January is the coldest month of the year across most of the United States, but that hasn’t stopped B2B marketers from cranking up the heat up on their 2019 demand marketing strategies. Today’s complex digital marketing arena has led to an overwhelming shift in the cross-channel strategies B2B marketers must use to engage with targeted accounts.

There’s no surprise that display has become an essential layer of any demand gen marketer’s account-based marketing (ABM) playbook. In fact, programmatic display advertising spend is projected to exceed $45 billion this year. As competition for ad space rises, it’s imperative B2B marketers analyze their current programmatic investment, identify any gaps and rework their current strategy to maximize full-funnel ROI.

Executing an Always-On, Full-Funnel Approach to Programmatic Display

Display ads fuel other demand generation initiatives and create full-funnel conversion. Furthermore, studies show that display advertising attributes to an increase in organic reach. Investing in display advertising allows you to introduce your brand, warm prospective buyers, and strategically target designated accounts and maximize investment in cross-channel efforts—while simultaneously advancing down-funnel leads.

When mapping your 2019 marketing goals, begin thinking of your programmatic display efforts like your SEO strategy; establish an always-on approach to affect all stages of your conversion funnel concurrently.

Here’s a few tips to generate full-funnel value from your programmatic display investment:

1. Light a fire: Guide prospects to your company and keep them warm

The first step in creating brand awareness is informing your potential customers that you exist. In today’s increasingly competitive search engine landscape, it’s highly unlikely that a prospect who has never heard of your brand will enter a search query and eventually land on your website – you must go to them. Account-targeted display advertising allows you to go out and meet target-account decision-makers where they’re at, warming them to your brand and educating them on your competitive advantage prior to speaking with a sales representative.

Throughout the awareness stage, display advertising creates brand recall for potential prospects encouraging early qualification and continued recognition as they move through the pipeline toward the consideration stage.

Tips to drive top-of-funnel brand awareness through strategic display advertising:

  • Target specific companies that fall within your ideal customer profile (ICP)
  • Use IP-address targeting to get engage with buyers that align with your ICP
  • Get creative to cut through the noise: Design dynamic ads that are likely to catch the attention of potential customers
  • Create engaging CTAs
  • Drive traffic to your digital assets (website, blog, eBooks, webinars, etc.) to inform your target audience of the pain points you address

2. Prevent your pipes from freezing

The expectations of most B2B buyers have changed in recent years. B2B buyers are craving a B2C marketing experience with additional personalization and touchpoints throughout the buyer's journey. The decision-makers at your target accounts want to be treated like a human, and not just another a record in your marketing automation platform – exemplified by a recent Salesforce report:

72% of business decision makers expect marketing to be personalized to fit their needs

After introducing your brand to a potential buyer during the awareness stage, use a sequenced approach to advance messaging toward a sales meeting. Additionally, throughout the consideration stage, deliver tailored messages to targeted accounts to humanize your brand and encourage elevated engagement numbers. 70% of buyers say “connected processes” such as contextualized engagement established in previous engagements are extremely important to garnering their business.

Tips for driving mid-funnel pipeline conversation through display ads:

  • Nurture existing prospects by retargeting and reframing messaging based on prior engagement on display and content syndication channels
  • Humanize your messaging
  • Target contextually by use of keyword analysis

3. Keep your current customers in front of the fire

For existing customers programmatic display assists with upsell and cross-sell opportunities and renewals. We all know that it’s much more cost-effective to retain a current customer than it is to win a new one. However, if a customer is unaware of the benefits of a new product or service launch, they’re very unlikely to purchase.

Tips for upselling and cross-selling current customers through display ads:

  • Personalized targeting to reinforce customers buying decision and keep them engaged after onboarding
  • Use customers website behavior to craft messaging based on intent
  • Educate audience by sharing owned media around product launches and cross-sell products

Don’t Let Your Outdated Programmatic Display Strategy Leave Your Company Out in the Cold

Set a New Year’s resolution to reevaluate your display advertising investment, find and repair the hypothetical drafts and ignite your automation to approach programmatic as you do SEO.

Much like your heat in the dead of winter, your display advertising should always be on for optimal effect. When done correctly, display ads will be synchronized with other demand channels (e.g., content syndication, events, social, webinars, etc.), strongly supporting all stages of your marketing funnel and enabling maximal pipeline scale.

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