Selling B2B programmatic to the skeptical boss

Selling B2B programmatic to the skeptical boss

Slack and Company | May 10, 2017

You’ve sat through the conference sessions, attended the webinars and read the articles; they all reinforce what you already know: programmatic advertising is on the rise in B2B, and is being used more every year.

Yet, for so many progressive marketers, getting the green light to run a real field test of this exciting channel can be quite the grind.

Frustrating. But, understandable.

To your boss, it may sound as though you’re asking to potentially change the process they have always used to negotiate and purchase what is typically one of an organization’s biggest marketing expenses.

Where you see an opportunity for improvement, they see the professional relationships they have built with publishers they have known for years, maybe longer, being replaced by a dashboard.

"Here’s your headline: 'Programmatic advertising reaches key B2B influencers and decision makers at frequencies and price points that traditional methods just can’t match.'"

Terry McDermott, Media Director.

As a B2B marketing agency, it’s our job to help marketers shake up the status quo.

After spending the last few years overcoming the dug-in skepticism about programmatic in B2B, we’d like to share three key talking points you can use to help get your proposal funded.

1. "Programmatic advertising will help us more efficiently reach our goals."

Programmatic doesn’t just help you reach more prospects. It helps you meet more of the right prospects.

Bidding for your ads to be served programmatically through ad exchanges lowers costs— cost per thousand (CPM), cost per click (CPC), cost per conversion and others—across the board when compared to buying directly through publishers. In fact, 55% of B2B marketers invested in programmatic advertising specifically for its cost-effectiveness.

And for that reduced cost, you’ll receive more impressions, clicks and conversions that build the top of your funnel—all without increasing the budget.

You can take programmatic a step further by using it to distribute proven, highly engaging content. That content will not only go to more people who might not have found it earlier, it will also go to people who are already more likely to interact with it.

2. "Programmatic advertising is not a fad—we’re probably already doing it."

“If you’re buying any kind of remarketing, then you’re basically already doing a simple form of programmatic” says Terry McDermott, our director of media.

Retargeting is simply the process of finding users that have visited and been cookied by your site on other networks or platforms like Facebook or Google Display Network, then serving them ads on that network or platform.

And you can tell your boss you already know that this process works; marketers who used GDN (which is a free service, by the way) to advertise programmatically to similar audiences typically saw 60% more impressions, 48% clicks and 41% more conversions.

3. "Programmatic advertising fits into our current media strategy."

Programmatic is an inherently complementary media strategy—it’s easy to manage campaign costs and it can reach a large audience.

But programmatic doesn’t make more traditional media placement any less important. The best part about direct advertising with trade publications is that you can be reasonably sure that your audience is already in the mood to see your ad and view your content.

In fact, we recommend to our own clients that programmatic advertising take up no more than half of your online media buy. That figure ought to help lower some blood pressure.

Bonus tip: Run a skunkworks test

Before you talk to your boss, consider putting your remarketing data through a trial run on Google Display Network and generate a 100-response data set. That’ll help you preemptively answer some important questions, like:

  • What is the cost per acquisition for one of your direct media campaigns?
  • How many new impressions did your programmatic ad get?
  • How many people interacted with the content offer or filled out the form?
  • How many conversions did you get?
  • And how much did all that cost you?

That last question will make things interesting. “Almost nothing but time” is a hard answer to beat.

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