Marketing Automation

B2B Audience Targeting

Find Customers Among the Clicks and Maximize ROI

With vast amounts of data on sales prospects pouring into marketing platforms, targeting qualified leads online is a matter of separating the signal from the noise. B2B audience targeting allows marketers engaged in programmatic advertising to put digital ads in front of audiences who are most likely to make a purchase. Programmatic advertising is simply the automation of the buying and selling of ads online by using technology platforms that connect advertisers with digital news publications where most ads are served.

Businesses that integrate their online advertising buys with B2B audience targeting data can be confident that they’re reaching the right prospects. This more strategic approach to online advertising can greatly improve conversion rates by focusing on specific audience types. Here’s what marketing and sales professionals need to know about audience targeting in general and the opportunities that are available.

How Audience Targeting Works

Audience targeting relies upon the use of cookies –- snippets of code that follow a web user around the internet –- to identify and categorize individual visitors. Many websites assign cookies to web visitors in order to track demographics and on-site behavior, including pages viewed and whether or not a prospect returns to the same page or site. But a person using a search engine is likely to visit many sites before making a purchase.

Audience targeting enriches your first-party information with insights from third-party data sources. These data providers match multiple cookies to individual users, allowing for a more extensive view of their online characteristics and behavior. They’ve collected biographical and transactional details of these digital audiences, which is of great value to advertisers looking to target specific groups of people. This level of sophistication allows advertisers to segment users into groups, targeting their ad buys toward only the most qualified leads.

The ability to target users based on audiences isn’t limited to the major search engines. Sites like Facebook also allow advertisers to single out B2B prospects. Adobe, Google, and Oracle also provide advertisers with technology platforms that help advertisers use audience targeting data to buy ads across thousands of news publications across the web.

B2B audience targeting is focused on reaching prospects at target companies. People can be segmented by business, industry, job function, and many other categories. There are two major advantages to B2B audience targeting:

  1. Ad budget is used more efficiently with campaigns focused solely on the users who are most likely to buy.
  2. Ads can be targeted with greater specificity, improving the chances of reaching the right person at the right time.

B2B Audience Targeting in Action

To get a better understanding of the potential behind B2B audience targeting, consider the following example:

A company that sells commercial washing machines wants to improve sales. The main customers for its high-capacity washers are hotels and apartment buildings. The marketing team is interested in targeting management-level employees at hospitality and housing companies. Without a way to home in on these prospects, money would be spent advertising to people outside the target audience.

Partnering with a third-party data provider allows the company to bid on ads shown only to qualified leads. A well-managed B2B audience targeting strategy often improves the ROI for online ads.

How to Find the Best B2B Audience Targeting Platform

How do you know which of the many audience targeting platforms is right for your business?

Here are several features that the best B2B audience targeting applications have in common:

Accurate Data: The entire purpose behind a targeted approach is to reach qualified leads. Outdated or incomplete data won’t help achieve this goal.

A Comprehensive Database: Larger data sets may allow you to reach more potential customers. They may also contain a greater number of audience segments for consideration.

Advertising Network Integration: You’ll want to be sure that your B2B audience targeting tool is compatible with your ad network of choice.

Customer Support: There’s a learning curve to many adtech tools, so easy access to product support is an important feature that isn’t always top of mind.

B2B companies stand to benefit from including audience targeting solutions in their sales and marketing toolkits, reaching more qualified prospects at a lower cost to the business.

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