Dell's Lessons for B2B Digital Advertisers - eMarketer

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Dell's Lessons for B2B Digital Advertisers

December 8, 2017

Liz Matthews
Senior Vice President, Global Brand and Creative

While conventional channels like TV and display ads have many advantages for B2B advertisers, emerging channels and targeting tactics are becoming just as essential to their marketing mix. Liz Matthews, senior vice president of global brand and creative at Dell, spoke with eMarketer’s Jillian Ryan about the new tactics that complement the technology company’s media strategy, and what better targeting means for digital ad budgets in the future.

eMarketer: Can you tell us about one of Dell’s recent omnichannel digital advertising campaigns? What worked and what didn’t?

Liz Matthews: We recently launched our “Let’s Make It Real” brand campaign for Dell Technologies, which focuses on how customers are digitally transforming solutions to the world’s biggest problems and fulfilling their most ambitious dreams. We incorporated a connected media strategy through [out-of-home] OOH, TV, cross-screen video, mobile, digital, social, native and search.

Video and broadcast TV are the strongest performers, followed by native and content syndication. Our customers are hungry for bite-size videos that are easy to engage with and give them tangible knowledge to take away.

Standard banners are our lowest-performing format. However, we’ve seen that we can improve performance with retargeting.

eMarketer: As you execute connected media, what emerging platforms are becoming part of your media mix, and are important for other B2B advertisers to have in their mix as well?

Matthews: We’ve had success with mobile targeting when it’s combined with another vehicle. For example, we do airport OOH, and we also target mobile users going through those airports to drive more impact for our message. We also use mobile geotargeting for industry events to capture relevant mindshare for our customers as they interact with our brand in the real world.

We know TV is still a relevant platform that drives our message home in an impactful way. However, reaching our target audience has become more challenging as so many people cut the cord or record shows and fast-forward through commercials. We’re exploring different ways to buy TV through programmatic channels, and we’re taking a razor-sharp look at how we buy more traditional TV to ensure our spots get viewed.

eMarketer: How have advances in data collection and management led to more precise ad targeting for Dell and other B2B advertisers?

Matthews: Advertisers overlay many internal and external data sets to inventory sources at scale. This enables advertisers to reach their target audience—and retarget them—with less waste and greater accuracy.

Further, the emergence of account-based marketing [ABM] allows for more marketing automation, which gives the ability to target your audience more precisely and leads to more direct communication and engagement. Social platforms are also increasing their targeting capabilities, and advertisers are doing an amazing job understanding the need to connect with their audience and drive engagement in this environment, too. Native advertising and content syndication are great ways to distribute relevant content in a targeted way.

eMarketer: What does better targeting mean for ad budgets?

Matthews: It enables advertisers to maintain ad budgets but eliminate some of the waste when reaching current and potential customers.

As a result, message frequency has increased, and it has become a requirement to create content in all forms to sustain reputation, lead gen and findability. If advertisers don’t constantly refresh available content, they run the risk of capturing an audience but not having anything relevant to say to them.


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