What is People-Based Advertising?

Reach the Right Individuals in the Right Accounts with People-Based Advertising

What is people-based advertising?

People-based advertising gives B2B marketers the ability to serve digital ads to specific individuals. While true B2B advertising focuses first on reaching the right accounts, it’s also important to reach the right individual people at those accounts.

People-based advertising is an advanced method of serving impressions that requires first or third-party contact data (e.g. business emails). This data is used with identity resolution technology which can identify opted-in users across the open web. This hyper-targeted approach spends digital marketing budgets much more efficiently, since there’s little to no wasted spend compared to the way most programmatic advertising channels target today.

Types of people-based advertising

In B2B advertising, people-based advertising is typically synonymous with person-based advertising, persona-based advertising, title-based advertising, known-contact advertising, and more. Demandbase offers two types of people-based advertising: known-contact and persona-based. This means that when a bid impression opportunity occurs on a publisher’s website, a decision to bid for the impression will occur if the web visitor matches to a person or persona that you want to reach.

Here’s a simplistic illustration of the workflow in Demandbase’s known-contact advertising:

Diagram of known contact targeting in people-based advertising

Here’s a simplistic illustration of the workflow of Demandbase’s persona-based advertising:

Diagram of persona targeting in people-based advertising

What you should know about people-based advertising

Specific individuals are not always identifiable on the open web since many business users are privacy conscious and minimize third-party cookie tracking. This is important to understand in order to set proper expectations when it comes to the ability to reach specific people or personas with advertising impressions.

Reachability is another consideration, since most B2B digital marketers prefer to only serve ads on B2B safe and B2B relevant content. This is typically a finite list of publishers. This strategy lessens the risk of their brand showing up next to questionable content. As a result, there will be a smaller amount of opportunities to reach them with a digital ad.

Since not all individuals are identifiable with a people-based advertising strategy, Demandbase deploys intent-based optimization within every campaign to accompany people-based advertising. This ensures we reach the entire buying committee that you’re intending to serve an impression to.

What does a good strategy look like?

At Demandbase, we believe that a good people-based advertising strategy can involve several different components depending upon what B2B buyer journey stage the lead and/or account is in.

Using known contacts is a great way to get ads in front of people already in your CRM.
However, for accounts in earlier journey stages it may be more effective to pair multiple components with known contacts, such as job level, job function, or persona.

Consider an account in the engaged journey stage. You might only have a few contacts at the account that have expressed interest in your solutions. While you want to stay in front of those known contacts, you also want to expand your reach and get impressions from people at the account that are not yet in your CRM. Layering on job function targeting can accomplish this.

Interested in learning how to better target across the web to reach the right people at the right time? Discover our demand-side platform (DSP) and continue moving towards Smarter Go-to-Market™ (GTM).