Targeting has become one of B2B marketers’ most powerful tools for successful programmatic display advertising. This tactic refers to all the different ways brands begin construction of an audience for a campaign. Marketers want to identify appropriate individuals, groups, geographies or platforms, and there are a number of targeting tactics to consider. We’ll take a quick tour of some of them here.
8 Targeting Tactics for Programmatic Display
- Traditional Targeting
- Contextual Targeting
- Social Targeting
- ABM Targeting
- Hybrid Targeting
- Buying Groups
1 – Traditional Audience Targeting
The most common means of defining an audience, traditional audience segment targeting uses standard technographic, firmographic, demographic and intent filters to define an audience.
Traditional targeting seeks a specific audience segment defined by:
- Company size – employee and/or revenue
- Job functions/roles/titles
- Relevant intent topics/ keywords
2 – ABM Targeting
True account-based marketing (ABM) refers to a programmatic tactic that only targets a brand’s ABM list. Small audiences are notoriously difficult to target in programmatic. Unless you have a tightly defined ABM audience or are restricted from engaging additional or different members of that audience (as is sometimes the case), it’s always advisable to seek ways to grow that audience.
3 – Hybrid Targeting
Hybrid targeting, or look-alike modeling, is the process of augmenting an audience with companies and individuals with characteristics similar to the original target. Often used to increase a brand’s ABM file, hybrid targeting identifies potentially new prospects for campaigns.
Variables like these help create look-alike audiences:
- Company size – employees or revenue
- Job functions/roles/titles
- Relevant intent topics/keywords
4 – Buying Group Targeting
Buying group targeting refers to engaging with the likely team of buyers responsible for a certain purchase decision within in-market accounts. B2B brands research the personas of individuals who comprise the buying group. Buying group roles would normally include:
- Decision makers
- Line-of-business leaders
- End users
Each member of a buying group brings a perspective based upon their role. For example, the purchase of an HR-related software product will involve several individuals, each examining the solution through their own lens. A line-level HR manager would require that the product meet HR business requirements. An IT person would need it to integrate with other HR-related software. Finance would require efficiencies to reduce overhead costs over the term of the license agreement. Although the solution will impact HR, multiple individuals participate in the purchase decision to assure the solution meets the greater needs of the organization.
In addition to expanding an ABM audience, buying group targeting exposes the entire purchasing team to programmatic content related to the brand’s solutions. Fully engaged buying groups typically lead to increased sales cycle velocity, as well as increased deal size and closure rates.
5 – Contextual Targeting
Contextual topic targeting is the practice of placing display media ads based on a website’s content. A programmatic display example would be running an ad for security software on a website with a blog post about secure data storage.
Contextual targeting puts ads within the context of what someone would naturally be observing or reading. It’s aiming ads at a specific audience defined by internet users browsing content related to specific topics or keywords.
6 – Social Targeting
Increasingly, social media platforms are being used to launch targeted display programs. From a business-to-business perspective, many brands currently use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels. Marketers may have performance or branding objectives, depending on the channel, with metrics typically as CPM.
7 – Geo-Targeting
Geo-targeting refers to advertisers focusing on individuals based on physical location. Two targeting methods are associated with geo-targeting for programmatic display.
The first, radius targeting, focuses on individuals located within a defined distance from a center point. For example, a business targeting prospects for a regional event would use radius targeting of prospects within a reasonable driving distance of the event location.
Geo-fencing is another common form of geo-targeting. It provides the ability to identify specific coordinates. For example, an internet service provider may target newly constructed office facilities or buildings where new customers have yet to sign up for services.
8 – Retargeting
And let’s not forget retargeting. This involves prospect data about individuals who’ve been part of other initiatives. Retargeting tactics have proven effective in increasing engagement with prospects who may already be familiar with your brand.
Retargeting Tactics for Programmatic Display
- Lead Retargeting
- Buying Groups
- Previous Campaign Non-Converters
- Previous Campaign Non-Responders
- Site Retargeting (Pixels)
- Campaign Optimization (Pixels)
Eager to see where targeting can take your programmatic display strategy? So are we. Let’s connect soon.