Originally published on https://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/?p=36438/.
Uber is the largest car service company but owns no vehicles. Airbnb has the most overnight bookings but doesn't own a hotel. At an increasingly fast rate, innovators are disrupting and transforming industries by facilitating market relationships - without the operational hassles of owning the channels that run them. In doing this, both the consumer and innovator win as operational hassles are removed and standards are increased.
In the consumer space, we can find several of these examples. But what about in B2B? How do service providers and technology companies offer the highest caliber of service to businesses without owning proprietary assets? In the world of enterprise marketing, these proprietary assets are often data assets.
Adobe, through our Solutions Partner Program, is providing this value. Just as Airbnb doesn't own a hotel, Adobe doesn't own a customer's data assets. Rather, we're providing the marketplace for the buying and selling of first, second and third party data assets. We've invested and focused on data partnerships with quite simply the best in the industry. We have compiled over a half a billion B2B profiles allowing businesses to message to other companies as granularly or generically as they would like. And B2B companies can take advantage of this today through Adobe's data management platform or DMP - Audience Manager.
Today 74% of the Fortune 50 companies are leveraging solutions within the Adobe Marketing Cloud. 10 of the top 10 Computer Software Companies and 10 of the Top 10 Commercial Banks use our Marketing Services. Are you impressed yet?
At the core of this solution adoption is a desire to provide the best solution to Adobe and our partners' end clients. In many instances, this could mean servicing, retaining and winning over the decision makers of some of the top companies in the world.
Today, Adobe partners with the top B2B companies in the industry to provide solutions for our mutual clients. Within Adobe's Audience Marketplace (available through Audience Manager), the top hightech and financial services companies can power their B2B marketing initiatives via Dun & Bradstreet, ALC, Bombora, Cross Pixel, Eyeota, Demandbase and TransUnion.
Having the best data partners is not enough. Adobe has created an e-commerce way for Audience Manager clients to test these data sets to evaluate who performs best for their digital initiatives. We give our DMP clients direct access to our data partners to see what the overlap is with their first party data and identify the best audiences for retention or competitive campaigns.
Want to see it in action? Please click here to see our Premier Partner, Dun & Bradstreet, show you how this works.
Having me tell you about our data partners' B2B strategy isn't enough. In keeping with Adobe's partner-led strategy, we wanted to give our partners the opportunity to speak for themselves. Please see below to learn more from our data partners directly exactly what B2B marketing in partnership with Adobe looks like for them.
- Dun & Bradstreet: Anudit Vikram, SVP & Chief Product Officer
- Bombora: Greg Herbst, VP Programmatic Data Solutions
- ALC: John Whitmore, VP, Digital Audience Solutions
- TransUnion: Jeffrey Minich, VP Product Partnerships, Digital
One of the biggest buzz terms in B2B marketing is "Account Based Marketing. What does that mean?
Anudit Vikram (SVP & Chief Product Officer, Dun & Bradstreet):
The "marketing" in "account based marketing" is a bit of a misnomer. ABM is not just marketing. It's a business initiative that unites sales, IT, product, customer success and other groups around one shared goal: to deepen engagement with target, strategic or major accounts. These accounts don't have to be new business, either. ABM can also focus on retention, upsell and cross-sell efforts. Regardless of your specific ABM goals, the key is to align and orchestrate people, processes and technologies to deepen customer and prospect relationships.
What makes B2B a category unto it's own? Why is messaging to businesses different than messaging to consumers?
Greg Herbst (VP, Programmatic Data Solutions, Bombora):
B2B sales are usually more complex than B2C. While the B2C purchase funnel is generally a one-to-one journey, there are multiple stakeholders involved in the B2B buying process. This means B2B marketers need to reach a range of individuals in varying disciplines across a prospect organization. In order to identify and target these groups - B2B data needs to not only have scale across a range of areas and audiences, but also be quite specific to target the right people - hence the higher cost. This complexity also drives higher cost in that there is less B2B data available - especially on a global basis.
Which segments are growing at the fastest rate for B2B sales?
John Whitmore (VP, Digital Audience Solutions, ALC):
ALC has observed a spike in requests for SMB decision-makers, specifically those who have a known influence on purchasing power at their respective organizations. The B2B buyer audience is also experiencing increased demand - which allows marketers to target known purchasers by type of product and frequency of purchase. In addition, we have seen a lift within the C-Suite segment - targeting these key decision makers by industry.
We are seeing an increased demand in retargeting anonymous website traffic with both email and direct mail. ALC has met this need with Remarketable - which combines the unparalleled response rates and deliverability of direct mail with the intent-to-buy relevance and timing of display retargeting.
What do SMB's need to know before engaging with B2B targeted data? How is it different than when a large business runs a campaign?
Jeffrey Minich (VP, Product Partnerships, Digital, TransUnion):
Honing in on the right decision-maker and industry is usually key to identifying the right audience for a B2B campaign. Transunion B2B data provides the ability to target by Title, Industry, Revenue, and Number of Employees. SMB's also often serve local markets so it's important to localize your spend to geographies being served. Most buying platforms support localization of audience buys down to the zip code.
For larger businesses, we often see the need for what we call 'Small Business Identification' within their existing consumer CRM file. So for example, a large bank may wish to cross-sell small business products to its consumer banking customers who may also small business owners. By layering Transunion Small Business data on top of the bank's CRM file within Adobe Audience Manager, the bank can create a new small business prospect audience for cross-sell campaigns.
What is the biggest trend in B2B marketing in 2016?
We'll see more discussions around measurement. In many cases, the cross-functional nature of ABM requires cultural change and, if the effort is strategic, significant time and resource investments. How do we measure the return on relationships? We can look at closed deals and revenue amounts, but ABM is qualitative by nature and requires different metrics than what we've used with the traditional funnel (e.g., conversion rates). For example, we'll need to quantify how ABM is moving the needle on engagement and influence.
Using intent data in ABM is a trend that every B2B marketer needs to be aware of. While typical approaches to ABM have used purely IP address targeting and demographic data (e.g. job function, etc.) - this has limited scale. It adds a rich layer of insight to ABM campaigns, enabling marketers to identify what exactly their addressable market is interested in and when. Through the creation of a custom segment, or private cookie pool, Bombora can build a list based on insights from our Surge data - which measures when a company starts consuming content on a topic much more than they normally do. Bombora also mines surging intent data and enrich existing lists by matching the companies that are 'surging' - or in market right now - to help marketers target only those companies.
According to Forrester Research's '2015 Business Technographics Global Priorities and Journey Survey' report, the influence level of technology professionals in the US, is strongest with mid-management and SMEs - rather than with the C-level. Expanding ABM targeting beyond the c-suite gives marketers more complete reach - and likely influence - across the entire B2B buying process.
Ultimately, B2B marketing is not that different from marketing to a consumer. You are trying to reach the appropriate stakeholders with the most concise, effective form of communication in the right place at the right time. The challenge with B2B data is the scarcity of quality data and the complexity of understanding how multiple organizations function.
Through the partnerships with the organizations listed above, Audience Marketplace is helping our clients navigate this challenge. Like our friends in the consumer space, we believe the path to partnering instead of acquiring these companies is the fastest path to offering the strongest solution to our clients.
Learn more about Dun & Bradstreet’s Adobe Exchange and Adobe Marketing Cloud Partnership here.
Watch this video to learn how to add Dun & Bradstreet’s Audience Solutions Data via Adobe Audience Marketplace