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Bombora’s Company Surge® Intent Data continues to deliver despite challenges like remote work and the cookieless future

When the world started working remotely in spring 2020, identity resolution became more difficult for, well...everyone. The impending elimination of third-party cookies is only going to make it even more challenging. However, in both instances, the impact is minimal for Bombora’s Company Surge® Intent data. To understand why, it’s first important to understand how Company Surge® data is collected.

A proprietary data co-op built with sustainability and longevity in mind

Bombora’s Company Surge® Intent data is derived from a cooperative made up of direct relationships with a wide variety of publishers, most of whom specialize in B2B industry-specific content.  These direct relationships offer unique, often exclusive, access to both browser activity and the content from those sites, capturing over 1 billion visits worth of data per day. 

The co-op provides a few unique and important things, including:

  1. Consented data (written to  first-party cookies - which are not going away) where consent strings can be traced and data can be deleted under regulations such as CCPA or GDPR. Bombora does not use unconsented data - like data derived from the bidstream -  which is in questionable territory and does not meet privacy standards at most enterprise organizations. 
  2. Access to the full content of articles, including the metadata about an article, that we use to derive the Intent topics that are used in our Company Surge® Intent data. Topics have no reliance on cookies or IP addresses.
  3. Access to visitor data such as IP address and first-party cookie data which are used for identity

Identity resolution is what everyone’s worried about when third-party cookies are eliminated, because identity is exactly what those cookies help establish. However, because Bombora was built with sustainability at the forefront, the impact to Company Surge® data will be minimal. Here’s why:  

Bombora establishes identity differently, and more accurately, thanks to the co-op

Most Intent providers use third-party cookies and/or fingerprinting to determine identity, but even those who use IP address typically rely on data from a single vendor with an identity graph that identifies who the visitor is at the company level . One of the key problems with this single-threaded approach is that it yields a fair amount of false positives (we know because we’ve evaluated them all).  

Bombora’s approach to identity is a bit different. First of all, only consented data is used - which is a big deal because brand safety and privacy compliance are big priorities for Bombora. Then, with the pool of consented data, 3 methods are used in concert to establish identity: 

  1. IP address that is consented through the use of the consent strings from the publishers co-op (No bidstream data is used, unlike most Intent providers). Publisher first-party cookies will remain in place after the transition away from third-party cookies, and they also persist when people are working remotely. Since most publishers already collect business-email and self-reported demographic data at login, they can build targeting pools at the company level, while also leveraging contextual signals. Other forms of publisher identity will remain as well, including Single Sign On (SSO) identity options from Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others. Bombora is the only Intent data provider with access to this method, thanks to the co-op.
  2. Bombora partners with multiple reputable, consented vendors (like LiveRamp) to create a “graph-of-graphs” approach to create a high-quality composite signal with minimal false positives.  
  3. Finally, over the multiple years of experience doing B2B identity resolution, Bombora has built a proprietary technology that uses behavioral modeling of activity on IP addresses, combined with our own standards-based domain resolution, and a composition-based use of third-party signals. This increases both reach and accuracy. 

Identity resolution was put to the test in early 2020 when everyone moved to working from home, and Bombora was able to maintain plenty of scale

Despite the departure of 3P cookies and the increase of remote work, the impact on Company Surge® will be minimal, and isolated to topics with very little interest, or companies with very low activity in the co-op. There will not be a material impact to the product overall.