Video: Pros and Cons of RTB for B2B Marketers

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Real-time bidding presents a number of opportunities for B2B marketers, but also a number of challenges. At SiteScout, RTB is an important part of our own marketing strategy and we see first-hand what works and what's more challenging.

Where RTB really shines, on the B2B side, is in its data and audience list abilities. When you're working on capturing a unique and specific market, opportunities to close a prospect can be rare and are worth hanging onto. Using retargeting to “hang on” to B2B leads is one of the most fundamental (and surprisingly underused) techniques that should be employed by any B2B marketer.

Nothing is more satisfying—and powerful—than a business lead calling to let you know that “your video ads are all over YouTube!” when you know that these ads have only been served to a very small and targeted audience. For a B2B website that gets only a few visitors per day, creating the perception of a massive, web-wide ad campaign can do wonders for brand awareness.

Of course, there are many third-party companies whose sole business is in aggregating and selling B2B audience data for many different industries. Just like retargeting, third-party data can put your ads in front of a very valuable set of eyeballs. For many, this is a great way to reach new prospects.

If you're a B2B marketer, the RTB ecosystem may not be the best method for placing ads on B2B-specific websites. The type of niche content that B2B marketers may want to place ads on is not in large supply, and the publishers of those sites tend to reserve their inventory for direct sales. This means that B2B content sites will be more likely to sell their entire inventory directly, which makes it unlikely to end up on the open RTB market. To access some of these niche publications, it's still necessary for B2B marketers to pick up the phone and negotiate a deal directly.

The RTB ecosystem is changing quickly and we expect to see major increases in the type of inventory that becomes available. In particular, advancing toolsets on the sell side mean that it will soon be possible for these niche publishers to enable their inventory for RTB while maintaining the style of business they are accustomed to. On the data side, RTB is already a B2B marketer's dream and should be an easy win for anyone looking to get started.

—(Video by Allison Schiff; text by Matt Sauls)

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