4C is a data science and marketing technology company helping brands win the epic battle for consumer attention. 4C’s SaaS solution – Scope – equips marketers to deploy audience-based strategies across channels and devices. With world-class clients and partners, Scope is the industry’s only self-serve technology solution for audience intelligence, activation, and analytics across TV, digital, mobile, and social media.
With over a decade of experience in paid search and display advertising on the agency-side, VP of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), Joshua Dreller saw a fundamental shift in how B2B organizations were increasingly adopting account-based approaches to engage audiences from 2015 to 2018. As such, he was tasked with leading 4C’s ABM strategy in early 2018.
With nearly $2 billion in spend flowing through their Scope platform – and a focus on large enterprise marketers – Josh had some visibility into the accounts that represented the most valuable customers and prospects. He now had to find a way to reach the individuals that worked across those brands to drive awareness and expand wallet share.
Josh and his team embarked on an account selection process to build his ABM strategy. He explains, “We knew we wanted to work with bigger advertisers that had higher spend potential. We used $10 million in social spend as a cutoff for selecting accounts in our database. We also wanted to be more strategic about how we went after those accounts, so we added our key verticals such as retail, finance, media, auto, CPG, tech, and telco to ultimately select 1,000 out of the 16,000 accounts in our database.”
The challenge was that 4C didn’t have a way to pinpoint those accounts across online and offline channels consistently. Josh states, “One of the tenets of ABM is targeted advertising – targeting at an account level or contact level within priority accounts,” but shares that 4C has been primarily using attributes like city, job title, and age – combined with some behavioral targeting in LinkedIn and Twitter to reach key targets.
Probabilistic data such as behavioral targeting uses proxy models based on web behavior and activity to define targetable prospects. Unfortunately, probabilistic data can be inexact if proxies are based on incorrect assumptions. As a result, Josh and his team started researching ways they could target those 1,000 strategic accounts with social ads, while consistently engaging them on traditional offline channels. The search included vendors who specialize in ABM, and ultimately, Dun & Bradstreet.
Josh contacted his Account Executive at Dun & Bradstreet, and provided the list of 1,000 target accounts segmented by vertical, noting that he wanted to reach marketing roles at those accounts specifically. He helped Josh match those accounts to digital cookies and mobile IDs and distributed the segments to 4C’s DSP – AppNexus, in addition to Twitter and Facebook, through the 4C platform. In terms of price and value, Josh states, “When you go to some other vendors out there you’ll see CPMs anywhere from $20-25, but if you run your own programs, you can get significant cost savings. With Dun & Bradstreet we were able to get CPMs below $5 for the audience data we needed to power our campaign, as we knew the media would cost $2-3 CPM. With the CPM cost savings of about 65%, we could push more budget back into working media, enabling us to serve more impressions and make a greater impact, not to mention working directly with Dun & Bradstreet gave us great control, transparency, and flexibility in our campaign.”
To integrate their digital strategy with traditional offline prospecting to strategic accounts, Josh utilized D&B Hoovers, a sales intelligence solution from Dun & Bradstreet, to mine email addresses and location information at target accounts. “D&B Hoovers has been super helpful in our ABM prospecting efforts. Our primary KPI was the number of contacts per account and we traditionally had 2-3 contacts per account. Now we have access to 50-100 contacts that match our criteria per account.” 4C’s Demand Generation team is helping align email campaigns to the social advertising strategy by loading them to Pardot for execution. This also facilitates sales and marketing alignment by providing sellers with account intelligence grounded in the same data foundation. Sellers also had the added benefit of being able to pull additional account intelligence to deliver personalized messages and engage in more relevant conversations faster.
Today, Josh delivers highly-targeted ads to the list of 1,000 strategic accounts – which is grounded in deterministic and factual data. At Dun & Bradstreet, we leverage deterministic data that is anchored in and built for B2B marketing. We gather data on companies and contacts from tens of thousands of verified sources that have been vetted for quality. It’s real business data sourced from real business people – collected, aggregated, edited, and updated more than 5 million times a day.
To measure the success of the advertising campaign, Josh also utilized the D&B Audience Targeting Analytics tracking pixel on specific landing pages on 4CInsights.com.
The tracking pixel maps visitor cookies and IP addresses back to the same unique identifier used in online and offline targeting, the Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number. This allows for full funnel attribution of advertising spend by cross referencing audiences that visited a campaign landing page.
In Josh’s own words, “We’ve noticed that a lot more downloads and webinar attendance from our key accounts since using D&B Audience Targeting data for advertising. Everyone on the team has noticed the downloads and webinar signups come in. The visitor reports from Dun & Bradstreet show us the same account names we’re targeting on our ABM list, and that’s very exciting.”
AN EYE TO THE FUTURE:
Josh states that, “Our future is that 100% of our advertising will be targeted. If you want to fill funnel, fill it with people you want to reach.” Although he hasn’t run campaigns via programmatic just yet, the results produced from Facebook and Twitter have been very encouraging and will drive additional work on ad creative this summer. Furthermore, Josh and team plan to investigate using the D&B Audience Targeting Analytics tracking pixel on the ad creative to tie impressions back to accounts to attribute success before audiences visit a landing page.
“Using deterministic segments to run ABM has created results that have ‘wowed’ the team, specifically around seeing more of our strategic accounts on our site. We feel we’re on right track and are doubling down on Dun & Bradstreet data going into the future,” says Josh.