Meet the family: Encore Digital does B2B programmatic
So you know when you get married and your new spouse takes you on a tour of family members—Uncle Freddie with the magic tricks, Aunt Olga with the lovely laugh, Ernie who yodels on demand—just so you can feel a part of the whole crazy thing?
Well, as you know, Velocity just got married to Next 15.
And we want to introduce you to some of our new sisters, brothers, cousins and mad uncles.
But a lot of them are really, really relevant to the B2B marketers like you.
So here’s the first of an occasional series on our super siblings:
Meet the Family: Introductions to B2B Agencies You Really Ought To Know More About.
Like the world-famous ‘Let’s Steal From’ series, this one will appear whenever the hell I can manage it, like poorly-constructed clockwork.
I promise I won’t push anything at you that I wouldn’t recommend to our own clients. And I won’t pretend to know more than I do about them. But as we get to know this really quite impressive group we stumbled into, it feels only right to share our discoveries.
So here goes.
Meet Encore Digital Media, the B2B programmatic advertising people
Encore Digital Media does programmatic advertising programs for B2B companies.
While all the other programmatic media companies are out there zagging after consumer budgets, the smart folks at Encore decided to zig straight into the deep end: the much harder challenges of long-cycle, multi-buyer B2B markets.
Turns out that was a really good call. Because B2B needs programmatic every bit as much as B2C does but there are very, very few media agencies who understand B2B.
That’s why clients like Cisco, IBM, HP, SAP, Sage, CA and Google have become clients. And why they’ve grown like wildfire since launching in 2013.
And why Next 15 invested in them.
If programmatic is hot. B2B programmatic is cult-TV-series-with-‘Thrones’-in-the-name hot.
We’d met Daniel Shaw, one of the founders, a while back and had already done a project or two with them (which went quite well). So as soon as we joined Next 15, we invited him to visit us and tell the V team all about programmatic and the Encore approach to finding and targeting precise audiences.
He came in with Doug Green, commercial director, and Kristen Sesto, data consultant, and, together, they… blew us away. If you’re trying to reach B2B buyers and have noticed it’s getting harder and harder to do, you need to know these guys.
10 things you should know about Encore’s B2B programmatic approach
- They work with you to build audiences – targeting super-specific audiences like “IT people in healthcare companies with over $3bn in revenue” or “CMOs in consumer marketing companies who also love golf”.
- Then they go out and find those audiences – using your first-party data and their own data from over 70 publishers, database owners, jobs boards, events companies… adding up to a massive store of cookie data they can build lists from. Then supplement that with third-party data from vendors like D&B, Bombora and Grapeshot.
- B2B programmatic campaigns run from 2 months to forever – using a defined list of approved sites (none of the dross that the ‘content discovery networks’ will stick you with). With accredited viewability partners, so you know you’re getting what you pay for.
- Goals tend to be Awareness-related – but they can also build a content funnel that move people to progressively more intense content, one ad at a time. And can target named accounts to support your ABM program.
- It’s all privacy-compliant – Encore anonymizes all data and aggregates it into tight segments, so you don’t breach any regulations (like GDPR).
- They price their B2B programmatic campaigns on CPM – the maximum you want to spend per thousand impressions. Then you cap your monthly budget. As a guideline, you can start in the £10k/month range.
- They use the best tech platforms out there – instead of trying to develop their own, in-house stack, Encore uses advanced platforms like Blue Kai and Media Math as its DMP and DSP.
- They also do B2B retargeting (but cleverly) – serving the right ads to people who hit your landing pages. With smart frequency capping so you don’t spam the shit out of the people you need to make friends with.
- They generate insights into your audiences – showing you all about the people visiting your sites and what they do pre- and post-campaign.
- They’re smart, super-nice, service-oriented people – who will steer you to the best strategies based on deep experiences – and who won’t take your budget if they can’t help you.
A great time to do B2B programmatic advertising.
If you think about it, the entire programmatic advertising ecosystem was built to serve consumer brands with enormous audiences.
That means, if we’re smart, B2B folks can use the ecosystem in incredibly cost-effective ways. CPMs are really affordable and audiences are relatively small, so you can do a lot with a little budget.
And because the social media platforms have strangled off all organic reach, you’re going to have to use paid media to get your content and your brand in front of the right people.
Programmatic gives you the upside of advertising (broad reach and awareness) without the huge wastage that drove B2B brands away.
At Velocity, we’re always looking for smart, cost-effective way to get content in front of the right audiences. B2B programmatic advertising is already becoming a big part of that.
I expect to see more and more of the Encore folks.
If you want an introduction, just ask.