Targeted Advertising in the Age of Privacy

Let’s be honest: targeted advertising has seen better days. With the legal restrictions laid down by GDPR, CCPA, VCDPA, and other acts, the future of paid ads looks quite uncertain. Moreover, Google announced the phaseout of third-party cookies in 2024, stirring up the entire marketing community.

So what can you do to source reliable and up-to-date b2b audience data these days? We’ll give you an answer, but first, let’s specify what defines target advertising today.

Targeted Advertising in 2023

Simply put, ad targeting allows marketers to serve consumers (in B2C) or decision-makers (in B2B) personalized ads. To do so, marketers use:

  • location data
  • demographic data
  • firmographic data
  • behavioral signals (website interaction, search, and browsing history). 

These attributes are later used to build specific target audience (TA) segments.

The new reality of post-cookie ICP marketing had to come up with new ways of sourcing and using the b2b audience data.

  • A company can get first-party data from a website or application user upon receiving their explicit consent to collect such data.
  • Companies need additional data points to act upon this consumer data online, so they gather and combine these from various available data sources into a single record.

For example, businesses can gather interaction signals across all touchpoints to shape a unified customer profile (UCP). Those of your TA that fall under attributes of UCP are most likely to buy from you. Thus, your ads should be displayed to them.

How B2B Businesses Benefit from Targeted Ads

Paid search and sponsored ads in social media allow companies to:

  • Serve personalized offers to potential buyers. Targeted advertising is all about delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.
  • Reach the right prospects. Unlike mass marketing, targeted advertising reaches more qualified prospects that are most inclined to buy from you.
  • Increase ROI from paid ads. The well-planned targeted ad campaign yields tangible benefits without overspending.
  • Enable retargeting for customer retention. It’s common knowledge that B2B lead acquisition costs more than those in the B2C segment. The well-laid-out retargeting helps B2B companies a lot with retaining high-value customers.

Types of Targeted Ads

There are tons of consumer data points to build targeting strategies upon. If you clearly understand your campaign goals and have a comprehensive ideal customer persona (ICP), adjusting initial targeting options shouldn’t be a problem.

The most common types of targeted advertising encompass:

  • Contextual targeting. Google’s contextual ad blocks appear on relevant pages. Advertisers simply assign a set of relevant keywords and topics to get their message posted by the ad network.
  • Behavioral targeting. It considers the user’s browsing history, purchases, and even subscriptions to particular social media pages.
  • Signal-based targeting. Unlike conventional targeting types mentioned above, this one allows marketers to merge B2B firmorgaphiс and contact data. Therefore, signal-based marketing is based on the most valuable customer data, which is more difficult to obtain in the age of privacy.

How to Hone Your Targeted Ads Precision?

Facebook, LinkedIn, and other paid ad platforms have similar limitations of native targeting functionality. Firstly, they cannot gather and merge commercial and personal user data touchpoints. Secondly, the first-party and second-party data can guarantee a match rate below 20%.

That said, your campaign might reach a 90% matching rate if you enable data enrichment tools. With a targeting platform like Primer, you’ll have access to firmographic and intent data from 12+ data providers, free to use directly for building a new target audience or enriching your existing CRM records. As a result, you’ll manage to reach your highest-value prospects across all paid ad channels.

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