad strategy that moves target accounts from prospect to opportunity.