Why Run ABM Display Programs, and How to Measure Success

Many B2B companies today are investing in Account-Based Marketing (ABM), and a key part of that investment is through ABM display programs, in which display ads are served across the web to your list of target accounts.

In this post, part of Kwanzoo’s #ABMDoneRight series, we will look at how ABM is transforming traditional display advertising. We will discuss why display has not worked traditionally for B2B marketers, and how ABM is fixing some of those limitations. In Part 2 of this post (to be published next week) we will get into the specifics of measuring ABM display program success – and how measurement for ABM display is different from traditional display programs.

Traditional Display Program – Targeting Options

Traditional display programs at B2B companies have all been about finding the right “watering holes” out on the web to spot relevant audience segments, and then come up with clever ways to drive that audience over to the B2B marketer’s company website.

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Tweet This: ABM transforms traditional display programs so 100% of ads are served to target accounts #ABMDoneRight  

Traditional display falls into one of 4 primary categories:

  • Direct Buy: where a B2B company buys media or ad placements on a specific publisher’s website. The publisher shares stats on their audience mix, and the media buy decision is based on publisher provided relevancy stats.
  • LinkedIn / FB / Twitter: where the B2B company runs PPC display ads or sponsored updates against a set of target companies, target emails, or contact job functions and titles.
  • Google Display Network: where the B2B company can “bid” on specific contextual targeting keywords. Ads are shown to users as they browse specific content pages across the web, and the users are prompted to download the Company’s content offers.
  • Programmatic Display with Audience Segments: here the B2B company sets up a custom 3rd party segment of cookies of B2B users who have similar characteristics (e.g. Sales executives) to whom they then serve ads.

Tweet This: ABM is transforming traditional B2B display across Four Key Channels #ABMDoneRight

What’s New with ABM Display Programs?

With ABM display programs, there is a whole new level of precision to the targeting of prospects, in order to reach your best list of target accounts. Accounts are carefully selected using a range of firmographic (e.g. company size, industry, region) and predictive (e.g. propensity to buy right now) attributes. Besides account attributes, these programs can also take into consideration key attributes of the target contacts at the account (viz: job title such as Director of Finance, job functions such as Marketing or Sales, job levels such as Manager and Above).

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Once these key account and contact attributes are identified, they are used by ABM Display technology platforms to help set-up an ABM program that uses IP address targeting (to reach global accounts in EMEA, APAC and other regions) or Cookie-targeting (to reach accounts across North America).


Tweet This: ABM display for North America runs with IP and cookie data, ABM Global requires IP only #ABMDoneRight

The Big Impact: No More Wasted Ads (Shown to People You Don’t Care About)

Every single ABM ad impression is delivered to an individual prospect, buyer or influencer at a target account, who is specifically of interest to the sales team at the B2B marketer’s company. Where the precision to the individual contact of interest is not achievable, the ad is served at the very least into the target account (and a geo location of the account, e.g. HP in Cupertino, CA) to reach all users / employees of that account at that location.)

Note that cookie pools available today are only good for North America focused ABM programs. If you need to target global (international) accounts in EMEA, APAC, LATAM and ANZ your only option is true IP targeting. We also recommend a blended approach, with both ABM IP and ABM Job Title Targeting (cookie-based) programs to maximize reach and account coverage.

The Importance of Target Account Coverage

Regardless of ABM IP or cookie targeting, you will want to make sure your ABM display provider can reach and engage prospects at the maximum number of target accounts on your list. The last thing you would want is to invest in ABM Display Technology, only to find out 3 months into your program, that you can only reach 30% to 40% of your target account list, due to limitations in the quality and depth of IP and cookie data available to your tech provider. To alleviate this concern for new Clients, Kwanzoo offers an Account Coverage Report

Tweet This: Cool dashboards won’t amount to much if your ABM display tech has weak account coverage #ABMDoneRight

Have any questions? Contact Us

This is Part One of a Two Part post. In Part Two, we will review how B2B display programs have been traditionally measured for success, and what’s new or different with ABM.

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