A joint-solution between LiveRamp’s identity resolution and Bombora’s Intent data and data science makes it possible for B2B marketers to locate and target small and medium-sized businesses across a variety of digital channels. The audience has notoriously been a difficult one to reach, but the proprietary solution’s methodology provides a new-to-market approach for Account Based Marketing.

We’ve combined our B2B Intent data and Company Surge® Analytics with LiveRamp’s data activation capabilities in order to address an underserved need for B2B marketers: connecting with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) online. Initial blind testing amongst 40,000 businesses showed an 86% accuracy rate from the probabilistic targeting, catalyzing a new advancement in Account Based Marketing (ABM). 

SMBs are unlike any other audience

On the surface, it’s obvious that enterprise and SMB targeting are entirely different animals. It’s no surprise that developing a tailored digital advertising solution for them is, too. We honed in on the differences to find a plausible, accurate, and scalable way to reach the audiences that prove to be so valuable yet equally as difficult to identify. Here are some of the pain points that were addressed in the research and development process, that also made them challenging to reach in the past:

  1. Enterprises often utilize a block of IP addresses reserved for themselves, yet smaller firms typically use IP addresses that simply appear as the Internet Service Provider they use (such as Verizon)
  2. An SMB will likely avoid identifying itself in the Whois directory
  3. SMB email addresses may not be associated with a business domain, but rather a small, free, and undistinguishable email provider
  4. Traditional targeting techniques are static in nature and geographically constrained

But here’s the good news

By analyzing certain behaviors, small and medium-sized businesses can be recognized. Certain patterns, such as bursts of activity during typical work hours, could indicate that an IP address belongs to a business. On a daily basis, Bombora sees over a billion online actions within our B2B Data Co-op. From this massive data pool, patent-pending IP-to-company mapping allows us to monitor over 30 attributes that ultimately distinguish SMB IP addresses from the rest. 

In addition to that data science, we then layer Company Surge® Analytics onto that SMB dataset, which identifies which of those businesses are currently showing an increase in online research activity compared to a historical baseline. Then, LiveRamp comes in and “links the SMB IP addresses coupled with intent categories and maps the data to all the digital devices in use by employees at the business, making it possible to target SMB audiences programmatically,” explains Pieter De Temmerman

Why this matters

The result of Bombora and LiveRamp’s combined tech is a group of third-party cookies and their associated devices that represent anonymized users at SMBs. This allows B2B marketers to choose the type and channel of digital advertising that suits their Account Based Marketing campaigns. It also allows them to discover in-market SMBs that they had not previously been targeting. This solution, being the first of its kind in the B2B market, produces a high likelihood of the SMB audience to be susceptible to the ads they are seeing. Thus, producing a higher return on ad spend and a lower customer acquisition cost.


Parts of this post were first published on Martech Advisor.