Marketers Must Address the B2B Data Gap

It’s no longer a siloed add-on

The topic of identity within the marketing and advertising landscape continues to dominate industry conversations, gaining more urgency with every new piece of privacy legislation and move by tech companies to deprecate legacy identifiers within their ecosystems.

Everyone agrees that this new reality calls for new solutions, but there’s far less agreement on which solutions offer the greatest promise when it comes to helping brands and agencies maintain strong consumer connections in the years to come.

The scale and quality of the solutions that emerge in the coming 18 months will fundamentally reshape the future of marketing for decades to come, and the industry has a tremendous opportunity right now to secure a more-sustainable future for itself as it relates to targeting and measurement strategies and tactics.

Perhaps one of the biggest opportunities is the chance marketers have to address a currently neglected piece of the identity puzzle: B2B data.

The growing B2B imperative

Within the marketing industry at large, B2B has often taken a backseat to B2C in terms of marketing innovation and tools. However, this dynamic has shifted notably in recent years with the acknowledgment that the B2B and B2C lives of consumers are no longer—if they ever were—distinct entities.

Consumers are transitioning between their personal and professional lives more fluidly than ever, and that has massive implications for B2B and B2C marketers alike, especially when it comes to their data and how they understand their target audiences.

For B2B brands, rounding out audience profiles with privacy-compliant consumer data—particularly insights around people’s preferred personal media channels—unlocks not only more powerful and personal messaging opportunities, but also a wider array of inventory sources.

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.

And for brands that serve both consumer and professional audiences, knowing whether a given prospect is likely to use your products in their working or leisure hours can help ensure you’re targeting them with the right products and messaging out of the gate.

In other words, the blending of B2B and B2C customer understanding can be immensely valuable for all brands, all while taking place in the context of privacy-compliant methodologies. And yet, when marketers look at how the alternative identifier landscape is taking shape, they see that B2B data is largely missing or antiquated. And therein lies an opportunity to do better.

Closing the B2B gap in identity

When you look at the coverage provided in the identity market today, especially as it relates to the new batch of alternative identifiers emerging within the landscape, you see that there’s a significant dearth of B2B insights.

Furthermore, in instances where B2B data is provided, the methods by which the data is derived tends to be antiquated. For example, the identifier of choice in the B2B space right now is often company domain, which is insufficient on a number of levels.

So where should B2B play in the identity landscape of the future? The answer is simple: everywhere. B2B data should not be treated as a siloed add-on or industry-specific tool, but rather as an integral layer of insights for all B2C and B2B brands.

That means B2B understandings shouldn’t manifest as a dedicated identifier, but rather as a core component of all the in-market identifiers being rolled out right now.

To move forward in the new data landscape, the industry needs data sources that can bring together business and consumer identity, at a global level, through raw licensable assets. Now is not the time to build new siloes or specialized identifiers—no more B2B add-ons or afterthoughts. Now is the time to enhance audience understanding, across all consumer dimensions, in an ID-agnostic way.

Kristina Prokop is co-founder and CEO at Eyeota, the global leader in audience data. For nearly 20 years, Kristina has been on the forefront of digital marketing and online advertising in Europe, bringing new advertising technologies and business models to market.