Agencies, audience targeting, Audience Identity Resolution

Let’s Dispel Some Common Third-Party Data Misconceptions

By: Kristina Prokop, CEO & Co-founder

As marketers move through a recession-constrained, cookieless landscape, they’re challenged to connect more deeply with customers and prospects, even as previously relied-upon identifiers fall away. The problem is too much emphasis is placed on simply filling gaps in existing B2B and B2C programs when an entirely different approach is needed.

These days, work and personal lives—as well as work and personal devices and media channels—have become inextricably intertwined. And yet, brands are still treating people as though they’re either business or consumer customers, rather than the complex, holistic individuals they truly are. This needs to change.

Today’s B2B and B2C brands aren’t just competing against other companies in their category. They’re competing against every other brand on the planet that wants a prospect’s attention, no matter what they’re trying to sell. If marketers are only speaking to half of a person’s reality—the business or the personal side—they’re missing out on opportunities to connect in a truly personal and relevant way.

Let’s take a look at what it looks like when we move beyond B2B and B2C marketing to use data to connect at a holistic level with B2B2C data.

A New Age of Personalization for a Blended Reality

The line between personal and professional data has dissolved—a reality that’s been in the making for years but was brought to fruition in the pandemic. Now, brands must be able to translate targeting strategies from business to home environments.

The good news is that, by tapping into targeting strategies that encompass insights from a consumer's business and personal life, companies on both sides stand to unlock tremendous new value. For B2B companies, rounding out audience profiles with consumer data—particularly insights around people’s interests outside of their work lives—can unlock more powerful and personal messaging opportunities and wider inventory sources. Similarly, B2C brands have the opportunity to unlock far deeper personalization opportunities by understanding relevant details of a prospect’s or customer’s professional world.

For B2B marketers in particular, this merging of worlds ushers in a unique set of rich audience insights that go beyond basic demographics to include:

  • Intent: Users who have demonstrated an intent to buy through actions such as product searches, configurations and comparisons
  • Interests: Users who have demonstrated interest through activities such as reading blog posts, news articles and answering survey responses
  • Past purchases: Users who have previously purchased certain brands and products within a given period of time
  • Ownership: Users who own certain brands or products

Putting B2B2C Insights into Action

Blended B2B2C insights and identity tools can help brands stay ahead of the competition by finding new ways to translate high-quality audience data into compelling messaging and targeting strategies, all without relying on third-party cookies. Use cases for such data include the following:

  • Customer insights: Brands can uncover details about their customers by combining their first-party data with B2B2C signals to create a 360-view of customers.
  • Persona profiling: Marketers can leverage enriched insights to segment and profile customers into more-nuanced personas.
  • Personalization: Companies can personalize messaging and content based on target audience characteristics to optimize the customer experience.
  • Lookalike modeling: Brands can build enriched lookalike model audiences based on enriched personas of current customers to acquire similar prospects.
  • Prospecting and targeting: Going further, marketers can then leverage lookalike audiences for prospecting and targeting new customers through direct marketing channels such as email, both personal and professional.

B2B2C data strategies enable companies to get a more holistic view of customer attributes within their data platforms for better profiling and audience segmentation. For many B2B brands in particular, this can be a gamechanger. Many brands only have the ability to collect limited professional information on customers based on engagement (e.g., name, company, past purchases, etc.). To grow their business, these brands must go beyond these limited insights to understand individuals more deeply based on lifestyle, household income, interests and more. With a greater understanding of their customers, these brands can plan engagement more effectively and build richer segmentation strategies.

At the same time, B2B2C data strategies can help brands increase acquisition and conversions through personalization and prospecting. After all, when brands lack depth of understanding of their existing consumer base, it’s much harder to increase engagement of existing customers and acquire new ones. Robust B2B2C solutions can provide additional depth to personas, while also identifying prospects that exhibit similar “new known” traits, providing a stronger foundation for new customer engagement and acquisition programs.

Regardless of whether companies operate in the B2B or B2C space, a better understanding of a brand’s customers can inform how companies think about the customer journey, messaging, sales strategy and even their product development process. As the economy continues to tighten, this type of well-rounded, holistic approach to data-driven marketing won’t just be a competitive differentiator. It’s going to become table stakes. 

This article was first published by MediaPost