Digital Advertising

How to Level Up Your B2B Advertising Campaigns with ABM

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March 20, 2024

5 mins read

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How to Level Up Your B2B Advertising Campaigns with ABM

Are your B2B advertising campaigns reaching the right people at the right accounts to drive your ROI?

It’s important to begin with a foundational truth about B2B advertising:

B2B buying is not the same as B2C buying, nor are the tools and technologies built for B2C advertising conducive to your success with B2B advertising.

While an advertiser might get lucky by selling to a single B2C customer via a single touch point (reaching the customer at the exact moment she wants to buy – think shoes), B2B buying cycles are longer and vastly more complex, with buying groups/committees that can have double-digit memberships and touch points in the triple digits (100 or more).

While you might occasionally get lucky with a lead, you can’t rely upon luck with accounts: instead, you need intelligent targeting and tailored engagement organized and coordinated around an account context. How can you get there?

Targeting your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

B2B advertising is all about targeting the right accounts and the right people within them, responding to their intent signals/needs during each stage of their buying journey.

Casting a wide net and focusing on quantity, the traditional B2C approach, simply doesn’t work for B2B advertising campaigns.

Increasing the volume of leads won’t help you, and is more likely to lead to untargeted, undifferentiated engagement that can actually diminish your brand reputation, while wasting your budgets. What matters for B2B advertising is identifying the people you need to engage with (i.e., the buying group at the account) and offering them relevant, timely information/messaging about your B2B offering.

Effective B2B advertising begins with carefully defining an ICP, engaging intelligently with them, and then measuring the quality of the engaged audience by the percentage of impressions, clicks, and conversions associated with that audience or ICP. We talk more about measurement best practices in the You Need B2B Ad Tech in 2024. Here’s Why. ebook.

Adtech Must Be Designed for B2B

Despite the popular 1980’s TV show, you can’t MacGyver your way to B2B advertising success by repurposing mismatched tools built for B2C advertising. You need adtech actually designed and built with B2B in mind. An account with a buying group of 12, a dedicated budget in six figures, and a massive list of potential software vendors is nothing like an individual lead who wants to buy a new hat. How you as a B2B marketer approach each context and the tools necessary to drive success within each context (account versus lead) are utterly and irreconcilably different.

When you invest in B2B advertising campaigns, you should be driving account awareness, opportunities, and revenue with adtech built specifically for an account context.

Marketing budgets are finite resources, especially in uncertain economic times when every dollar is put under a microscope. If your B2B advertising isn’t maximizing efficiency, allocating enough budget across all accounts to drive ROI, and lacks a strong account context for reporting and improving performance, you’re doing it wrong.

Top B2B Advertising Campaign Strategies

Now that we’ve established the importance of using adtech specifically designed for B2B, let’s assume you now have access to the best B2B ad tech.

What are the top strategies of 2024? There are well-established strategies that have evolved over the last few years, in addition to new trends that we highlighted in our State of B2B Advertising Report (2023). But let’s keep this simple and discuss what you should consider in 2024.

Your sales funnel is either simple (volume velocity business), complicated (larger enterprise), or something in between. Whatever the case may be, there exists three basic strategies; journey stage based segmentation, awareness campaigns, and supporting growth opportunities.

1. Journey-Based Segmentation

Creating dynamic advertising campaigns based on the current stage of the account is the simplest way to be incredibly successful with your digital advertising efforts. If this was your only strategy, it would ensure every account and the buying group within, will always see the most relevant messaging with little to no logistical work. Acting as an extension of your team, Demandbase will review specific messaging strategies for each of your stages.

2. Awareness Campaigns

Awareness campaigns are one-off or always-on campaigns that can be defined in a variety of ways; brand awareness for accounts and buying groups that are unengaged with your brand; re-engaging buying groups that previously interacted with your brand; or to support growth initiatives within an existing customer base. Typically, a very specific group of accounts are involved, which may very well be in different journey stages.

3. Growth Campaigns

Now more than ever, it’s important to not only protect your customer base, but to also grow it. To support these initiatives, it’s important to set up specific advertising campaigns to support customer happiness and to accelerate growth. For example, using display advertising to share best practices for existing products owned or to explain why product B (not owned by them) will be beneficial to their business and current partnership.

Within any of these strategies (and more), display, native, video, and connected TV advertising are the most valuable mediums to reach the right individuals.

Get to the Next Level with ABM Software for B2B Advertising

B2B advertisers seeking to optimize their spend and ad performance should strongly consider an end-to-end solution for account-based marketing.

What won’t work?

A cobbled-together point solution that layers third-party segments, often with unreliable and untargeted B2C data that brings more confusion than insight. Demandbase isn’t a media agency, nor do we compete with your agency. Instead, we partner with you to optimize your ABM outcomes.

We enable you to track all user activity to the account level, so you can better tailor and target your engagement to drive ROI. With Demandbase Advertising, all signals and optimizations from the platform to the bidder are focused on ABM outcomes, not on B2C leads.

We help you drive awareness, opportunities, and revenue with adtech built specifically for B2B, so you don’t waste your precious resources. Demandbase Advertising is a seamless extension of our platform, built from the ground up to deliver ABM effectiveness.

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B2B Go-To-Market Suite, Demandbase

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