CEO at Econsultancy
19 August 2010 15:52pm
We're wondering if we (Econsultancy) can use online display advertising effectively to sell our memberships. Our target market is B2B/niche - people working in digital marketing and e-commerce.
We do very well at generating traffic through social media and SEO but we've never really been able to make PPC work at any real scale. Likewise with affiliate marketing - there just don't seem to be the affiliates out there for us despite our CPA targets being very generous because our profit margins are almost 100% (unlike, say, retailers who typically have huge scale but thin margins).
We're now wondering whether we could successfully drive significant volumes using targeted display advertising online where we'd likely buy our own media via self-service. My questions are:
1. What/where are the obvious places to buy this kind of advertising?
Obvious ones are:
But I'm sure there are plenty more, and possibly, specialist networks that might be relevant too? Perhaps there's a resource, directory, article etc. which lists these?
2. Can you get any scale (reach and response) with this?
Has anyone done this or know of case studies where a niche B2B advertiser has managed to drive significant volumes e.g. that outperform PPC?
3. Who are the agencies / individuals who are good at this?
Most agencies in (online) advertising want a certain scale / minimum media spend before it's worth their time. For us, and much of B2B, the volumes/reach/media spend tend to be much smaller but the value of the transactions (and acceptable CPA targets) tend to be much higher, though often transacted offline. Ideally we'd want someone who thought like an affiliate (CPA-focused, performance/data-driven etc.) but had the relevant online media buying / planning skills. Do such people or agencies exist?
Publisher at 2N Media Ltd - ModernSelling.com
26 August 2010 13:32pm
Hmm, yes, very, very interesting “space” you’ve found yourself in here!
I’ve been in “space” (advertising space) sales since 1976, and (nearly) always in the B2B sector, majoring in Accountancy earlier on and Selling/Sales Management since 1986.
That did evolve, of course, as we followed the market from (controlled circulation) print magazines and exhibitions to mailing lists, direct marketing databases and finally into an online “magazine” community/hub. But all of my “advertisers” have, equally, always been looking to advertise/market/sell high value B2B products and services.
And that’s where the “disconnect” happens “online” today (2010), because neither the “buyer” nor the “seller” can make any sense of the mostly B2C metrics and techniques that are supposed to put the two measurably in touch with each other. So, I can put their (and your similar) banner advert up on the site (ModernSelling.com) and deliver hundreds of thousands of “above the fold” impressions with 1% click-through from a triple-filtered, relevant, 86% UK, senior sales management audience, and show you the Google Analytics, my end and yours, that they were stickier, better etc.., BUT…
If you stubbornly maintain that you don’t really like the internet, and it’s not a “selling” tool, and you get “hardly any enquiries” (well, apart from these last 4, including that one – OMG!) from your “website”, it’s not a lot of good really. ;-(
All rapidly changing, of course, as we begin to identify that a “webinar audience”, for example, is quite “real” (and therefore chargeable) but quite a ways to go yet, methinks, before…
“Integrated Online & Offline Sales & Marketing with Effective Measurement of Which Customer or Prospect Communicated with Which Member of our Team or Part of our Machine, When, Why, How & Where”
…is more a common fact of B2B UK business selling life than excellent marketing theory.
The key difference being whether the “buyer” needs advice and guidance from a real person to help them complete the purchase, or whether the marketing machine can automate it all (imho). E.g. Do you have any online membership sales executives? A.k.a. “Inside Sales”, as per this happy US band…
Best regards - Neil
Digital Marketing Manager at BenAcheson.com
01 September 2010 16:07pm
I like your current strategy of drawing customers into the buying process via a registration. They decided to register to get what they want from the website.
So I think you should integrate the user registration process with the process for signing up to get a supplier profile. (Why deny user registrants the opportunity to purchase a supplier profile should they require one?)
It has to be all about the user and what they want. Graphical adverts have some value for brand building - but they make for a poor user experience. Let your customers come to you because they want to - then give them something that is useful to them.
Quid pro quo.
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