The Oracle Data Cloud blog highlights the latest data-driven insights and trends in digital marketing and ad tech.

Using B2B data in a cross-device world

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Ethan Simblist, Vice President, Digital Services, MeritDirect, LLC.

As business to business (B2B) programmatic spending rises, and audience targeting is more widely adopted, marketers need to step up their game.  

That includes finding the right business decision-makers at the right time, in the right location, at the right price point—and on the right device—all with the correct message for your brand.

With that in mind, here are a few tactics (laden with acronyms!) that programmatic buyers can take advantage of today to keep messaging relevant and impactful.

1. Account-based marketing (ABM)

In marketing complex business solutions, ABM plays a key role in expanding business within existing customer accounts where, for example, wider industry marketing is not targeted enough to appeal to an existing customer (and it’s not uncommon for the initial sale to take several months).

Many B2B marketers report that ABM delivers an increase in the long-term value of the customer. ABM also can be applied to key prospect accounts in support of the first sale. 

The Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) shares the example of an aircraft engine manufacturing company that employed ABM to aid in the completion of a successful $2B deal, as well as the strategy used at a large energy company to drive a $24MM deal.

Research demonstrates that buyers are looking for their existing suppliers to keep them updated with relevant propositions, but are often left disappointed.

Research also proves how much easier it is for organizations to generate more sales from existing customers than from new customers—77 percent of decision-makers say that marketing from new suppliers is poorly targeted, and makes it easy to justify staying with their current supplier.

By treating each account individually, ABM activity can be targeted more accurately to address the audience and is more likely to be considered relevant than untargeted direct marketing activity.

2. Software development kit (SDK) data targeting

SDKs also play a larger role in personalized messaging. SDKs enrich applications with advanced functionalities, advertisements, and push notifications.

Now marketers can target users by device, operating platform, as well as by mobile apps installed.

All of these combined can be leveraged alongside standard demo targeting tied to the same user.

If someone is using the QuickBooks app, you might sell them a competitive product or make assumptions about their behavior.

Having QuickBooks installed may suggest they are likely to be a small business owner or an accountant.

If you want to reach a professional business audience, you might target folks with the LinkedIn app installed.

A web conferencing company may consider targeting users of GoToMeeting, WebEx, or BlueJeans.

Data aggregators are just now scratching the surface with SDK data, allowing the mobile experience to be much more targeted and meaningful.

To date, many mobile users are turned off by invasive digital ads. Adding these additional layers of targeting can push mobile users to more comfortably engage with apps serving relevant content whether it is part of the app or a hyper-targeted ad.

3. Location data

With the dawn of geo-fencing—the use of GPS or RFID technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area—marketers now have the ability to advertise specifically to potential customers within a certain geographic radius.

This technology isolates the radius and empowers beacon technology to serve up the most appropriate message. While geo-fencing has been around for a while, the popularity of smartphones has made it even more powerful.  

According to Mary Vestewig, Senior Director, Account Management, Video for Extreme Reach, a cloud-based TV and video platform, more marketers plan to increase their spend on geo-targeted campaigns.

In fact, BIA/Kelsey research estimates U.S. spending on location-targeted mobile advertising will grow from just over $12B in 2016 to $32B in 2021.

And it makes perfect sense—geo-targeted advertising provides the unique opportunity for advertisers to reach their audiences with a more personalized experience while out and about.

While many might see this as a B2C tactic, B2B markets can help boost relevance looking at time spent in certain locations coupled with other data points, including more traditional firmographics, to serve up hyper-targeted, even language-based personalization.

Although leveraging any of these tactics might require some customization, getting the most relevant message to the right audience in real time is essential. 

When possible, it’s important to spend the extra effort up front to cut through the clutter while creating a better user experience for prospects and existing customers alike.

Contact The Data Hotline today for B2B targeting answers, now. (What's The Data Hotline?

About Ethan Simblist:

Ethan heads up MeritDirect's digital division driving digital sales through data licensing, video advertising, online display, native, and mobile marketing. 

Previously, Ethan managed the DM Solutions team at InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IACI), launched ContextWeb’s (ADSDAQ) Exchange Agency Trading Desk, and also helped a number of other startups bring new technology and solutions to market.

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