The Evolution of Programmatic Buying for B2B Marketers

Racepoint Global

Written by: Suzy Hill ─ VP, Paid Media

Dun and Bradstreet just released its newest report on B2B advertising and marketing, and it seems that programmatic has not only become the standard for B2B marketers but also is expected to grow in 2018. This is long overdue─ programmatic has long been a valuable channel for consumer campaigns, but the B2B community has been slower to adopt.

What’s been holding programmatic back in B2B? Longer purchase cycles could be one reason that growth has historically been slower for programmatic. B2B product purchase decisions are also more involved than for consumer products, making it hard to depend on a banner or video to convert a buyer. The good news is in recent years, programmatic partners have expanded to include native, lead gen, account-based marketing and CRM system integration offerings, which have made it a more viable and useful solution for B2B campaigns.

One key point from the study is that B2B marketers are increasingly concerned about the reliability of their buys. Brand safety and viewability are top of mind for every CMO, and this is where agency partners can help companies navigate the pitfalls of programmatic. Here at Racepoint Global, we use third-party technology to ensure the quality of our programmatic buys and require full transparency from our vendors. When applicable, we prefer to work with a PMP or Private Marketplace to ensure our inventory is being placed on quality sites.

With brand safety ensured, B2B marketers also need to consider when their audience is seeing brand content. Of course, B2B buyers have a life outside the office and consume media every day, but when I am relaxing on the weekend, do I really want to be hit with an ad to download a whitepaper from a vendor? Am I likely to be more responsive during the work week? Understanding when the audience is in the B2B vs. B2C mindset and being careful about timing and context is key. B2B marketers and their agencies need to work closely with programmatic partners to ensure their ads are not just being seen, but the audience is receptive to their message and ready to learn more.