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Oracle Data Cloud Blog

Key questions to ask when vetting B2B data sources

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

As more B2B advertisers shift marketing budgets to programmatic display, the demand for quality B2B inventory has increased substantially over the last few years.

Savvy B2B programmatic buyers look for targeting capabilities that allow them to eliminate waste while staying broad enough to let the machine learning in the various programmatic environments find the right user at the right time at the right price point. Data remains the primary driver of finding these micro moments across devices.

There are many choices of B2B digital data providers today to leverage across the advertising exchange inventory, with a broad range of data price points, data providers and firmographic data points.

How can the demand side determine which data set is the best fit for their needs? Asking the following questions can help marketers determine the best data source(s):

1) Does the data provider have a B2B focus as a company? With the advent of data onboarding, there are now more types of data sources than ever. Does the company have a history of working with B2B marketers directly so they can understand their needs? Do they “eat their own dog food” as they say, to ensure the data is targetable as well as responsive?

2) If the company does not specialize in B2B but does specialize in aggregating quality data sources across many verticals, is the company reputable? Does the company have easy to find credentials with a clear explanation of where the data comes from and even the company’s core competencies? 

3) What does the taxonomy look like as a marketer queries a data source? Are the available targets all top level, or are they granular enough to eliminate wasted impressions while still offering enough scale to optimize against via machine learning? Many B2B markers need to target very specific audiences and verticals.

Today’s B2B data landscape has changed the game:

Several years ago it was not as easy to find the level of granularity needed to eliminate waste while maximizing the efficiencies of the medium. Now there are enough types of data sources with both depth and breadth allowing companies to get as specific as targeting a specific company, better known as Account Based Marketing.

If someone wants to target a “title” and an “industry” ideally, one would pick a source that has both so they are only charged one data fee. If the marketer has to layer on two different data providers, one that has the “title” then a separate source that has the “industry,” the data expense is compounded.

The bottom line for data-driven marketers:

With a plethora of data providers available at the fingertips of marketers and pressure to find the right user at the best micro moment, it is important to carefully weigh all options. With a little time spent on due diligence marketers can find the right B2B data source(s) to layer on to your programmatic advertising campaign and maximize the efficiencies of the medium.

About Ethan Simblist:

Ethan Simblist heads up Digital Services at MeritDirect, LLC leading the company’s expansion in digital advertising. Prior to joining MeritDirect, LLC, Ethan was the Director of Digital Strategy at White Star Media, a boutique direct response agency. Ethan brings with him a wealth of experience from his extensive digital marketing career working for LucidMedia, Contextweb, Pulse 360, IAC Advertising Solutions and Lake Group Media.

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Photo: Pressmaster/Shutterstock

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