Digital Advertising Really Can Work For B2B


By Julie Friedman Bacchini

There seems to be a bit of a persistent myth out there that digital marketing, pay per click advertising in particular, is not effective for business to business (B2B) companies. We have certainly heard these particular refrains, or something of their ilk pretty frequently:

“Our sales cycles are so long, AdWords advertising simply does not make sense for a company like ours.”

“We tried paid search once, but didn’t see any ROI so we stopped.”

“There just is not any way to effectively target our desired prospects with digital marketing.”

You get the idea. Lots and lots of reasons why digital marketing couldn’t possibly work for a B2B organization. And, the notion is not completely wrong. Most platforms, with the great exception of LinkedIn, are definitely skewed toward business to consumer type of transactions.

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But just because the systems are not generally set up specifically for B2B usage, in no way means that there is not opportunity to use them successfully for B2B marketing!

Let’s take AdWords as an example. If you take the time to really break down your sales process and outline the steps your desired prospects generally follow during their purchasing process, you can find points at which you can put advertising in front of them that will put or keep your offering in the running.

Splitting out the types of people at the target company you might wish to reach and tailoring your search ad placements accordingly can be quite effective. End users, for example perform a lot more searches than managers or CEOs.

Digital display advertising can be more effective in reaching all levels of management. Of course, retargeting users who make it to your site, but do not convert is a great strategy.

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Platforms have also increased their capabilities in matching your advertising to customer lists. AdWords, LinkedIn and Facebook all have the ability to use your uploaded customer lists to create audiences for advertising. These lists can also be used as exclusions to keep your ads from showing to existing customers!

Creating effective digital advertising strategy for B2B companies takes a little more effort than creating it for B2C companies, but the payoff can be extraordinary. Don’t be too quick to write paid search off as wholly ineffective for B2B.

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Julie Friedman Bacchini is the president of Neptune Moon LLC, a full-service internet marketing and web design firm. She and her blog are regularly included in many top search marketing influencer lists. Julie has presented on topics such as web site experience, local search visibility and paid search both locally and at national industry conferences, including SMX East and PPC Hero. You can find Julie on Twitter @NeptuneMoon or reach her via email at or telephone at 484-341-8181.



Top photo credit: homethods MacBook Air Entrepreneur Blogger Business – Credit to via photopin (license)

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