Brand marketers are bridging the B2C-B2B gap by rethinking their data strategies

By Rob Armstrong, VP of Product at Eyeota

The marketing data landscape is in the midst of numerous regulatory and technology upheavals in 2022, but the shift that’s going to prove the most consequential for marketers over the long haul is actually a very human one: The walls between people’s personal and professional lives have all but crumbled.  

When it comes to brands’ data strategies, the implications of this new reality are immense. Whether companies operate in the B2C or B2B realm — or exist with one foot in each — brands in both worlds must rethink the data powering their acquisition and retention strategies to succeed in this changing landscape. 

Infusing B2B marketing with consumer data

After almost two years of Zoom meetings from home offices, people are transitioning between home and work lives more fluidly than ever before, but what does this mean for the type of data that B2B marketers need when designing and executing effective campaigns?

The desire to understand B2B buyers on a more personal level is nothing new — it’s what’s driven every coffee meeting and client dinner since the dawn of B2B marketing itself. Of course, the challenge to this approach has always been scale. It’s a challenge that continues to mount as the emphasis on business travel wanes and teams become more dispersed than ever.

By rounding out B2B audience profiles with consumer data, particularly insights around people’s interests outside of their work lives, companies can unlock more powerful and personal messaging opportunities and a vastly wider array of inventory sources. 

After all, just because a person is responsible for evaluating and purchasing new supply chain management solutions for their company doesn’t mean that person wants to read white papers about those solutions over their morning coffee. 

For example, a hockey fan may prefer to drink their morning coffee while reading the latest team standings on ESPN.com. While they’re indulging a personal interest in that moment, they are easing into the workday and a well-targeted software solutions ad could be particularly impactful in that context. 

These are the kinds of opportunities that B2B profiles infused with consumer insights can unlock. 

Leveling up B2C messages with business data

On the flip side, B2C brands have the opportunity to unlock far deeper personalization opportunities within their messaging and targeting strategies by understanding relevant details of a prospect’s or customer’s professional world. 

The relevant linkages in this regard will vary greatly by brand. In some cases, job level can serve as a proxy for household income and discretionary spending. But, it goes deeper than that. 

For example, Eyeota’s internal research has found that B2B data that identifies individuals who have recently changed jobs or been promoted can serve as a useful guide to consumers who are going through a period of increased discretionary spending. 

A person’s role within their company can also provide useful personal insights into what an individual sees as their strengths — whether that’s creativity, organization, financial acumen or some other superpower. 

And for brands that serve both consumer and professional audiences, such as clothing companies like Duluth Trading Company or Carhartt for example, knowing whether a prospect is likely to wear those clothes in their working or leisure hours can help ensure the brand is targeting them with the right products and messaging right out of the gate. 

How to shop for blended B2C-B2B data

So, how does the B2C-B2B crossover data imperative affect how marketers vet their data providers going forward? To ensure the greatest success with this blended approach to audience insights, brands will want to evaluate their prospective partners based on the following aspects:

  • Scale: Does the partner have a strong enough footing in both the B2C and B2B worlds to deliver data at scale on both sides? 
  • Pricing: Is the partner able to price out what the brand needs as a custom segment of blended B2C and B2B attributes, or does the brand have to pay a gratuitous premium to bring the two worlds together?  
  • Quality: Do the data provider’s sources on both sides of the equation meet key quality needs in terms of reliability, transparency, recency and more?  
  • Speed: Can the partner execute in a timely fashion? Given the new levels of granularity unlocked with B2C-B2B crossover data, the need for speed and efficiency is often heightened in these campaigns. Is the partner flexible enough to support the brand’s campaign as it evolves? 
  • Global reach: If a brand is global in nature, does the data provider have the international reach to serve all the markets that matter to that brand — in both a B2C and B2B capacity? 

Restructuring data strategies around crossover B2C and B2B insights requires teams to put in a lot of fresh thinking when it comes to identifying audience segments and executing campaigns around newly enriched profiles. Part of this includes ensuring that brands’ dynamic creative capabilities are ready and able to operate at the level of granularity that the brands have enabled. Ultimately, the deeper relationships, wider inventory pools and higher conversions brands unlock will be well worth the effort.

Sponsored By: Eyeota

https://staging.digiday.com/?p=438668

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