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How to target by Intent topic clusters and reach SMB audiences, with Pieter De Temmerman of LiveRamp

This Inside Intent podcast episode covers the recent B2B data developments that have surfaced a strategic partnership between Bombora and LiveRamp. A joint-product offering allows B2B marketers to target audiences by Intent topic cluster and reach Small and Mid-size Businesses in a way that’s never before been offered in the B2B market.

A turning point for the B2B data industry came in 2014 when LinkedIn acquired Bizo. As a result of the acquisition, the tool most used by B2B marketers would be shut down. This news encouraged data veteran Pieter De Temmerman to come to the rescue of B2B marketers and start his own data business, Pacific Data Partners; it would eventually be acquired by LiveRamp. Today, he’s leading operational efforts at LiveRamp’s B2B business unit

In this Inside Intent podcast, Mike Burton and Pieter discuss the way combined Bombora and LiveRamp solutions are bridging the gap between marketing and sales, offering a new way to target audiences based on clustered Intent topics, and most importantly, are driving a breakthrough in the way SMB audiences are targeted. 

LiveRamp’s onboarding solution 

LiveRamp’s core offering is data onboarding, which Pieter describes in the podcast, “LiveRamp’s onboarding solution allows us to take CRM-based data and map that directly to digital profiles that can then be pushed out to various DSPs and social channels, TV channels, etc. for targeting.” 

This solution sits at the intersection of sales and marketing, and is the first step to achieving mutual success between the two often-conflicting business units. This “identity resolution service”, as it’s referred to, merges first and third-party datasets to create a comprehensive audience that can be targeted. The natural progression of this, of course, is using these data solutions for Account Based Marketing (ABM).

Turning an audience into an ABM campaign

LiveRamp might work directly with B2B marketers or their agency to set up a campaign, but it happens in a rather seamless process as Pieter describes: 

  1. Marketer sends a list of accounts they want to target and the platforms they want to use (social, display, DMPs, TV, etc.)
  2. LiveRamp marries the account list with native Bombora data to create a digital audience
  3. The bespoke ABM audience is shipped to the specific bidding seats in the marketer’s preferred platforms
  4. Marketer logs into their platforms (ex: MediaMath, Facebook, etc.) days later to find a new audience that has been created by LiveRamp 
  5. Marketer can name the account list and set up targeting for their campaign, showing relevant ads to the new audience

Where does Intent data come in? 

“LiveRamp helps B2B a very easy to use workflow. If you show up with a list of a thousand or 10,000 or even 100,000 accounts that you want to use Bombora data to target those accounts, we make that easy so that as a B2B marketer you can really focus on the campaign itself rather than the audience creation process,” explains Pieter.

It’s also important to keep those audiences updated on a frequent basis, “the Bombora Company Surge® product helps identify which companies are at the inflection point or at the point of making a purchase decision, and of course that list changes week over week. So it's really important that, when we create these audiences, we have a methodology to refresh or keep them live so you're always targeting the most current set of accounts that are at a purchase decision point.”

Pieter continues that it’s a recommendation he makes to enterprises to use, because B2B marketers have a finite budget. Spending a finite budget on over 50,000 accounts (which is a metric he references as common for enterprise businesses), would be impossible to utilize the budget efficiently. He explains Intent data as a way to say, “these are the 5,000 accounts that right now are looking at this specific product set which we’s a really smart way to become more sophisticated around your ABM strategy versus spreading your budget across all 50,000 accounts. And it allows you to be more focused with your messaging.”

Targeting Intent topic clusters

LiveRamp approached the initial Intent data offering at a higher, more aggregated level, allowing them to introduce it to those who are newer to the concept. They reviewed the most commonly searched topics or products that are frequently bought amongst LiveRamp customers, then grouped those topics into categories. The resulting topic clusters became targetable categories that B2B marketers could immediately find in their DSP and begin targeting at once.

Targeting and reaching the “very hard” Small to Mid-size Businesses (SMBs)

Over its recent rise in popularity, ABM has been mostly focused on targeting large enterprise-level businesses. Pieter explains that there is actually a category of businesses that are underrepresented, and that is the SMB group (identified as those with less than 200 employees). To him, that presented an opportunity to “bring some very high-class products to a category of customers that are very important in this space.”

He provides an example of the potential use instance, “for example if you're Microsoft, then you're selling Microsoft Office. You want to not only reach the really big companies and sell them an Office Suite, but you also want to reach the dentist offices and the architectural firms who also need some flavor of Microsoft Office. They're much harder to find because they might not have an online presence...there aren't quite that many people working at these accounts [but] there are many of them.”

The opportunity is large, and there is a growing initiative for B2B marketers that are looking for data solutions to help them find SMBs online. The new Bombora and LiveRamp joint-solution can help these B2B marketers identify whether a person who is online is actually working for an SMB. It builds a Company Surge® intent-based audience to highlight the SMBs that are currently in-market for specific product or service, and LiveRamp is able to target them through the preferred platform.

While early in its product cycle, the results have spoken for themselves. “We worked together with one of the top US Telcos and made available our SMB audiences, which are powered entirely by Bombora. We drove approximately a 50% reduction in cost per lead (CPL).”

LiveRamp and Bombora have built several B2B data products together, as the two have many synergies with which to work. This is just the tip of the iceberg; make sure to listen to the full podcast episode to hear how SMB targeting works, and find more information on SMB audience segments in our Knowledge Base.

Interested in getting started with SMB targeting? Contact us.