Have you ever wondered if today’s high-tech lifestyle might be training your audience to have the attention span of a gnat? While no offense is intended towards prospects or gnats, it is a real problem for advertisers.
According to a 2021 survey by Deloitte, the average U.S. household has 25 connected devices, an increase of roughly 230 percent since 2019. This pandemic-fueled growth in the device market, along with the rise of social media, hybrid and remote offices, reflects a dramatic shift in the way we live and work. In fact, this shift in lifestyle is a crucial reason the competition for prospect attention among advertisers has never been fiercer. Digital experts estimate people see between 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day. And current metrics methodologies have reduced real people with flesh-and-blood heartbeats to views and clicks.
When done well, advertising provides value to prospects and customers alike. So, the question is not whether to advertise, but how to transform your advertising strategy to be more efficient and effective within this new context.
Here are four tips to help you cut through the noise.
1. Know your ideal customer at all levels – account, buying group, and individual
The capabilities of today’s leading-edge martech systems enable advertisers to target their prospects with surgical precision. But to take advantage of these best-in-class technologies, you must do the work upfront to know and understand your ideal customers. Most purchase decisions in today’s B2B enterprises are made by a team of people across various functions. So, along with defining an ideal customer profile (ICP) at the account level, they must create ICPs for the buying group as a whole, and for each individual function of the buying group. This group must include their ICPs business challenges and their characteristics.
Since buying decisions are made by groups, next-gen advertising is about evolving your traditional Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy to a Buying Group Marketing (BGM) one. This requires deeply listening to and understanding your customers along the way. Your goal with advertising in today’s market is not to get the most eyeballs and engagement at an account, but to get the right eyeballs and engagement at an ideal account. ICPs at all levels give you a launchpad for precision targeting.
2. Rethink metrics – it’s about quality engagements, not quantity
Design your KPIs and metrics around the quality of your advertising results, rather than a quantitative measure of your advertising results. As you design your metrics program, use multiple scoring models that take into account different perspectives. They should drill down on whether responses fit your ICP along with measuring intent to buy.
Another focus should be the value of the insights you glean from engagements and their usefulness to sales. At the end of the day, your metrics should help you continuously improve in forging stronger, longer relationships with your ideal customers.
3. Keep privacy top of mind – stay abreast of the changes and give prospects control
An ever-changing privacy landscape poses some risks for advertisers. A misstep on the privacy front could, at a minimum, expose your brand to the creepiness factor of a stalker and at the other end of the scale negatively impact your bottom line, all the way up to a survivability crisis. The next few years will be rife with privacy changes and challenges, forcing the industry to improve targeting, while giving consumers control over their privacy.
How can marketers provide enough control over data while creating more seamless, more personalized customer experiences? That is the million-dollar question that the ad tech industry will face as these new regulations unfold. Stay abreast of the current and ever-changing trends and follow regulations to cover yourself. Always practice good ethics and put in safeguard agreements so that your supply chain and other third parties that could expose you operate in alignment with your privacy policies. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to err on the side of transparency and give consumers control over how their data is used.
4. The future of advertising is full steam ahead
What is the roadmap for the next 10 years in B2B digital advertising? Fasten your seatbelts. Leave the gnats to the windscreen and instead focus your energies on building long-term relationships with your ideal customers. New technologies on the horizon could help. Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) have already started to have an impact on advertising, and there are more technologies to watch. For instance, Gartner estimates that by 2026, 25 percent of people will spend on average an hour per day in the metaverse, opening an entirely new digital channel for advertisers.
One thing is certain, with the evolving way people make purchase decisions, along with privacy regulations and new capabilities, the advertising industry is going to move faster with even greater layers of complexity. To stay agile in the face of the inevitable disruption, stay abreast of the ever-changing trends, keep your guiding principles steady, and create relevant advertising experiences for the right prospects.
The author, Nirosha Methananda, is Vice President of Marketing at Influ2.