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As the world acclimates to a post-pandemic lifestyle, many professionals who once spent their workdays in corporate offices will continue to work remotely/And that has posed a new challenge in targeting B2B decision-makers.

Marketers must now expand their thinking beyond where their audiences "should be" to reach them where they actually are. That means targeting them as they engage in consumer-driven activities during their workday.

Humanizing Your Audience

Historically, marketers have employed B2B audience tactics that assume decision-makers will be in the office: geofencing the workplace or using contextual or direct ad buys on sites specific to job function.

Imagine you're marketing financial services software, and you want to reach financial advisers. Typically, you might place ads in the Wall Street Journal or The Economist in hopes of reaching decision-makers at brokerage firms.

From a content perspective or an overall media mix perspective, that strategy can be successful. However, for every "broker" you reach, you will also likely be reaching MBA students, day traders, and retirees who also read those publications.

Marketers don't need to be serving ads in job-related content all the time to engage with the right people. Yes, do keep it as a part of your advertising strategy, but consider what percentage of your day you spend looking at content specific to your job function. When I go home at the end of the day, or if my office happens to be my home, I am still a consumer. I browse travel sites, shop on Amazon, and check the news, among other non-work-related pastimes.

From Title to Household

Title targeting is often synonymous with LinkedIn marketing. Although B2B professionals might be active on LinkedIn, few are likely to be checking the site all the time (unless they are job hunting).

Title targeting can encompass more than just searching for someone's job role on LinkedIn. It is also a suitable strategy for efficiently reaching your target audience across household devices. Targeting a household where the CEO lives provides marketers with better access and scale than traditional LinkedIn or direct buying methods.

Let's take it back to the financial services example: If you are able to identify the household where the broker lives, you open the door to a vast world of content that person is consuming. The broker may be planning a family trip; therefore, advertising your software on travel sites would provide a touchpoint.

That tactic extends to many other high-impact channels on which you can reach professionals, such as the streaming services they watch via connected TV. Using household ownership and behavioral profiles based on predictive modeling, you can also identify and target other similar professionals.

Some companies in certain industries have specific sites or channels blocked or restricted. For example, government officials or IT security professionals might have limited access to YouTube, Facebook, or even general Web browsing. In such instances, the only way you can interact with those audiences at scale is via high-impact messaging at the household level.

The Mindset Shift: Whom Should I Actually Target?

The reality is that B2B advertisers are likely targeting in a far too granular way.

For example, if you are trying to reach a CEO, chances are that person is not clicking on the display ad about your sales software. Think beyond who is signing off on purchase decisions and start considering what other stakeholders or influencers are involved in the decision-making process.

In most organizations, the decision-maker will not be your first point of contact. Instead, target the sales or finance team along with the management team to influence and endorse your offering.

A Precise Pairing: Title Targeting and Account-Based Marketing

In account-based marketing, many B2B marketers encounter the opposite of the previously mentioned issue—that is, targeting too broadly. That can lead to wasted spend on unqualified leads.

ABM strategies are heavily reliant on email, from both a deployment and a data onboarding perspective. It can be extremely complicated to connect digital identifiers to work emails, which means you'll be reaching that prospect only through whatever IDs are associated with those addresses. That can result in low match rates and low reach—to just a fraction of your target audience.

Using title targeting to fuel the ABM process is a clean way to build and consistently feed the funnel with qualified leads. Starting at the company level, you can identify all of the associated job titles and reach those people across devices, netting much greater reach than trying to onboard emails and match them to other identifiers. You can then drive those targets to your company website or a landing page, or nurture them with drip email campaigns.

With the reassurance that you're continually adding qualified prospects to your list, you can feel confident in also using more expensive but higher-impact channels, such as video or CTV, which can be near 100% viewable and unskippable. Such a highly refined audience enables those premium environments to target at greater scale: More than three-quarters of US households have at least one Internet-connected TV. CTV and video not only help drive awareness but also benefit lower-funnel tactics.

Reaching Your Audience at Home

Incorporating title targeting into your marketing mix allows you to bridge the gap between home and office. As hybrid and remote work continue indefinitely, title and household targeting are efficient ways to engage with the maximum number of the right influencers and stakeholders in an organization across a range of channels and content.

Because most of us are someone's employee and someone's consumer, and increasingly, we are both at the same time.

More Resources on B2B Targeting

Five Steps to Successful Audience Targeting in Online Ad Campaigns

LinkedIn Advertising: The Complete Guide to Targeting Options [Infographic]

New Channels, Better Targeting: How B2B Tech Marketing Is Changing

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Think Outside the Office: Reach B2B Decision-Makers at Home

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image of Michael Skladony

Mike Skladony is the general manager of consumer services at Semcasting, a provider of privacy-safe data solutions, including identity resolution, audience design, and attribution.

LinkedIn: Mike Skladony