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The D-U-N-S Number: An ABM Marketer’s Secret Weapon

What’s Next for B2B Marketing Blog Series

I’m a big fan of superhero movies and try to catch all the new releases. As I sat in the theatre fully enthralled with Wonder Woman, I was thinking that superheroes always seem to have nifty gadgets that come in handy when they’re saving the world. The bad guys even complain about it: 1989’s Batman has the Joker memorably grumbling, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” Wouldn’t it be great to have such powerful tools in real life?

We as B2B marketers do have a powerful tool at our finger tips. No, not bullet-deflecting bracelets – the Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number – a unique, nine-digit identifier assigned to every business location in the Dun & Bradstreet database that has a separate and distinct operation. It stays with a business throughout its lifetime and all the changes a business encounters. D-U-N-S Numbers are used by industries and organizations around the world as a global standard for business identification and tracking.

The D-U-N-S Number is a B2B marketer’s secret weapon.

It is a core component for a Master Data program and the means for an organization to establish one common source for all B2B customer records. This becomes the foundation for data-driven customer-related interaction, with departments from marketing, sales, and service working together using the same data. We explore the importance of the D-U-N-S Number in a Master Data program in the What’s Next for B2B Marketing magazine written in collaboration with partner Oracle (see below.)

B2B marketing has always been account-based. Show me an organization that has not had a target list of some sort. I’m serious, have you done marketing without a sales account take-down list? It could take the form of a Fortune 500 list, a named account list, or a competitor rip-out list.

Target accounts are part and parcel to all B2B sales and marketing. So, while Account-Based Marketing (ABM) isn’t new, there is heightened emphasis on the discipline. And with increasingly effective tools to help execute, I predict that all B2B marketers will become ABM specialists with a keen eye on improving the customer experience and increasing marketing ROI. Marketers will message to specific accounts, to the person that cares the most about that message. Personalized, account-based messaging is here to stay.

The D-U-N-S Number can be your weapon of choice for more coordinated, efficient ABM campaigns, sales outreach, and customer services. Having a unique account identifier available across all functions allows for a common language that cuts through silos and is especially important in executing ABM.

The real question is, what is an account?

Companies are not static. They get acquired, merge, spin off units, expand, dissolve, go public, go private. Insight into all these events is necessary to have an accurate view of the accounts you are targeting in the moment. The D-U-N-S Number helps you define, analyze, segment, and target your focused accounts.

But like most superheroes with newly discovered abilities, you may not see at first the full power of the D-U-N-S Number. The D-U-N-S Number unlocks visibility into how an account is connected to an overall corporate hierarchy or family tree – providing better insight into which accounts are really your best opportunities. Seeing an entire corporate family hierarchy can expose new white-space opportunities with non-buying locations of an account, where existing relationships can be mined to expand relationships and increase sales.

Read What’s Next for B2B Marketers, and ready yourself, your team, and your metrics with this powerful method to elevate your ABM approach and deliver amazing customer experiences.

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