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Report: The Growing Use of Programmatic Ads Among B2B Marketers

programmatic-ads-arIf you’re not yet familiar with programmatic ads, it’s time to change that, because these types of ads are only getting more popular. In short, programmatic ad buying uses software to buy digital ad space, which is in contrast to the more traditional method of ad buying in which people make the purchase themselves. So basically, programmatic ad buying relies on machines to make decisions regarding ads using data, and thanks to the efficiency and cost effectiveness of this process, it’s growing in popularity. If you’re interested in trying it out, you’ll want to know the insights gathered by a report for Dun & Bradstreet, called Adweek BrandShare B2B Programmatic Becomes A Reality: Outlook 2017.

More B2B Marketers Than Ever Use Programmatic Ads

This report, which was conducted for Dun & Bradstreet by Adweek BrandShare in September 2016, involved 221 B2B marketers across the US. One of the most important findings is that 65 percent of B2B marketers buy or sell programmatic ads. One year ago, that number was 54 percent, so the amount of B2B marketers who use this method of buying ads has definitely grown.

And not surprisingly, it is expected to grow even more by 2017. Almost 70 percent of survey respondents said they’re planning to spend more on programmatic ads next year. More specifically, 47 percent said they will spend more, and 22 percent said they will spend a lot more, since they are planning to increase spending by at least 25 percent.

The report notes that the main reason for the increase is likely today’s ability to match up personally identifiable information with anonymous data. In addition, it’s now possible to target audiences across multiple platforms, including video, display, and social.

Why Don’t More B2B Marketers Use This Type of Ad?

Despite the growth of programmatic ads in B2B marketing, this method is still not as popular as it is among B2C marketers. The main reason for that seems to be that 42 percent of B2B marketers are having trouble targeting their intended audience with programmatic ads.

Another common challenge – according to 34 percent of respondents – involves measurement and metrics. The reason for this is that the B2B sales cycle tends to be long, so it can be difficult to measure the impact of each ad at every point in the marketing funnel.

And one point that you might have seen coming is that many people simply don’t know much about programmatic ads, which is why 29 percent said lack of knowledge is the reason they don’t use them. Fortunately, this challenge can be eliminated over time as more B2B marketers become familiar with this method, especially as more people see success with it.

Some B2B Marketers Don’t Use the Right Metrics to Measure Programmatic Ad Success

This report asked B2B marketers how they measured the success of this type of ad buying process, and the top KPI was conversions, at 47 percent. This is good news since it’s a common way to measure overall B2B marketing success, with leads and engagement being other great metrics to use.

However, this report also found that many marketers focus too much on impression-related metrics, including web traffic, which 44 percent of respondents pay attention to when measuring programmatic ad success. The problem is that this type of metric does not tell you if you converted anyone with your ads. This is why looking at the number of people who opened your email, went to your site, or clicked on your link isn’t the right way to track your programmatic advertising efforts. Instead, it’s best to focus on conversions, leads, and overall revenue when trying out programmatic ads.

As with so many other processes these days, advertising increasingly relies on technology, which indicates that programmatic ads are likely here to stay. They’re already popular among B2C marketers, and now they’re growing in usage among B2B marketers, too. If you want to learn more about this trend, check out the entire report and let us know your thoughts on it!