The past year has been challenging for many businesses, and nearly all have had to pivot or adapt in one way or another. At the same time, the digital transformation we’ve seen has enabled many marketers to extract more value from data and use it in new ways to target and reach the right prospects.
From my perspective as a long-time provider of B2B marketing data, here are three of the most effective data trends digital marketers are using to expand acquisition reach and fuel growth in 2021 — and the cutting-edge ways you can take them to the next level.
Build Out Profiles With Foundational Contact Data
Sometimes the most fundamental contact data — such as an accurate email address — can be the hardest to obtain. Many businesses have found that it’s not only helpful but necessary to turn to a third-party provider to bulk up their prospect lists or fill in missing details such as firmographic data. Even those with extensive databases are hard-pressed to have everything they want.
If you want to take your acquisition marketing data to the next level, look for a provider that can match business and personal contact data as well as digital and real-world behaviors to create complete person-based profiles. My company is one such provider, but there are a number of others.
You can build your audience based on demographic and firmographic data of your ideal prospects — such as location, position, company size, etc. — then reach those prospects across their various business and personal accounts for multiple touchpoints. This is especially important as more people continue to work from home on business and personal devices, and many prefer to do their own research before making a purchase, both for consumer and business purposes.
Think of it this way: Buyers check their personal and work email. They look at social feeds. They read articles and use apps on their personal and work devices. If you’re only targeting them on their personal accounts and devices, you’re missing out on the other half — and vice versa.
Get in Front of Your Audience Again (and Again) With Programmatic Advertising
With most buyers spending more time researching their decisions, programmatic advertising has increased even more. B2B and B2C buying has become a process, not an event. Programmatic campaigns offer the ability to send emails and then follow up with targeted, relevant display ads — or the other way around — so you can get in front of your audience multiple times as part of an ongoing journey.
In my experience, one of the best ways to ensure you’re reaching the right audience and targeting the same individuals on multiple channels is by using an identity graph. This relatively new data strategy stitches together online and offline data from multiple quality sources to create anonymized customer profiles representing real individuals. The profiles on the identity graph do not contain personally identifiable information.
There are many identity graph providers on the market today, some of which have hundreds of millions of anonymized customer profiles and identifiers for individual consumers. My company’s data is accessible through one and is connected with other quality data sources through its identity graph.
To use an identity graph, first customize your audience based on attributes including firmographic data to define your ideal target for the offer. You can either use pre-built market segments in the platform or fully customized segments. From there, the anonymized IDs are digitized, and you can take them to a demand-side platform to execute campaigns across devices and social and email accounts.
Use Intent Data to Find the Buyers Looking for Your Solution
By now, most digital marketers are familiar with intent monitoring — and for good reason. Instead of trying to make people want what you offer, it shifts the focus to finding the people who already want it. Especially in the past year as even more of our lives have moved online, sales and marketing teams have been using a prospective buyer’s online activities — such as website visits or searches, content downloads, or webinar registrations — to uncover purchase intent signals. These insights can be used to create personalized outreach using the channel of choice.
One limitation of intent data is that it typically only identifies the company behind the intent signal. Look for a provider that can combine powerful intent monitoring data with high-quality business contact data through an IP address lookup. The intent data is matched by IP address to the company, and then compared to contact data to identify the individual decision maker most likely associated with the action based on their job title and function. From there, you can personalize your marketing approach to the individuals who have already shown that they may be interested.
As digital marketers have had to rethink their strategies, several new data-driven methods have moved to the forefront. The opportunity to leverage data, and put it into action at scale, is there if you know how to use it. And from what I’ve seen, the data trends above have shown they can achieve the results needed to stay on top of the game, even in today’s economy.
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