Programmatic ad distribution with ABM


Advertising using programmatic ABM with N.Rich is fundamentally different from traditional digital media advertising or social media advertising. This article outlines the main differences between direct-media buying and programmatic ABM and provides answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Please download a summary presentation here:

Standard media-based targeting

In standard media-based targeting, you place your ad on a specific website, and everybody visiting that website is going to see your advertisement. This is the oldest form of advertising online and is somewhat outdated because of the lack of granularity in targeting and analytics. Typically in B2B the websites selected would be industry-specific in order to try to ensure that majority of the people seeing the ad will belong to the selected target group. From an analytics perspective, the advertiser is traditionally offered impressions as the metric, although some media outlets offer also data about engagement.

Account-based targeting with programmatic distribution

Account-based targeting uses IP addresses and cookies to identify which individuals (browsers) relate to the specific prospective accounts. This way ABM is able to filter out the “noise” of irrelevant accounts and especially consumers from targeting. The fundamental idea of ABM is the opposite of traditional media-based targeting; in ABM the ads will ONLY be shown to relevant people from the selected accounts, regardless of the website they visit. In other words, programmatic ABM relies on a huge network of websites, in which the ads will only be shown to visitors coming from the relevant IP addresses and with the cookie-IDs determined by the optimization algorithms who are most likely to engage with the ad.

N.Rich advertising distribution

N.Rich distributes the advertising using its Demand Side Platform (DSP) specifically designed for ABM as well as through Google. N.Rich DSP connects to some of the biggest Ad Exchanges globally like Appnexus, Pubmatic, and OpenX. Through these exchanges, N.Rich receives access to thousands of impressions per second coming from the targeted accounts on tens of millions of websites. The website on which a specific ad will be shown is selected by N.Rich algorithms based on the expected likelihood of engagement for the specific individual (cookie), from the specific account, at the specific time.

The ads will appear both on consumer and business context websites. The ad inventory will be influenced by the industry in which your target accounts operate, the countries in which they operate, and how international the companies are. On Google, IP-address targeting is not used, and the ads will be showing to the selected cookies on Google’s display network and in-app distribution. On all channels used by N.Rich, there are several safeguards in place to ensure that the ads will only be shown in brand-safe environments.


On most ABM platforms there is limited data available about the expected reach when creating your segments or account lists. The term “Match-rate” is often used to refer to the number of accounts that can be found from the database, or for which there are IP addresses available. Match-rate, however, is not taking into account the actual reach, and for this reason, N.Rich has introduced another metric called Cookie Estimate. This metric gives accurate data about the average daily number of cookies that were detected by the N.Rich system during the past 30 days. In other words, Cookie Reach gives you insight into how many individuals (cookies) you can expect to reach from each targeted account. The cookie reach, therefore, reflects the available reach from the account according to their browsing behavior, e.g. healthcare companies in Germany would be expected to visit different websites from IT companies in the US.

Frequently asked questions

How does N.Rich determine the websites in which it will show the ads?

N.Rich “listens” to 1000s of target account impressions every second to identify the optimal website, page, and time to show the ad to the specific person. Website is just one of the dozens of factors used automatically for optimizing the engagement.

How does N.Rich ensure the ads will be shown on “brand-safe” websites?

Brand safety is one of the top priorities for N.Rich. Websites with dubious content, like betting or violence, are categorically excluded from the distribution. There are also various safeguards in place to ensure ads won’t be shown on pages with non-brand safe content.

Wouldn’t it increase conversion if ads were shown on relevant industry sites?

Based on the data it would not. Industry websites are full of industry content, so it will be harder for your ads to stand out. When your ads are relevant for the targeted account and persona, engagement is often more likely when the ads are shown out of context placements like consumer websites.

Can I choose the ads to appear / not appear on specific sites?

No you can’t. Allowing only selected sites would mean reducing the chances of reaching your target accounts to < 1% compared to using the programmatic distribution of millions of websites.
Blocking certain sites would affect the optimization and also lead to a significant reduction of performance.

Why are there so many consumer websites included?

ABM is about targeting decision-makers and influencers, who are consumers, too.
ABM ads are shown to people from the target accounts to optimize the engagement, during- and outside the working hours, at the optimal time and place, regardless of the website they visit, consumer-, or business-focused

Why doesn’t N.Rich report ad impressions and the sites on which the ads were placed?

Impressions measure distribution to the entire account, including plenty of irrelevant people, who most likely didn’t even notice the ad. Engagement is a key metric reflecting the actual interest. Reporting the websites would be misleading since it is one of the dozens of variables used for optimization.