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B2B Programmatic Advertising: Media Buying for B2B Marketers

B2B Programmatic Advertising: Media Buying for B2B Marketers

6 Min Read

The world of advertising can be complicated—and for a B2B marketer even more so. One of the ways that B2B brands can effectively reach their audiences is through programmatic advertising. But what is B2B programmatic advertising and how does it work?

B2B Programmatic Advertising Definition

Every advertising process involves a buyer and a seller. And in the case of B2B digital advertising, those two respective parties are the advertiser seeking to serve their ads to specific audiences, and a publisher with the digital ad space to display those ads.

B2B Programmatic advertising is a method of serving ads to professional audiences through an automated ad space buying process.

Rather than involving human deals between advertisers and publishers, programmatic advertising for B2B replaces the glacial pace of human interaction with the speed of technology. Instead, through the use of algorithms and technology, B2B programmatic turns the process of buying and selling ads into a software process that takes place in milliseconds. 

Important Terminology to Know

  • Demand-Side Platform (DSP): A DSP helps advertisers purchase digital ad inventory. In other words, it’s an automated buying platform that buys ad space through an ad exchange for a predetermined price. B2B advertisers who use a DSP can target audiences based on a number of factors (including geographic location, age, online behavior, and more), and serve those ads on channels such as mobile, digital, and Connected TV
  • Supply-Side Platform (SSP): This is the other side of programmatic transactions from DSPs. SSPs allow publishers to add their ad inventory to an ad exchange and set their floor price (the minimum the publisher is willing to sell their ad space for) before programmatic bidding takes place. 
  • Ad Exchange: An ad exchange is the trading floor where programmatic bidding takes place. Once a publisher makes its inventory available for purchase, the ad space will be sold to the highest bidder, just like in a real auction. The difference is that this all takes place through an algorithm, and B2B advertisers can purchase ad space in channels like display, mobile, Connected TV, and more. 
  • Real-time bidding (RTB): The automated auction place where ads are bought and sold between DSPs and SSPs. With real-time bidding, both sides set up their own parameters—DSPs determine what audiences they are interested in and how much they are willing to spend to reach them, and SSPs set the floor price for their inventory. This process all takes place in the time it takes for a web page to load. 
  • Private Marketplace (PMP): As opposed to RTB, which is an open exchange, a private marketplace (also known as a private exchange) gives publishers more power over which advertisers can purchase their ad space. Instead, publishers will offer their inventory to a select few advertisers that have been determined ahead of time. 
  • Programmatic Direct: With Programmatic Direct, publishers will make deals one-on-one with advertisers ahead of time to offer impressions at a guaranteed price. However, like other forms of B2B programmatic media buying, the actual process of serving ads to audiences is still conducted through an automated system. 

Benefits of B2B Media Buying

So now that you know a little more about this world, you may be wondering “Why is B2B programmatic advertising important, and is it effective?”

Ultimately the reason why programmatic has made such an impact on the world of advertising, for B2B and B2C brands alike, is that it is extremely efficient. The old ways of advertising, which involved deals between humans that kept the speed of buying and selling inventory at a slow pace, are a thing of the past.

With B2B media buying, this whole process takes place through the work of algorithms, speeding up the process to match the digital environment. This makes B2B programmatic advertising both one of the easiest and, for some brands, the most effective ways to serve ads to interested audiences. 

However, there is a caveat here—the lack of transparency involved in programmatic for B2B has made some premium publishers wary of low-quality advertising ending up on their sites. That’s why some publishers choose to work with private marketplaces or programmatic direct. 

Getting Started With Programmatic Advertising for B2B

Now that you know a little more about B2B programmatic advertising, it’s time to put that knowledge to use. There are a few ways that your brand can get started with running programmatic ads

The first step is determining the goals of your campaign. Are you interested in driving more leads with a B2B retargeting campaign, or will a brand awareness campaign through prospecting be more impactful in the long run? By determining a strategy that works for your needs, it will be easier to determine which DSPs will serve your needs the best.  

What Platforms Sell Programmatic Display Ads?

There are a number of platforms that sell programmatic display ads. Here are a few of the top contenders:

  • SmartyAds
  • TubeMogul
  • Simpli.fi
  • MediaMath
  • Pubmatic

How Much Does Programmatic Advertising Cost?

How much a B2B advertiser spends on programmatic advertising is ultimately up to them. Some ad inventory will be more expensive than others, and the more specific advertisers get about their audiences, the higher the cost. Programmatic advertising for B2B, like B2C, is traded on a CPM (cost per 1,000) basis, so advertisers will have to make decisions ahead of time to determine what amount will lead to the greatest return on their spend.

How Performance TV Changes the Game

So now you know all about the world of B2B programmatic advertising. But you may be wondering how to get started with MNTN Performance TV. Our platform works with SSPs (just like a DSP) to help your brand streamline the process of serving ads to B2B audiences. 

There are a number of benefits to working with MNTN Performance TV. Let’s explore a few of the top reasons that B2B brands might want to utilize our CTV platform.

  • Living Room Quality: Your audience can be extremely technical, and video advertising is the best way to both capture their attention and inform them about your product or service. And what video channel is better than the visually engaging environment of the TV screen? With MNTN Performance TV, we guarantee Living Room Quality, meaning your CTV ads will be shown on non-skippable inventory within premium, brand-safe networks, and only on the TV screen. 
  • Transparent Reporting: by working with MNTN Performance TV, you will have access to detailed reporting that breaks down your performance into the metrics you care about most. Unlike standard programmatic advertising, which can involve multiple ad exchanges and performance reports, with our TV Network Report you’ll know exactly where your impressions came from and how well your campaigns performed through each publisher. 
  • The Performance is Unmatched: One of the most effective ways to achieve your KPIs is through campaigns run on Connected TV. As compared to advertiser campaigns that only included display, Performance TV campaigns drove ​​35% more conversions and had a 54% lower cost per acquisition. And thanks to Performance TV, those same advertisers were able to convert faster with 30% fewer impressions needed to drive a viewer to purchase.

Final Thoughts on B2B Programmatic Advertising

Ultimately, programmatic advertising for B2B has changed the game for advertisers looking to serve their ads to other businesses and professionals quickly for both demand generation and lead generation initiatives alike. And by working with a company like MNTN, your B2B brand can effectively reach those audiences within the premium environment of the television screen, all while ensuring transparency into the effectiveness of your campaigns.