How IBM reached and retargeted 1.4 million B2B Safari users

ID5 and MediaMath helped IBM promote its cloud and AI products to IT professionals, providing more competitive CPMs while honouring the users’ privacy choices.

Cost per thousand ad impressions (CPMs) in cookieless browsers like Safari are up to 50% lower than in Chrome, as ad buyers are less willing to invest much on unaddressable cookieless traffic.

Advertisers leveraging identity resolutions, such as ID5, can effectively address Safari users while benefiting from lower CPMs than Chrome due to the lack of competi 

To tackle this addressability challenge, IBM recently ran a test campaign focused on retargeting B2B prospects across Safari and iOS, in partnership with MediaMath and alternative identity provider ID5. IBM and MediaMath are long-time partners, but this test was the first time IBM worked with ID5. 

The challenge

Reaching B2B buyers has often been trickier than reaching consumers because business professionals like to do their own research, the products they’re considering are expensive, and purchase decisions are generally made by groups rather than individuals. 

To compound the challenge, B2B marketers now have signal loss to content with. 40% of global traffic is currently unaddressable due to restrictions on third-party cookies in Safari, Firefox, and Edge, so it has become difficult for advertisers to execute campaign strategies such as retargeting and customer prospecting in these browsers. 

Various alternative ID solutions have emerged to enable brands to effectively reach cookieless traffic and maximise their advertising investment today, while helping them prepare for the cookie-free era of digital advertising

IBM realised the value that alternative IDs provide when it comes to reaching their audiences efficiently and at scale and measuring campaign performance across all browsers. At the same time, the company wanted to find a partner that offers privacy-by-design and encryption mechanisms that respect and enforce users’ privacy preferences.

With this goal in mind, IBM partnered with ID5 and MediaMath to execute a proof of concept campaign in the US across desktop, Android, and Apple iOS devices, leveraging the ID5 ID to recognise B2B Safari users and the demand side platform (DSP) MediaMath to retarget them 

The solution

IBM placed ads on desktop and mobile sites, including on iOS and Android, and integrated the ID5 ID into product pages on IBM’s website

The aim was to retarget B2B audiences that had previously visited the IBM site and who had shown interest in IBM products 

When users visited one of the product pages, they were assigned an anonymised ID5 user ID that fed into MediaMath’s DSP. From there, the signal could be picked up by supply side providers (SSPs) looking to fill publisher inventory. If those same users later visited one of the thousands of publisher sites with ID5’s ID solution deployed, they would be retargeted with an ad for the IBM products they’d previously looked at

The retargeted ads only appeared on sites IBM had whitelisted. They were then served programmatically through MediaMath and using IBM’s dynamic creative optimisation engine.

Jared Lansky, SVP of Partnerships at MediaMath, said: “The cookieless future is already here in many instances. MediaMath clients can work with their choice of identity provider, and ID5 has proven its success among B2B Safari audiences. We’re looking forward to scaling IBM’s campaign’s further using ID5’s solution worldwide.”

The results

By leveraging the ID5 and MediaMath server-side integration, IBM was able to maximise its campaign budget as the average CPM was 21% lower across Apple iOS users compared to the average CPM across Android device. 

“Reaching B2B Safari users can be extremely difficult, and that’s why we were so pleased with the results we saw with ID5 and MediaMath,” said Richard Brandolino, Global Media Channels and Ad Tech Leader at IBM. “This is an important learning that could benefit many companies who wish to target business users in cookieless environments.”

“The success of our work with IBM demonstrates the effectiveness of the ID5 ID and our ability to help advertisers maximise not only the audience they can reach with their campaigns but also their efficiency and ad dollars,” said Joe Quaglia, VP of Sales and Business Development at ID5. “It is great to see industry leaders such as MediaMath investing in solutions to support their advertisers in the cookieless present as well as the cookieless future.”


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