B2B Programmatic Challenges, Opportunities and Best Practices: An Interview with MultiView Data Expert, Carl Robitaille
Carl Robitaille, MultiView’s senior manager of programmatic strategy and performance, lives and breathes B2B data-driven advertising. On a daily basis he helps clients and their dedicated account managers excel in targeting buyers.
MH: Have you noted a difference in programmatic strategy methodologies for B2B vs. B2C?
Carl Robitaille: B2C is much more cut and dry compared to B2B. For instance, if you are looking for a pair of sneakers, you can conduct a simple keyword search and be targeted with a relevant ad for it. Relatively speaking, it is pretty easy for that advertiser to recognize you as a buyer. B2B is a bit more complicated. In B2B we are consistently looking to create opportunities for finding audiences because the causal keyword relationship is not always as clear. Programmatic advertising is a tremendous help for businesses that would traditionally have had a harder time getting in front of their customers. In the past, B2B was limited to trade shows, events, website content, direct mailings, etc. It was hard to scale without wasting a lot of money and time. With B2B programmatic, you can maximize the impact of your investment.
MH: What are the biggest growth areas for B2B in the programmatic space?
Carl Robitaille: Data onboarding for first-party information is a huge growth area for B2B. With email you can capture device IDs and profiles – serving impressions and ads based on that information to improve campaign placements and messaging moving forward.
MH: Can any company, whether small or large, utilize in-house programmatic?
Carl Robitaille: In-house programmatic can be cost prohibitive for small- to mid-sized companies due to the challenge of capturing and managing data, managing programmatic campaigns and building audiences. The work requires additional staff, knowledge and expertise that many of these organizations lack. This is how an agency fits in the equation. You can go to an agency that is experienced in your market and partnered with a demand-side platform, and it can use its collective resources and buying power to help you run the campaign you want.
You see a lot of marketing generalists out there that have a big-picture idea of what they are doing but lack the resources to execute the details. They are missing a professional display ad creative, data analyst, account manager, etc., and as a result, their campaign suffers. That is quite often the story for most of our clients on the small business side. Their organizational resources, time and knowledge simply do not allow them to operate at scale without an agency partner.
MH: What are the biggest barriers in utilizing data for programmatic campaigns?
Carl Robitaille: When you work in programmatic, you quickly notice that the data actually becomes more expensive than the actual media buy itself. This is especially true with second- and third-party data. You have to be very cognizant of where this data is coming from, especially if you are in B2B. There are not necessarily large audiences for these niche B2B groups, and that drives up the price.
MH: What kind of information would you purchase from a second party?
Carl Robitaille: You would purchase a pool of specific device IDs for the audience. You would also purchase SEO data to learn who visited which site and for how long.
MH: Any final pointers for running programmatic campaigns?
Carl Robitaille: There are a lot of hidden costs that you wouldn’t necessarily be thinking about until you started planning and running a campaign. The costs include so much more than the media buy itself. This is why I advise working with a good, transparent agency partner to make sure you are getting the most for your budget.
MH: What new developments are on the horizon for the programmatic industry?
Carl Robitaille: I believe you will soon see the demand-side platforms grow vertically and adopt data management platform capabilities. You will be able to store and dissect mass quantities of data and then use it for tailoring ad buys all with one vendor.
How many B2B marketing solution companies would ask a graffiti artist to revamp their headquarters?
MultiView invited Abel Garcia, a celebrated Dallas-based artist, to create a unique graffiti-style mural for their Dallas office Tuesday, Feb. 10.
MultiView believes that all people have the ability to unlock their potential through creative problem-solving and thereby become “artists” in their own right.
Abel, like MultiView, stands in a league of his own. He falls outside of the boundaries of the “traditional artist.”
He began his career in Las Cruces, New Mexico with a love for art history, hip-hop and graffiti art. Since his beginnings in Las Cruces, Abel’s pieces have been collected by enthusiasts nationally, as well as featured on billboards in Times Square. Abel has painted in front of thousands during his live painting performances for Mavericks games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Abel’s mission as an artist is to inspire and encourage the creativity in others.
This past Tuesday, Abel painted a mural on the 8th floor of the MultiView Dallas office to celebrate the creativity found in the employees.
The painting features a large image of MultiView’s adopted mascot “Buster Brown” – a large, fearsome hawk that is often found roosting on the 8th floor window ledge whenever the company achieves major landmarks.
Abel and his two assistants, Louie and Mannie, painted for over seven hours, from 8 p.m. to dawn. Yet they were not alone. They were cheered on and encouraged by MultiView employees, most notably Austin Dicharry, Nicholas Henderson and Tom Crist, until the very end. MultiView employees also assisted in the creation of the mural.
“MultiView believes that all people have the ability to unlock their potential through creative problem-solving and thereby become “artists” in their own right.”
MultiView stands in a league of its own. It’s not just another B2B marketing firm, but a company that truly relishes the power of creativity, imagination and innovation.
Every aspect of its culture encourages creativity – from its employees’ hand-picked avatars and unique team structure to the business’s core philosophy.
In the words of Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ben Maitland, “Creativity is an essential, irreplaceable resource for driving business forward.”
MultiView is a firm supporter of the arts and the outside-of-the-box thinking they encourage.
In the spirit of supporting creative thinking, MultiView is hosting Celebrate Creativity Wednesday, April 1st from 6-9PM at The House of Blues Dallas Foundation Room.
Celebrate Creativity is an event focused on connecting creatively-minded individuals across industries throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The event features a variety of artistic touch points from live painting by Abel Garcia, a collaborative piece by Cara Calvert-Thomas, live music by Emotion Brown and the Cosmos, and interactive digital art.
There is no room for individuals that work purely as strategists in mid to small sized marketing organizations. Everyone must be skilled at something, and strategy itself, I would argue, is not a skill.
Good strategy is nothing without the means or abilities to actually implement it.
Your strategic skill is overrated if you cannot write, design, curate or create anything worth promoting in the first place.
Content marketers can only master their craft through developing advanced proficiencies in creating a particular type of content. One does not have to claim to be a writer, designer, videographer and developer, but please, pick at least one specialty and stick with it long enough to be experienced in its production.
Here are some skills that I hope will be incorporated into the newfound content marketing curriculum starting to turn up at Integrated Marketing Communications programs like Emerson and Northwestern:
- Being a “good writer” is not enough – know how to copy edit.
How embarrassing would it be to write a post on your company’s blog and have your grammar be so egregious that no one can suffer through it? Having issues that aren’t caught by spell-check are just as awful. If consumers have less time to read content, why would they want to read your content if it is awkwardly written? Take a few courses in copy editing before you show up to the job.
- Project follow-through – get stuff done.
Project management is a serious skill, especially in the hustle and bustle of any company’s campaign. Content marketers are great for coming up with ideas but not finishing. As sometimes is the case with creative types, some content marketers lack organization. However, one’s “right brained-ness” is not an excuse for lack of structure. Use that creativity to solve the problem of organization. Utilize Real-time board, a Google doc, Outlook’s calendar features or the abundance of other resources at your disposal to stay on schedule.
- Scrappiness – be willing to roll up your sleeves.
Too often I’ve heard a strategist say that they can’t assist in this or that initiative because they are best geared towards theorizing and coming up with new ideas. They sound like the bourgeoisie of marketing. Don’t put yourself in this typecast. Prove yourself through being a team player and being willing to help your team with whatever they need. There is no room for whining.
- See the big picture – keep the end result in mind.
Creative individuals sometimes get carried away in thinking about the look, feel and design of their latest initiative. Before getting lost in the details of your masterpiece, first understand what impact this work needs to have. What are your objectives? What are your performance indicators? How are you measuring them? How will this piece of content get you to your end goal?
Watch MultiView’s Good Company – Documenting the entrepreneurial spirit of American Business.
In today’s stressful, technologically-connected world, it’s often difficult to find time to stop and reflect on the blessing in our lives. And while each of us face challenges every day, there’s so much to be thankful for – our family, our health, our freedom. Life is indeed precious, but you just never know what new, unexpected hand you might be dealt. Just ask the 1 in 10 American soldiers that, according to Veterans Inc., were disabled by injuries sustained in combat. Or talk to someone in the 15 percent of the world’s population that has some form of physical or mental disability and the people who consider themselves blessed to take care of them.
Some of the best entrepreneurial stories come out of unexpected challenges that life has dealt. Be Adaptive Equipment in Columbia City, Ind., is one such company. The mission behind their products is to help physically-challenged outdoorsmen enjoy the activities they love, such as hunting, shooting, fishing, archery and riding ATVs. The physical and emotional impact this company has on so many people can be seen in the second episode of “Good Company,” a documentary giving viewers a first-hand look into some of the most unique businesses in America.
The idea behind Be Adaptive Equipment began with a simple gesture by owner Brian Kyler. After a friend sustained severe injuries from a motorcycle accident that left him as a quadriplegic, Kyler used his background as a fourth generation fabricator and welder to find ways for his friend to regain the ability to participate in outdoor activities he loved. As the number of products Kyler was able to create grew, so did the interest – most of which was garnered online – and Be Adaptive Equipment was officially born.
Like most good entrepreneurs, Kyler was able to recognize a problem and find a solution for it. However, it’s not every day that the products of a small family business are able to make such an enormous impact. Whether Be Adaptive products allow people to do something that they’ve never done before, or let them return to their favorite hobbies, the sole purpose of this business is to improve the quality of life for their customers. And with a mission that that powerful, there’s an understandable ripple effect of happiness that reaches the friends and families that are able to watch their loved enjoy their favorite pastimes.
“Be Adaptive isn’t just a good company – they’re a morally good company,” said director Daniel Maitland. “What they are creating and how they are helping people completely transcends profit numbers and monetary figures.”
At MultiView, we’re thankful for the entrepreneurial spirit that drives businesses across America. It’s this sprit that has built this great country – a spirit that we take the time to celebrate every day.
Sometimes, the thought of selling strikes one with fear.
What do I say?
What if I mess up?
Am I the right person for this?
They don’t think they have any experience.
Clearly, this person is in denial.
Keep in mind, most people probably sell something every single day – whether they realize it or not. How did they convince their friend to try a new idea? Get their parents to do x, y and z? Didn’t one have to ‘sell’ themselves to get a job?
We are all sales people to a certain extent, and one don’t necessarily have to work on the sales floor to know how to communicate and persuade.
Here are some pointers for getting over sales fears.
- It’s all about the attitude.
One can’t always control what happens in life, however they can control how they respond. Attitude is 90 percent of how one copes with the universe’s hurdles. If one has a winning attitude, success will be just around the corner. Have confidence – believe you can and you will.
- Sales is a discussion before it is a sale.
Every time a person meets with someone, they are having a conversation. An individual may have hundreds of different conversations every day, ranging from in-person encounters, to IM conversations or chats over the phone. The only difference is that in sales one has a conversation with the goal of listening more attentively and helping someone resolve their business issues.
- Every stumble is a step on the stairway to success.
Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank once described the difference between the people who are successful in sales and those who aren’t on an interview. Those that succeed brush themselves off and get back up on their feet right after every fall. They don’t spend time brooding over failure, as they are too busy chasing after success.