Digital Marketing – Going for the One

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For most of its life, advertising’s techniques have been based upon mass marketing. The sheer difficulty and cost of individual targeting have meant that it has been an unattainable dream. Thus even B2B practitioners have had to take ads in trade magazines, build expensive expo stands and run wasteful direct mail campaigns in order to catch potential buyers.

Of course at a specific sales level there is one-to-one activity, but marketing has had to be more generalist to justify its existence. Until now.

The Programmatic Revolution

Programmatic buying may be essentially just the automation of digital advertising exchanges where space on web pages is sold, but its result is a speedier, more effective way than ever to reach anonymous individuals who include potential clients that you never knew existed – and who via conventional offline or mass-media digital channels, would probably not have come onto your radar.

In other words, you no longer have to settle for spraying advertising out to the undifferentiated many – you can (to use Jon Anderson’s words in an old Yes album) be ‘going for the one’.

Yes, we have all seen examples of dumb programmatic application, but it shouldn’t be that way. Choosing the right programmatic partner is key. When we at Hannon Digital set out to find an ideal expert firm to work with on our business social media clients’ behalf, we wanted one that had its own end-to-end solutions combining a bespoke Data Management Platform (DMP) – for the intelligent integration of 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data – with a Demand Side Platform (DSP) that manages the local or global buying across all digital media:

  • Desktop
  • Video
  • Mobile
  • Social

After a worldwide search, we selected Digilant, which has now joined us in the UK – this is ideal for us as a social media agency in London.

Sensitive Approaches

We hear a lot about brand conversations and rich content, and it is these sorts of approaches that will flourish in the emerging programmatic era. Web users do get fed up with crass or over-intrusive banner advertising that has clearly chased them via cookies, if it is not supplying thoughts and suggestions that resonate and prompt a positive reaction.

One aspect that is very important for B2B marketers is the use of in-house CRM data. If you have been using your Salesforce data-gathering capabilities well, then you have a prime source of information about the demographics, habits and attitudes of your customers (current and lapsed) and prime prospects. This is a key method by which you can inform your online dialogue: and the data is more likely to be up to date than that supplied by third parties.

We can help you harvest your rich data and integrate it with other relevant information, such as the ad reactions and buying habits of chosen individuals on other sites. Identifying cross-device traffic from specific individuals is a difficult thing to achieve but it is increasingly being done, which helps enormously – most of us make purchases only after engagements on multiple devices, fixed and mobile. This all adds up to thousands of touch points with the internet, and instant real-time exchange buying can now be optimised by using custom solutions, built up from unique customer data.


Know Your Customer is a venerable axiom, but it has never been more true. Understanding is the first stage in starting a meaningful dialogue.

It is not easy, and new regulations may hinder us in the future in the same way as anti-junk mail rules have limited direct mail and email campaigns. Personal privacy is rightly prized by all of us, and although arguably B2B interaction is fair game it still could be caught in future legislation that aims to protect the private B2C consumer.

Cookies too are under threat, and we may need to add to our armoury of techniques for gathering visitor data as people trawl the Net.

I predict that there will be a swing back to offline, person-to-person information gathering in order to feed higher-quality, in-depth CRM. This has got to be good news for those involved in the conventional sales departments. They can get more involved at the neck of the sales funnel as well as further down where the actual sale is closed. After the programmatic process has done its work…