Programmatic advertising takes the term “data driven” to a whole new level. While many advertisers are using first and third-party data to target their campaigns, they may not be leveraging their data to the fullest possible extent. It’s more than just putting the data into play – it’s really delving into the data at hand, learning from it, and putting those learnings into action.
That’s why, when advertisers optimize their programmatic campaigns, there are a lot of layers to consider. It’s more than just optimization, it’s refining the targeting process, layering data from all sources – device data, intent data and more – and bringing all of this together to drive the best possible performance.
For optimal results, advertisers need to consider the following factors:
Often, targeting data and scale work at counterpoint. The more data a marketer applies to target a campaign, the fewer potential buyers the marketer can reach. While that’s truly a function of targeting, and while it makes advertising much more efficient, sometimes scale can suffer greatly, and a campaign never reaches any kind of critical mass.
This was a bigger problem in the past, but today there are large troves of available B2B data – enough to get a full 360-degree view of the customer while still reaching a large audience. Still, it’s critical for marketers to balance data with scale to ensure they get the accuracy they need without sacrificing scale. Pulling in data from third parties to supplement in-house and demographic data can definitely help.
Performance is the most important aspect of any programmatic campaign, of course, and arguably the most important single factor for which to optimize. In B2B, our KPIs are usually more performance-based, which makes them easier to optimize versus branding initiatives. If prospects aren’t downloading, registering or opting-in, we know – relatively quickly – that campaigns aren’t working as they should.
From there, it’s a matter of determining which lever to adjust, whether it’s the creative, the targeting, the budget or all three. Data is the key to determining what’s broken, what needs to be revamped and what needs to be amped up. Analytics will tell if your creative is resonating with a certain audience segment, but not with others. With that knowledge, you can target audiences with similar attributes to your responders, or add in intent data or surge data – if you’re not already using them – to refine your targeting.
Because budgets are rarely bottomless (to the dismay of marketers), we always need to optimize for cost. Programmatic helps make advertising more efficient by targeting campaigns accurately. Keep in mind though, that as targets get narrower, costs per engagement, clicks or impressions may go up, but overall campaign costs are likely to stay down as a result of fewer wasted engagements. As an example, armed with surge data, marketers can target decision makers and influencers within target companies who are in-market for a particular product or service for a CPC campaign.
Because they’re only targeting specific companies who are known by their behavior to be in-market, there are very few wasted clicks. While individual click costs may be higher as a result of that narrower targeting, overall campaign costs will be lower (again, because the campaign is more efficient) and ROI will be higher overall.
4. Stack Integration
The marketing stack is getting more and more complicated, we know, but it’s critical to ensure your data is integrated through every layer. If the CRM data and campaign analytics aren’t linked, if everything isn’t interwoven, marketers will never get a true 360-degree view of their customers. Without that infusion of data across applications, it’s nearly impossible to drill down who your customers and prospects really are, what they want and what they need to make a purchase decision. That’s information marketers need – critically – for optimization. If you’re struggling to pull data into any layer of your stack, contact your partner for the support you need to make it happen.
Real-time optimization has always been one of the key advantages of digital advertising. With data-driven programmatic, those advantages improve tenfold. When marketers embrace the power of data to improve every aspect of their B2B campaigns, the benefits can be tremendous.