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Top Display lessons from 2016

Published: January 5, 2017

Author: Luis Valles

2016 has been getting a lot of grief lately. But in the digital marketing world, the past year produced some exciting new developments. I joined 3Q Digital as an Account Manager for our Display team this year, and in the past couple months, a few lessons I’ve learned have really stood out. In this blog I’ll share my three biggest display advertising observations since joining the team:

Lesson #1: Content marketing among B2B clients is on the rise

Traditionally, content marketing has been much more common among B2C than B2B companies. Content marketing nurtures the upper funnel by driving users to consumable content in hopes to drive future conversions. In the past, B2B companies did not see as much value in the effort and would rather utilize their advertising dollars to drive users to convert. However, as B2B companies build out their buyers’ journeys and discover different customer stages, they are realizing it doesn’t make sense to send everyone to the same landing page and are instead building out multistep flows. As this type of personalization continues to becomes easier to achieve, it will be more and more common to see B2B companies use content marketing.
Two great examples are:

  1. MYOB provides small and established companies with business management solutions to help with their finances. They understand that both of their audiences have unique concerns, thus they create content tailored to fit the needs of each group. By working to be a resource, they build their upper funnel – and build trust with their audience.
  2. GE’s renewable energy arm has built out an extensive success story portfolio featuring blog and video examples of how their products have made a positive impact on their clients. Potential clients who are on the fence about making a switch to renewable energy could view the success stories as a resource when making these decisions.

Lesson #2: B2B clients are moving over to mobile ads

In the past, our B2B clients have been hesitant to use mobile ads, sticking instead with desktop-only advertising. The thought process was that buyers were unlikely to fill out a lead form or purchase on their mobile device, thus targeting them on mobile was a waste. Consumers across the board are getting more comfortable with making purchases on their phones. As digital marketers, it’s our job to ensure that we are streamlining the purchase cycle across all devices. Mobile optimized sites and leads forms tailored for users who may not be sitting at their desks will help speed up the process.

Lesson #3: Importance of attribution has become clear

I started my career at a traditional branding agency, so making the switch to a more DR-focused agency like 3Q was exciting and eye-opening. In the past, I mostly used clicks, viewabilty, and brand studies to measure the success of my digital marketing efforts. I had a few clients that had lead goals, but those were usually smaller initiatives. Once I started at 3Q, I became exposed to a whole other world of marketing where I began measuring sales, revenue, and ROI among other KPIs. Having a solid attribution model in place and knowing what to report on is crucial when measuring success, especially when one is advertising on multiple channels.

Display advertisers, what was your biggest takeaway from 2016?

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