A man holds up a soccer ball with an excited facial expression

Dun & Bradstreet + Zeta: A Strategic Alliance for a New Era of Marketing

The B2P Marketing Revolution

How do you introduce yourself at a party? As a marketer? Or as a parent. Soccer fan. Wine aficionado. Marathon runner. Cinema buff. Dog owner. 

We’re all more than just our jobs – even when we’re passionate about them. We’re in the midst of a new renaissance in marketing that accounts for exactly this – that we believe will be the best path to reaching decision-makers at target accounts going forward.

Welcome to business-to-person marketing, a strategy that moves beyond traditional notions of business-to-business vs business-to-consumer and embraces that all buyers are people, with human wants and needs and interests – and that a holistic understanding of buyers is necessary for real, meaningful engagement.

In a new strategic alliance with Zeta, Dun & Bradstreet is launching full steam ahead into the new era of B2P marketing. This alliance combines world-class B2C and B2B data into a unified Data Cloud that will allow businesses to get a full view of buyers for more personalized – and powerful – marketing.

Where We’ve Been – and Where We Need to Go

Over my career, I’ve seen marketing transform from an art to much more of a science. The creative spark remains as crucial to successful marketing as ever, but we’ve also gained extraordinary data and insights that elevate our ability to deliver compelling experiences to the right buyers at the right times.

We can now not only engage companies and contacts, but people. We can meet them as that person at the party – the marketer, but also the cinema buff, the soccer fan, and the dog owner. While staying respectful of privacy boundaries, of course.

Having spent a lifelong career in B2B businesses, I’ve always admired and been just a little envious of how B2C companies could reach and engage customers with such precision and personalization. It’s been a dream of B2B marketers to do that with individuals within organizations. However, without the ability to connect a person’s professional life to their personal, we’ve had to settle for marketing to broader persona groups rather than people.

We have been able to use intent signals to gain better insights into when a potential buyer is in-market. This helped B2B marketers narrow down their lists of potential accounts to buyers who would be more likely to make a purchase.

We also evolved messages and go-to-market strategies to address target personas, but we were still limited by that inability to see beyond the company or the persona profiles we built. We could say what “CMO Christine” cared about as a marketing leader in her day-to-day role, but couldn’t take that extra step to see the real individual Christine, the one who is a mom to two teenagers and loves ski vacations when she can get away. We could talk to Christine broadly about her needs as a marketer, but not in the context of the other things she cares about as a person.

This is the kind of thing B2C companies have already been doing. They’ve had access to personal identifiers for their customers and potential buyers and have been able to engage with relevance in a precise way. 

Think about the “Amazon effect.” When you hit their site, they have a wealth of information about your preferences and behavior that allows them to offer the products they think you’re most likely to want. It’s pretty effective – so much so that B2C companies have rushed to adopt similar strategies and tactics.

But what if we in the B2B world could do the same by merging data about a customer’s professional and personal lives and interests? While also remaining mindful of privacy?

The Possibilities of B2P Marketing

Personal identifiers tend to be stickier and more persistent than business identifiers. Think about how many times you’ve changed companies in your career. But do you still have the same personal email address and cell phone number? I’ve had the latter for a couple of decades.

It’s when we can add that extra layer of personal context that we achieve true personalization and can talk to buyers in the most relevant and meaningful ways. Take the example of the Demand Gen leader who is also a soccer fan. With this new combination of data giving us the ability to market B2P, we can identify the real person behind the job title.  

We can take his worries and concerns and problems, connect his work identity to his publicly available Facebook posts celebrating his favorite team’s World Cup win. Then we can frame a solution in terms that will resonate with him by using a soccer analogy in content to grab his attention.

In the automotive world, they can expand beyond a list of “executives at Fortune 1,000” companies to customers they know are interested in their brand – or a competitor’s – because they can layer in the behavior and lifestyle pieces to market the right vehicle to the right buyer. 

For example, if they know a high value buyer enjoys the outdoors and boating or camping, they can market to that person the kind of vehicle that can go off-road and tow their camper or fishing boat. Compare that to the customer who is a soccer dad and wants luxury and comfort, but also capacity to chauffer their child’s teammates and sports equipment. 

Airlines can engage with buyers they know travel frequently, like consultants or sales reps, and who they know are interested in their brand or a competitor’s. Then they can carry that a step further when that buyer shows interests in related topics or brands. Say the buyer is a swimmer and likes to stay at a hotel with a salt water pool, or enjoys upscale shopping in a cool city neighborhood, then the airline can offer packages with flights and hotels that would appeal to that business traveler.  

The Future is Now

These capabilities aren’t just a marketer’s dream anymore. Dun & Bradstreet’s new strategic alliance with Zeta for a B2P Data Cloud makes the marriage of professional and personal identifiers possible so that marketers can identify their truly likely buyers based on behavior and interests and speak to them in a way that is focused and relevant.

It also levels the playing field for marketers at small and mid-sized businesses, who can use a unified view of buyers, AI-driven insights, and automation to identify and engage audiences in the same way as large enterprises. 

The data that Zeta brings to the Dun & Bradstreet fold will only further strengthen and enhance our recent D&B Rev.Up cloud offerings, including D&B Rev.Up Now for small businesses and B2P audiences activated through the Zeta Marketing Platform. 


The information provided in articles are suggestions only and based on best practices. Dun & Bradstreet is not liable for the outcome or results of specific programs or tactics. Please contact an attorney or tax professional if you are in need of legal or tax advice.