The current trend in digital media is to move online advertising to trading desks, ad exchanges or real time bidding platforms. These platforms provide access to enormous pools of advertising inventory and allow media buyers to cherry pick their exact target audience, based on a wide range of audience data available for targeting.

However, for enterprise B2B marketers, these approaches are not mature enough to broadly support demand generation marketing. The challenges these platforms continue to face are access to sufficient high quality inventory and access to data appropriate for targeting company sizes and roles.

Published market research differs on the relative importance on audience and context, however the research I have seen does not align with the typical B2B marketing audience experience.

The problem: consuming traditional B2B content used for demand generation requires a significant time commitment. Taking the time to dive into a whitepaper or watch a webcast imposes a major time requirement.

Demand generation marketing that requires a prospect to take time to register in anticipation of taking additional time to consume the content or information that is offered cannot rely on out of context advertising.

Before enterprise B2B marketers embrace modern media buying they must first embrace a new content consumption model. One that puts content in front of registration and provides content that can be consumed and shared without an extended disruption.

I have had the opportunity to see the difference this makes in recent months with a client that has driven traffic to both a registration-based landing page and an open landing page with opportunities to consumer short form content in multiple formats, without registration.

Open Landing Page Results

Audience targeting was very cost effective, driving lower cost per page view and a highly engaged audience. In total, audience targeting could deliver the same level of engagement and content consumption for a 35% lower investment.

Registration Page Results

The registration rates for visitors driven by audience targeted media buys were significantly lower than for visitors from targeted industry publications. Despite much lower media costs, the average cost per registration for audience targeted media buys was 250% higher for from industry publications.

Are you interested in testing new media buying approaches? If so, make certain you consider how the rest of our marketing may need to change as well.

Your Turn

What is your view on audience targeting? Have you had a different experience with audience targeting for enterprise B2B? Please share your experience or view below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

If you represent a DSP and want to prove me wrong, let’s discuss.