Kantar Media conducted an interesting study with Connectiv, the Business Information Association, in which 63% of B2B companies participating said that they’d bought digital display advertising programmatically in the last year. That’s compared to 73% for B2C companies.
The study, “B2B Programmatic Media Planning and Buying,” found that on average, digital media comprised 48% of B2B campaigns that respondents worked on over the past 12 months.
While respondents cited “audience” as the most important criteria used when evaluating programmatic buying opportunities for B2B digital display advertising, the study showed that programmatic audience targeting alone isn’t sufficient for B2B buyers.
For example, 76% of respondents use both audience and site/content targeting for B2B. This might be because of the widely held perception that B2B media are uniquely positioned to offer specialized content and hard-to-identify targets. The next highest-rated evaluation criteria included inventory quality, site content and viewability.
While 71% of respondents agreed that programmatic B2B “inventory is less expensive than buying direct from the publisher,” price was considered the second-least important evaluation criteria for B2B campaigns.
“B2B can still command premium pricing, even in a programmatic environment,” stated Mike Marchesano, managing director of Connectiv. “Buyers acknowledge their need to pay a premium for these hard-to-reach audiences alongside B2B editorial; however, the study suggests that right now they appear to also be turning to consumer sites in order to achieve the scale they need.” And 66% of respondents reported using both B2B and B2C sites for B2B campaigns.
“This research confirms that programmatic adoption by B2B marketers continues to grow, and marketer demand to buy targeted B2B audiences will increase as budgets move from print and online display advertising channels,” Davis stated.
Survey respondents included 150 media planners and buyers with responsibility for researching, recommending, planning or buying business-to-business media. Complete results can be accessed here.