Advertising’s Biggest Issue: Getting More out of Prospects and Customers

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By Jonathon Schuster, ​​Senior VP of Product Management at Bombora

A combination of regulations and browser policies are bringing on the demise of third-party cookies and the ID graph. With the loss of this valuable data and potential penalties for getting things wrong, many marketers are now saying that third-party data at scale is just too risky.

Factor in a shifting buyer journey, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and understanding buyer behavior, for both B2C and B2B campaigns, is more challenging than ever before.

After stepping back from third-party data, marketers are now asking what they can do with the data in front of them and how they can use consented first-party data to drive their marketing strategies. For most marketers, the best opportunity lies in taking a deep dive into what they can learn from their existing customers and prospects.

The Loss of Face-to-Face Business

Online shopping and research have already affected many business verticals but the pandemic has now forced all businesses to go online. There is no such thing as a non-digital business anymore and organizations that held out on online selling are now jamming digital transformation through their ranks.

More often than not, these holdouts had relied on face-to-face sales and relationships. Automotive is an easy example and most B2B deals were the result of relationships as well. But now everything is online and prospects often don’t engage directly with a brand or salesperson until they’ve done a fair amount of research. The key to converting these customers is understanding what unique data the web can provide.

Understanding Customer Desire

The concept of buyer intent can seem abstract but measuring specific intent signals from customers and prospects can help alter the overall approach to marketing. If you know which keywords and topics a prospect pursued en route to becoming a customer, you can alter your marketing approach so that you have those keywords and topics covered.

That’s how to get to personalization at scale, even without targeting cookies. Marketers can get there by creating a more personal experience and delivering content to prospects that covers the things that they want to talk about.

As B2B marketers mine intent signals from prospects and current customers, they should seek to understand both the company overall and the demographic data of its individual workers — and should make sure the data is as current as possible.

By the time they reach your doorstep, a buyer’s journey is mostly over. At this point it helps to understand that journey at a company level, especially within your own website. How far along are they, exactly? And what other information or incentive might lead them to make the purchase?

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