Programmatic Advertising for the B2B Marketer – Four Key Considerations

Across the board, advertisers are rethinking their programmatic playbook amid the COVID-19 upheaval and it’s creating an entirely new set of challenges to grapple with. This is especially true for B2B advertisers who already have prolonged consideration stages and a narrower set of decision-makers to engage. For B2B advertisers, now more ever, a novel strategic approach is critical to sustaining growth and momentum. Below, are four key considerations that will help you get the most out of your media budget when targeting a B2B audience.

1. Using KPIs that Work for B2B

In the digital advertising world, we’re used to instant and attributable return on our ad spend. However, according to a 2019 Miller Heiman report, 75% of B2B sales to new customers take at least 4 months to close.

Consequently, the main focus of any B2B campaign should be raising awareness and nurturing interest. Whereas in a typical B2C campaign, an insightful conversion event may be an e-commerce purchase, consider moving B2B KPI’s up the funnel – perhaps a content download or general awareness.

2. Content is King

Speaking of content, there is no better way to keep B2B buyers interested than to point them towards engaging content. In a study by the Content Marketing Institute, a sophisticated approach to content was found to be the best barometer of B2B success. While many companies are already investing resources in building great content, they are not always doing all they can to amplify that content. 

A great way to promote engaging content with programmatic is through native advertising. Effectively placed native ads draw B2B decision-makers to your content, subsequently building trust and pushing them down the funnel.

3. Focused Targeting is a Must

In many B2C campaigns, it’s acceptable to target large audience segments containing many millions of users. The challenge we face with B2B strategy is that the group of decision-makers is much smaller than most of the audiences that data providers are supplying out of the box. And today, many decision-makers are working remotely, from their home and away from a business that can be reached with IP-targeted campaigns. 

Fortunately, B2B data providers such as Bombora and Dun & Bradstreet supply advertisers with custom segments built on device IDs and job role/title data in addition to IP data. These custom segments allow B2B advertisers to target and retarget a relatively small audience of decision-makers. Uploading a list of target accounts or target job roles and taking an account-based marketing (ABM) approach can aid us in programmatically reaching key accounts and avoid wasting spend on users that aren’t in the set of prospective buyers.

By utilizing ABM, you gain important insights that can be leveraged by an enterprise sales team further down the funnel. Knowing which accounts are flagging interest by engaging with digital ads allows for a better allocation of resources across the organization. 

4. Remarketing to Nurture

As mentioned above, the B2B buying cycle often lasts several months. With this in mind, any digital B2B strategy should include a sophisticated and prolonged remarketing strategy. The remarketing pool of our B2B campaign is the most valuable tool we have to turn considerers into purchasers. 

Feel free to leave users in your remarketing pool longer than you would for a B2C campaign and continue to point them towards relevant content. B2B buyers are engaged in a lengthy buying process and often have to sell your product internally. Using programmatic remarketing, keeping your brand top of mind and supplying them with content long after they’ve left your website will help buyers make a decision and help you to make the sale.

The challenges that B2B marketing presents to digital advertisers are unique, especially during the coronavirus outbreak. Fortunately, the tactics above are purpose-built for those challenges. Any worthwhile B2B marketing effort should include digital advertising, but the digital approach must be tailor-made for business objectives and for reaching customers wherever they are. 

Interested in reading more about effective tactics to incorporate into your B2B strategy during the coronavirus outbreak? Download our Responding to Coronavirus: For B2B Marketers here

Responding to the Coronavirus: How Retail and E-Commerce Advertisers Can Engage with Customers in New Ways

Retail companies, like many other industries, are being severely hit by the outbreak of the coronavirus. Over the past few weeks, as stay-at-home orders have swept across the nation (and word), many retail locations have closed their brick-and-mortar store locations. The future poses many questions and challenges that are changing daily or weekly and the team at Digilant is committed to closely monitoring the impact of coronavirus on consumer behavior. Staying up to date with consumers’ sentiment during this time enables our team to provide the best digital advertising recommendations to retail and e-commerce advertisers during this time of uncertainty.

First-and-foremost, experts agree that now is not the time for brands to go dark, but rather “marketers should be using this time to double down on its consumer relationship.” Tailoring your messaging to what consumers want to hear from brands is essential during this time.

Communication and Customer Service is Essential

Brands need to keep their customers informed during this time and not just with sales and promotions. In a recent study by Kantar,  78% of consumers expect brands to look after their employees first and foremost. Updating your employees about the safety protocol your team is implemented is important. Once you have ensured your customers understand your safety precautions, inform them where and how to get a hold of your team: website chat box, social media, email. Updating them on online shopping opportunities, any shipping delays or backorders needs to be done ASAP. Now is the best time to master your customer service and communication with customers.

Advertising is still important

In the same Kantar study, only 8% of respondents indicated that brands should stop advertising. But, it is very important to keep in mind that if you continue to advertise, tailor your messaging appropriately – you don’t want to seem out of touch with a “come into our store..” message. Rather, address how you can help consumers navigate this new normal and use a reassuring tone.

Adapt to new channels

If you make the decision to continue to advertise, recognize that consumers are spending more time on social media and watching television while at home. 64% of surveyed users expect their usage of YouTube to increase, while 63% expect their Facebook usage to increase. Think about either implementing these channels or ramping up if you already use them.

Now is a great time to allocate budget towards CTV and OTT. Reach the growing cord-cutting and cord-never audiences, achieve high completion and viewability rates, and access premium networks cost-efficiently compared to Linear TV.  Digilant has a wide range of CTV/OTT inventory, alongside a partnership with platforms such as Hulu.

Tailor your Messaging

As mentioned above, during this constantly-changing situation, making sure your messaging is consistent, thoughtful and helpful for consumers is extremely important.  We have created a guide for retail and e-comm companies that outlines strategic messaging and advertising suggestions for retail and e-comm advertiser, which includes:

  • How to properly speak to different generations and where to find them. Hint: you won’t find Gen Z on Facebook nearly as much as TikTok and Snapchat.
  • How to utilize the power of Amazon. Amazon announcing that they will stop accepting supplier shipments of anything non-essentials creates an opportunity for online retailers to snag business from high-intent “would-be” Amazon customers
  • Tools to keep your brand fresh so you’re ready for the bounceback

Download the guide here

Responding to the Coronavirus: For Travel Advertisers

The novel coronavirus outbreak, also known as COVID-19,  has severely affected the tourism industry due to flight cancellations, travel restrictions and a drop in demand for  travel as people seek to reduce the risk of infection. Managing expectations of current and future customers has become even more important during this period of uncertainty. Digilant is committed to closely monitoring the impact of coronavirus on consumer behavior in order to provide the best digital advertising recommendations to advertisers during this time of uncertainty.

In this guide, you’ll find four things you should consider to stay connected to customers and to prepare for economic recovery during this challenging time.

Download the guide here

Buying Responsibly and with Heart During the Coronavirus Outbreak

It’s a complicated time where brands must balance between being empathetic toward the stress real-life Americans are feeling and the need to move forward with business for the good of their employees. For those brands that remain in-market, there is a window of opportunity to drive business value.

We’re in the middle of an election cycle, which historically has inflated the cost of media as much as 10%. However, the Coronavirus outbreak has turned this reality on its head. During this unprecedented time, there are two key trends advertisers should be aware of:


The daily routine of consumers has shifted. Consumers are consuming more content online, on social, or on Connected TV.


Many advertisers have stopped spending either because their industry is being seriously disrupted, or the uncertainty has caused them to pause.

Simply put, there is more opportunity to reach consumers and fewer brands opting to do so. The law of supply and demand dictates that this is a buyer’s market. Advertisers should be able to reach consumers at a lower cost, and it’s during a period of time where advertisers should have been spending more because of the election. Essentially, paid media is having a flash sale. 

And this is exactly what we are seeing at Digilant. Over the past few days, even though many of our advertisers are shifting to lower funnel tactics that are more costly, we’ve seen CPMs dip:

CPMs During the Coronavirus OutbreakSource: Facebook (average of all Digilant campaigns across all verticals and tactics.)

Savvy brands are using this window of time to share a positive message and to test in areas they would not usually test. 

A few ideas:

  • Consider a campaign that spread positivity, shows the empathy of your brand and illustrates how you’re helping those affected by the crisis. Build brand equity.
  • High-risk populations need access to goods and services they usually shop in-store. Make them aware that you are there to serve them in their time of need.
  • Consumers are already financially impacted. Reach those consumers who may need a discount more than ever.

It’s important to use this opportunity to do good and be useful. And be sure to act quickly. It’s only a matter of time before we all take a collective deep breath and realize this is just a passing cloud. Stay safe out there.


18 Expert WFH Tips for Marketers in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

“It’s critical to have a routine and set expectations on availability if you want to successfully work from home. To establish a routine, wake up and start work at the same time each day. If you don’t have an office at home already set up, designate a work area to establish boundaries with everyone you live with. When you’re done for the day, leave your workspace. In addition, try to be active and get outside for at least 30 minutes a day. 

“Using high-speed internet ensures access to VPN, Google Drive, and Uber conferences easily. Stay engaged during meetings and don’t shy away from video calls. Lastly, keep your calendar up to date with time away from your desk for appointments and important errands, so colleagues know how and when to reach you.”

– Raquel Rosenthal, CEO Digilant

Coronavirus, consumers, and your media budget.

At Digilant, we exist to create unique, actionable, and effective ways for advertisers to connect with consumers on digital channels. As Coronavirus (COVID-19) and social distancing impact how people do business around our country (and the world), we realize this isn’t business as usual. We empathize with those facing difficult decisions to pause/cancel campaigns and to pivot marketing strategies. We’re committed to doing all we can help our clients and advertisers at large to navigate this new normal.

We’ve received many questions from clients on how to move forward with, cancel, or postpone marketing activities and advertising campaigns. Whether you are a brand weighing the impact of changing your advertising strategy, or an agency making a tough call on behalf of a brand client, we want to help you stay ahead of emerging challenges and “in the know” on alternative ways to stay connected with consumers as the impact of Coronavirus unfolds.

To share an excerpt from Sequoia Capital’s recent post:

“…nobody ever regrets making fast and decisive adjustments to changing circumstances. In downturns, revenue and cash levels always fall faster than expenses. In some ways, business mirrors biology. As Darwin surmised, those who survive ‘are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.’”

While we are still uncertain of the lasting impact the Coronavirus will have on advertisers and our economy overall, we can be certain that a “wait and see” approach is a high risk for advertisers looking to sustain demand. 

In the face of uncertainty, it can feel good to take some concrete action. Here’s what we recommend you consider. We hope you find it useful.

Protect your brand with keyword blacklists

48% of consumers report that they would avoid a brand that appears next to undesirable content or fake news. If you have concerns over your ads surrounding questionable content, consider creating a blacklist of any concerning keywords surrounding the Coronavirus. 

Test a new channel (CTV anyone?)

As the “homebody” economy booms, content streaming is on the rise. This is especially true for multi-screen consumers who are streaming Connected TV (CTV) content while simultaneously tuned in to broadcast TV to catch the latest news.  

Rethink dominant device and channel day-parts

Mobile is king when it comes to the morning commute. As more employers ask employees to work from home, we may find fewer consumers streaming podcasts and playing mobile games during the morning hours as they log on to desktop/laptop devices first thing.

Engage in-store customers, online

40% of consumers who have altered their in-store shopping routines have reported that they are “avoiding or limiting visits to shopping centers/malls” and more than 30% are avoiding stores in general. Lean into CRM data to activate loyal in-store shoppers with offers to shop your digital storefront. 

Get a piece of the Amazon pie

Amazon is seeing an uptick in sales and as a result, is expanding its workforce by 100k. To get a piece of this pie, tap into Amazon’s point of sale and intent data for your media buys. Reach audiences programmatically on Amazon sites and apps, Amazon Publisher Services, and third-party exchanges.

Ramp up authenticity and slash production costs with user-generated content

Consumers are 2.4X more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. Repurpose user-generated content in your digital advertising campaigns to capture consumers’ attention and engage them in a non-intrusive way.

B2B advertisers, dip your toes in Account-Based Marketing

In response to conference cancellations, be proactive. Leverage Bombora or Dun & Bradstreet data segments to drive account-based and job title/role targeted campaigns that reach your B2B audience on display, social, and beyond. 


We hope you, your colleagues, and your family are staying healthy during this uncertain time. We’re in this together and always here to help. 

If you have any unanswered questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Voice of Experience: Raquel Rosenthal, CEO of Digilant

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Authored by Nicki Gilmour

Believe in yourself, be hardworking and tenacious, advises Digilant’s Raquel Rosenthal, but never forget that
determination is a big part of success.

“Don’t let the little stuff get to you, but keep looking at the goals with your eye on the prize,” she says, an attitude that she attributes to her sales background. When you’re young and on a superstar path, you want to get there quickly, but you need to continue to work on yourself. With any blip, I kept focused and realized that even if my time wasn’t now, it was coming.”

Raquel Rosenthal, Digilant CEO

That determination has given Rosenthal a front row seat to the transformation of the digital world over her career. In college she worked at her campus radio station as a sales manager, then got a position at a local publication called the Advantage where she worked for a year before starting her own publication, which she ran for four years. “While I started on the traditional side, I focused my career on the digital advertising industry and emerging markets. I have always been entrepreneurial, which has shaped me and how I’ve grown my career,” she says.

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How marketers are making the best of SXSW and other events being canceled

With the cancellation of big industry events, including SXSX, Expo West and the Adobe Summit, brands, especially B2B, are seeing a challenge. Large portions of marketing budgets are invested to speak, exhibit and attend industry events, but not all opportunities should be lost. Brands that want to take concrete action should be thinking about how else they can reach their target audiences that attend these trade shows. For example, tapping into Dunn & Bradstreet data segments to power account-based marketing, and leverage data that analyzes job titles, allows brands to reach B2B audiences on LinkedIn and industry publications. For B2C brands, companies should take advantage of the recent drop in CPMs, to support brand awareness objectives, that were derailed due to event cancellations.

Farewell to Third-Party Cookies

Earlier this year Google Chrome announced that they will be phasing out 3rd party cookies over the next 24 months. Why? There is an industry-wide shift to providing more privacy protection to consumers. We first saw this with Europe’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and later with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Consumers value personal data privacy and have come to expect to have the power to “opt-out” or say “no” to cookie tracking.

So what does this mean for advertising stakeholders? One of the first things to consider is the significance of Google Chrome. Google dominates the web browser and digital ad markets, accounting for more than half of all web traffic worldwide. This market dominance creates new implications for advertisers who rely on 3rd party cookies to power successful advertising campaigns. This “new normal” will make it difficult for advertisers to target users based on behavior but we think it will also spur innovation and creativity in the digital advertising space.

What does this mean for the buy-side?

Google’s massive footprint enables them to identify users and show personalized ads without the need of a cookie or device ID, so this will only increase their ability to dominate the ad tech ecosystem. Only Facebook and Amazon arguably have large enough footprints to compete. Independent DSP technologies will struggle to compete as they will be at a disadvantage when trying to drive media performance and optimization. This is why, as an industry, we are seeing such a strong shift away from “people-based” marketing and a re-emphasis on contextual based targeting. 

What does this mean for media buyers?

For many media buyers, not only is Google’s announcement a hit to the ability to target users with personalized messaging, but it also impacts conversion tracking accuracy and optimizations. Audience-based targeting was always a little overblown on the buy side, as buyers become obsessed with targeting the niche-est of audiences. Hundreds of buyers are targeting the same audiences and combined with the accompanying CPMs – for most, this is not an efficient or effective way to buy. From our perspective, a resurgence of contextual targeting is welcome in the industry. Moreover, for Digilant specifically, it demonstrates the importance of premiere partnerships with Google, Facebook, and Amazon, which help to prepare us for a cookieless future. 

Will Google’s privacy sandbox tech actually deliver the same results for advertisers? 

We think publishers have a right to worry about a drop in their ad revenue, cookie-based targeting brings in those high CPMs. As a buyer, Digilant doesn’t expect to see performance drops. Those that lose the ability to properly track conversions will struggle, but we don’t believe the potential loss of audience-based targeting will have a big impact. 

This shift towards stronger privacy protection is just the beginning of a wave of new standards and regulations in advertising. But we are stacking the odds in our favor and in our clients’ favor through investments in capabilities, technologies, and partnerships (ex. LiveRamp, Google, Facebook, MediaMath) that rely less on cookies and more on viable alternatives that are as effective as they are efficient. 

The Other Streaming Battle

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On TV And Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.

This column is written by Raquel Rosenthal, CEO at Digilant.

Connected TV (CTV) is attractive to advertisers looking for ways to combine TV’s compelling brand storytelling with a digital marketing approach that can better target and measure those messages and automate the media buying process.

Long-term success in CTV requires maximizing the expertise from both the TV and digital departments within brands and agencies. Fortunately, emerging tools, analytics and services can defuse internal turf battles and unite both sides in their efforts to engage the cord-cutting audience.

Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings are a good example thus far, enabling gross rating point equivalencies that allow brands and agencies to compare CTV performance with traditional TV buys. This enables traditional TV ad experts to better understand and articulate how 15- and 30-second CTV spots are moving the needle for consumer awareness and purchase intent.

Digital advertising experts bring to the table not just an understanding of how programmatic buying works and the tools for maximizing ROI, but also the pitfalls to avoid when entering the space.

For example, fraud is typically found in places with high revenue opportunities and new channels without foolproof measurement. Open exchange CTV inventory has likely been a victim of high fraud rates, creating a need for not just CTV-specific detection tools and standards, but also for TV and digital departments to cooperate in evaluating and benchmarking results and spotting metric anomalies to ensure it evolves as a brand-safe channel.

Since CTV inventory is also fairly limited and highly competitive, both TV and digital marketers can combine their expertise to determine if they should go direct or buy via private marketplaces – and then factor in how these channels’ higher CPMs impact overall ad campaign performance.

Other mechanisms being developed by a growing number of ad tech partners allow data from both TV and digital sources to be seamlessly integrated to create unified user profiles that can then be targeted with specific and relevant messaging.

Tools that sync CTV and other OTT devices across a single unified ID enable marketers and their agency partners to measure and attribute performance to CTV more easily and affordably than with traditional TV.

By creating a shared metric, TV and digital departments can better determine what messaging and creative in CTV drives site traffic, brand affinity, conversion and sales lift. These metrics can then be augmented with qualitative data, which traditional TV advertisers have long relied on, to create a fuller, more nuanced understanding of whether a brand’s storytelling is resonating with target consumers.

With CTV as a growing focal point, digital and TV departments should be able to better coordinate everything from initial planning and goal setting to executing creatives, ensuring that brand identity remains consistent regardless of where the consumer engagement is taking place.

Bridging the internal gap will also allow brands to take advantage of new ways to engage consumers in a hybrid premium, ad-supported CTV landscape where the traditional 15- and 30-second spot is only part of the marketing arsenal.

By cooperating on CTV opportunities, such as brand home-screen takeovers, sponsorships and product placement, linear TV and digital departments can shape these initiatives’ goals and determine how they’re impacting viewer perception and engagement.

Follow Digilant (@Digilant_US) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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