Identity graphing technology offers innovative solution to mitigate audience-reach challenges facing B2B marketers in the post-pandemic data analytics world.
It’s unlikely that many will miss 2020. The year brought many challenges in nearly every walk of life. It remains to be seen what the “new normal” will be across the board, but one thing is clear: the B2B marketer’s job will be all the more challenging in 2021.
It’s no secret that B2B marketers face obstacles when trying to build brand awareness and capture quality leads via the digital ecosystem. Why? Because ad tech is highly optimized for consumer marketing. Whether its “cookie” based targeting or the “walled gardens” of social platforms, data used for relevant advertising placement is almost exclusively mapped to consumer or personal attributes.
Even on LinkedIn—by far the most business-friendly of the big social platforms—more than 70 percent of profiles are mapped to personal email addresses rather than business identities. That percentage is even higher on Facebook. If a B2B marketer has a target list of businesses or business professionals acquired from lead- or list-purchasing services, such as ZoomInfo, they can only reach about 15 percent of the targets through social advertising platforms. This is a major impediment for B2B marketers using the digital ecosystem to reach intended targets.
Prior to 2020, new capabilities were emerging to address this challenge. Examples included ad-targeting services that use IP mapping and location-based “geo-fencing.” These could be associated with a target business to facilitate digital ads directed to specific individuals at those businesses. These approaches provided a rudimentary means for effective targeting, although they did not work in multistory and multi tenant settings. Furthermore, it’s not possible to filter by department or title. But progress was at least being made to help the B2B market—until the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
With the onset of COVID-19, more and more people switched to work-from-home situations—nearly overnight. That change in behavior essentially eliminated IP mapping and geo-fencing as practical ways to direct messages to target audiences. That is not likely to change. Research suggests one major aspect of the “new normal” will be a continued enterprise reliance on permissive work-from-home policies. Businesses that have adapted to teleworkers have also implemented new tools and processes that promote greater remote-worker productivity.
Our 2021 Marketing Analytics Prediction
There’s an effective solution for the audience-reach challenges facing B2B marketers in 2021: B2B2C identity graphing. We believe that 2021 will be the year that this capability moves to the forefront of B2B marketing. B2B2C identity graphing allows consumer-identity attributes to be associated with business-target lists. This data analysis technique allows you to map a personal email address to a business email or a physical street address (or mobile phone number) to a name of a business professional at a particular business.
What’s the upshot? With identity graphing, B2B marketers can utilize all the targeting capabilities that B2C marketers have been using for years to reach ideal prospects at scale across all digital touch points. This is a game changer for B2B marketers. That same target list of business professionals that only matched 15 percent on Facebook will now match 85 percent or more. Business advertising can be highly targeted across social platforms, through smart TV’s, and via broader digital media. In 2021, B2B digital audience creation, CRM/marketing automation systems, and ABM platforms will all tap into the capabilities that B2B2C identity graphing promises.