B2B Programmatic Challenges, Opportunities and Best Practices: An Interview with MultiView Data Expert, Carl Robitaille
Carl Robitaille, MultiView’s senior manager of programmatic strategy and performance, lives and breathes B2B data-driven advertising. On a daily basis he helps clients and their dedicated account managers excel in targeting buyers.
MH: Have you noted a difference in programmatic strategy methodologies for B2B vs. B2C?
Carl Robitaille: B2C is much more cut and dry compared to B2B. For instance, if you are looking for a pair of sneakers, you can conduct a simple keyword search and be targeted with a relevant ad for it. Relatively speaking, it is pretty easy for that advertiser to recognize you as a buyer. B2B is a bit more complicated. In B2B we are consistently looking to create opportunities for finding audiences because the causal keyword relationship is not always as clear. Programmatic advertising is a tremendous help for businesses that would traditionally have had a harder time getting in front of their customers. In the past, B2B was limited to trade shows, events, website content, direct mailings, etc. It was hard to scale without wasting a lot of money and time. With B2B programmatic, you can maximize the impact of your investment.
MH: What are the biggest growth areas for B2B in the programmatic space?
Carl Robitaille: Data onboarding for first-party information is a huge growth area for B2B. With email you can capture device IDs and profiles – serving impressions and ads based on that information to improve campaign placements and messaging moving forward.
MH: Can any company, whether small or large, utilize in-house programmatic?
Carl Robitaille: In-house programmatic can be cost prohibitive for small- to mid-sized companies due to the challenge of capturing and managing data, managing programmatic campaigns and building audiences. The work requires additional staff, knowledge and expertise that many of these organizations lack. This is how an agency fits in the equation. You can go to an agency that is experienced in your market and partnered with a demand-side platform, and it can use its collective resources and buying power to help you run the campaign you want.
You see a lot of marketing generalists out there that have a big-picture idea of what they are doing but lack the resources to execute the details. They are missing a professional display ad creative, data analyst, account manager, etc., and as a result, their campaign suffers. That is quite often the story for most of our clients on the small business side. Their organizational resources, time and knowledge simply do not allow them to operate at scale without an agency partner.
MH: What are the biggest barriers in utilizing data for programmatic campaigns?
Carl Robitaille: When you work in programmatic, you quickly notice that the data actually becomes more expensive than the actual media buy itself. This is especially true with second- and third-party data. You have to be very cognizant of where this data is coming from, especially if you are in B2B. There are not necessarily large audiences for these niche B2B groups, and that drives up the price.
MH: What kind of information would you purchase from a second party?
Carl Robitaille: You would purchase a pool of specific device IDs for the audience. You would also purchase SEO data to learn who visited which site and for how long.
MH: Any final pointers for running programmatic campaigns?
Carl Robitaille: There are a lot of hidden costs that you wouldn’t necessarily be thinking about until you started planning and running a campaign. The costs include so much more than the media buy itself. This is why I advise working with a good, transparent agency partner to make sure you are getting the most for your budget.
MH: What new developments are on the horizon for the programmatic industry?
Carl Robitaille: I believe you will soon see the demand-side platforms grow vertically and adopt data management platform capabilities. You will be able to store and dissect mass quantities of data and then use it for tailoring ad buys all with one vendor.