Advanced Targeting Technology is Changing the Way B2B Marketers Use Display Advertising

This new approach to display advertising provides marketers with the insights they need to plan, optimize, and execute full-funnel campaigns.

Why Display Advertising for B2B Organizations?

If you’re a digital marketer in the B2B space, you’ve likely heard that “display advertising just doesn’t produce any measurable results.” 

Until recent technical advances, display advertising has been a tough channel for B2B marketers to accurately measure success from. For the past decade, display advertising has primarily been a marketing strategy used by consumer-facing brands to help them target the masses at a low cost while driving impulse purchases. Strategically, this has worked for B2C companies that can measure the effectiveness of their advertising based on the number of orders driven by the display ads. 

Unlike consumers, B2B targets aren’t influenced to purchase based on a sale, a holiday, or an itch for a new pair of shoes. B2B buyers tend to have a longer product buying cycle that involves others within the organization. However, display advertising does work for B2B SaaS businesses with the proper technology. Many well-known SaaS companies already use display advertisements to drive leads, monitor intent signals, and enhance their ABM efforts. 

Why display Hasn’t Worked for B2B Companies

Mass Targeting 

The days of the “spray and pray” and look-alike targeting strategies are a thing of the past. While this strategy has worked for some B2C companies, it doesn’t translate in the B2B industry. Thus, B2B companies are shifting their advertising efforts away from broad-based display ads and introducing personalized advertisements that are more likely to resonate with the specific users who see the ads. 

To execute an efficient and cost-effective display campaign, it is crucial to target the right end-users with a message that provides value or with a solution to a problem your product or service can help them solve.

Creating Ads That Provide Value 

Many marketers lack the motivation to run display campaigns based on the notion that display ads do not generate timely results and are only valuable for brand awareness. Most marketers treat display as an afterthought and aren’t creating ads that provide value to the end-users they are targeting. 

When you think of display in this approach, it is no surprise that your campaigns are not producing results. Your ads should be used strategically as a central part of your omnichannel marketing campaigns to drive awareness and educate your audience on your product and the value your product brings to a problem they may face. 

Follow Up

The vast majority of people who click your ad and visit your landing page won’t sign-up for a free demo or opt-in to your company’s outbound marketing. However, your display efforts shouldn’t end here, as you can follow up with the prospects who have already clicked and visited your site. Retarget these users by installing an additional pixel on your website and further nurture these prospects with new ads that provide additional value to their buying experience. 

Measuring Success 

Until now, it has been almost impossible to measure the success of a B2B display campaign accurately. Most marketers typically look for ROI that is directly attributable to their display campaign, but only a small percentage of users will actually convert from your campaigns. Thus, you may need to evaluate the campaign based on the number of clicks generated and the overall click-through rate. However, these KPIs don’t provide the insights most marketers deem important. 

Thanks to new attribution technology, some display vendors like DemandWorks can provide in-depth insights on where your impressions went and what accounts are clicking your ads. From this data, you can create new target-account lists based on intent signals generated from account-level display metrics.

What Matters Most in B2B Digital Advertising

Data Quality 

One of the hottest topics and most significant drivers of today’s most successful marketing campaigns is intent data. Thus, it is vital to know the different types of data and the sources providing it. 

First-party data comes straight from your audience and customers, and it is generally considered the most valuable data available. The accuracy and relevance of first-party data allow you to predict future patterns, such as audience behavior, confidently. Plus, it is readily available and cost-effective.

Third-party data is purchased from outside sources that are not the initial collectors of said data. It is bought from giant data aggregators that pull it from various platforms and websites where it was originally generated. 

Third-party data is typically bought and sold across multiple vendors on a large scale. While the sizable volume of data might be appealing to some marketers, the quality of that data is uncertain. When working with third-party data it may leave you wondering: What was the original source of the data? Has it recently been updated? How many other companies or competitors have bought this very same data? 

To achieve a highly effective and efficient display campaign, it’s vital to know where the data you’re using is coming from and who the users are in that audience. When evaluating display service providers, make sure to prioritize a vendor that has first-party audiences available and is transparent about how the data is collected. 

Targeting Technology 

In terms of effective digital advertising strategies, the right message needs to reach the right person, in the right place, and at the right time. With recent technological advances, you are no longer stuck utilizing standard targeting techniques like GEO, demographic, contextual, site retargeting, and domain. These targeting methods tend to be less accurate, but they also do not produce favorable results. 

New targeting methods such as CRM targeting and DemandWorks’ contact level targeting have changed how B2B marketers deliver their message to prospects. When leveraging a service like DemandWorks, you can directly serve ads to specific people within your target accounts. No more wasting impressions on look-alike audiences or unreliable third-party data. You can influence the exact buyers and decision-makers within your top accounts and only pay for impressions that truly drive ROI.


Take your campaigns to the next level with account-based ads. Targeting your ads directly to people who work at specific companies can help you reduce wasted impressions and allow you to be more creative with the messaging.

Blend your brand and demand advertising. Every brand-centric impression should still influence demand and vice versa. Organizations that cohesively build brand awareness and demand are more likely to stay top of mind with their target buyers.

Hyper-targeted campaigns perform at a higher rate than traditional “spray and pray” campaigns. You can expect an industry average CTR of .05-.08% for a typical display campaign, whereas hyper-targeted display campaigns see CTRs between .20-.40%. How is this possible? When you combine advanced personalization and precise targeting, your campaigns resonate with the people being served the ads, thus generating more engagements. 


The lack of campaign measurement and performance has previously kept marketers from making display a top priority in their omnichannel strategies. Luckily, DemandWorks’ account-based measurement capabilities provide detailed insights on every impression and click of your campaign. Instead of basing your campaign’s success on clicks and CTR, DemandWorks enables you to dive deeper into the accounts that matter the most to you. Now you can visualize your campaign’s reach, track decision-maker engagements, and monitor your ad’s creative effectiveness, to ultimately help you close your most important accounts. 


By combining powerful targeting capabilities with intent and in-depth analytics, you gain actionable insights to help close your top accounts. This next-gen approach to display advertising provides marketers with the insights they need to plan, optimize, and execute full-funnel campaigns that prioritize the accounts that matter most.

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