With Nagendra Sai
Associate Director, Programmatic, True Influence
The basic programmatic advertising metrics that track typical B2C display campaigns are only starting points for B2B marketers. Unlike consumer purchases, where a single click may result in immediate revenue, B2B buying cycles can last months and progress through complicated, sometimes overlapping research and justification phases. And many B2B purchases are made by buying groups of individuals, each of whom could be targeted with personalized ads tailored to their roles in the process.
To truly tap the potential of programmatic, B2B marketers work with a data-driven partner to gather enhanced demographic and account data for precise targeting and reporting. Marketers also benefit from an attribution system to track the real impact of programmatic across the entire purchase journey.
The results of advanced metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and custom reporting provide a clear picture of how programmatic brings to your bottom line.
Better Programmatic Advertising Metrics through Data
B2B marketers have several choices when it comes to measuring the performance of their programmatic advertising campaigns. Here’s a quick look at some of the possibilities.
Attribution for Revenue Analysis
Attribution is a process by which brands assign credit for a conversion to a touch or series of touches during a pre-defined conversion path. Such knowledge contributes to understanding where the marketing-generated revenue comes from.
Last Touch and Multi-Touch Attribution
Many DSPs offer built-in attribution toolsets, but these are mostly applicable to B2C, where, again, a single click can lead to revenue conversion. The most common attribution model is last touch, where the last ad viewed or clicked is credited. Many of our customers use this model, primarily due to its relative simplicity and ease of implementation, and most surveys tend to back up that observation.
Another leading model is multi-touch attribution (MTA), where a series of touches receive a percentage of credit for the conversion. This credit can be portioned out equally or on a sliding scale over time between the first touch and the conversion. MTA does require detailed mapping of the conversion path, even for fairly basic transactions.
Cross-Channel Attribution for Integrated Marketing
While MTA more closely resembles the ongoing conversion between a B2B prospect and advertiser, it still isn’t ideal for truly integrated B2B marketing. A completed B2B conversion may involve 7 to 10 ad touches, as well as email, phone and other outbound channels. And that doesn’t take into account the fact that, ultimately, sales is going to close the deal.
The best attribution approach for B2B is to integrate programmatic, outbound and all other possible touch points into one credit system (often described as omni-channel). Partners like True Influence support this by managing campaigns across multiple channels and tracking response by a unique identifier we maintain for each contact. We can also post conversions to your marketing automation platform using this identifier to track all your first-party interactions in a sequence that includes programmatic.
This kind of attribution does require some level of up-front effort, but it’s well worth it for sales and marketing teams to understand how each dollar spent impacts the bottom line. Without omni-channel attribution, there’s no viable way to track cost per qualified lead and other essential B2B KPIs. Need some help thinking through programmatic advertising analytics for your brand? Our programmatic innovation and experience will help.