SMBs are valuable customers for large enterprises. There are a lot of them too. But their online behavior can be hard to track and assess. Step forward intent data mavens Bombora, and identity resolution experts LiveRamp, with a joint offering for B2B marketers with SMBs in their sights.
Launched this week, the joint solution pushes Bombora intent data through identity resolution by LiveRamp, generating in-market SMB audiences ripe for targeting.
Of course, that sounds easy. I asked Pieter De Temmerman, COO of LiveRamp B2B, and Mark Dye, CSO at Bombora, to take me under the hood.
The basics of IP mapping
Reverse IP look-up is an established technique for identifying otherwise anonymous visitors to a website. “You look up the address of the impression, and that’s the IP address the visitor is originating from,” said Dye. “In order to understand if they’re coming from a business, you have to isolate who owns that IP address, and there are literally hundreds of millions of them. The challenge is that you’re home router has an IP address, the Starbucks you visit has an IP address, the small business you own may lease an IP address from AT&T. So actually being able to understand the ownership of originating IP addresses is incredibly difficult.”
For Fortune 1000 companies, it’s easier, because they own big blocks of IP addresses, usually with transparent naming conventions. “What Bombora has done, and patented, is we’ve looked at IP addresses from a behavioral perspective, and because we see 30 to 40 billion business transactions a month, we’re looking at them through the lens of the behavioral attributes of a business (versus a home, Starbucks, or hotel) IP address.” The basic attributes, including of course time of day used (Monday to Friday, nine to five) are fairly obvious. Bombora has a list of 30 attributes which identify business addresses with around 86 percent confidence. Email addresses associated with the IP addresses can then be used to reverse engineer into identifying the specific companies.
What makes this interesting is that Bombora then layers its Surge intent detection product over that data. “Now we’re watching which IP addresses are surging on which topic. We also know company size directionally by the number of devices logging on,” Dye explained. Which brings us to LiveRamp’s role. “What typically we’d receive from Bombora is a list of IP addresses which map a specific business profile,” De Temmerman explained. “For example, we might be asked, ‘Can you find small businesses that are currently in-market to buy a CRM system, or accounting software, or you name it.” It’s the addition of Surge intent data to SMB segments that De Temmerman believes lies at the core of this offering.
The IP addresses, with associated intent signals, come from Bombora. LiveRamp maps them to all the digital devices in use by employees at the business. “We can then allow a B2B marketer to target those people, be it on Google 360, or a social platform.” Marketers can simply purchase segments and activate them through a DSP like The Trade Desk, but some Bombora and LiveRamp customers are working more closely with the solution, to develop granular campaigns.
The value proposition
One example is media agency DWA. In a release, global CEO Bob Ray said: “Knowing that reaching SMBs digitally and at scale is traditionally difficult, we set out to find a new approach that would give our clients a data solution that provides the accuracy and high reach desired,” said Bob Ray, global CEO of DWA. “In looking for this innovative approach, we leveraged Bombora and LiveRamp’s B2B innovative SMB segment targeting SMB IP addresses, and found cases where third-party audiences became much more efficient.”
De Temmerman expanded on that thinking. “What we realized is that a lot of these B2B marketers are wanting to target large companies, which are easy to identify, but are also wanting to have a conversation with the longer tail of customers,” especially where they have self-service or subscription products where online conversion is easy (like a single seat to a software license). In those cases, it may not make sense to put a sales team on the account; at the same time, the long tail market might be a large segment from a revenue standpoint.
“When you’re dealing with these smaller companies, you might be dealing with a large number of prospects, but you don’t necessarily know who they are,” he said. Essentially, putting the Bombora intent data into play within LiveRamp permits targeting in-market accounts, and prospects within those accounts, programmatically and at scale.
Here’s some more news from the current in-box.
- Bazaarvoice, the platform which connects customers with authentic content throughout their purchase journey just acquired Influenstr. The acquisition makes a lot of sense. Influenstr is a product reviews platform with nearly 6 million community members worldwide. Bazaarvoice will match that community up with its global network of over 6,000 brands, boosting UGC strategies by turning on access to a community creating 50,000 pieces of content per day
- RevJet, the digital advertising experience platform, is in the survey business this week. 38 percent of customers find the digital ads displayed to them not relevant. 64 percent are unhappy with companies delivering irrelevant ads repeatedly. We’re surprised the numbers aren’t higher. Interestingly, a younger demograohic (18-44) are becoming more attentive to ads on Facebook and Google (roughly 25% increase QOQ). In general, respondents are increasingly likely to accept autoplay video ads
- In the B2B content marketing space, Ascend2 has a survey this week on lead gen quality. Highlights: budgets are trending “significantly” up on lead gen quality strategies; using content to drive high quality leads remains a critical challenge for most marketers, especially when it comes to improving personalization; and marketers are looking at sales revenue, conversion rate, and ROI as the top three metrics for their strategy.
Finally, back to the experience cloud wars. In Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for digital commerce, the usual suspects head the pack. Oracle is the leader for vision, SAP for execution, with Adobe and Salesforce hard on their heels. Note Episerver, the evolution of which we’ve covered closely here, is a breath away from entering the leader ranks.