For B2B Marketers, the Future is Behind the Firewall

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ADOTAS — Much of the attention of the digital marketing community seems to be focused on RTB and the endless debate about its effectiveness for advertisers, ad tech companies and publishers.

While this tired RTB discussion self-perpetuates, a much more interesting and potentially disruptive movement is taking root.

Marketers are now looking beyond tactical solutions like RTB that for the most part live outside the corporate firewall, and developing their own strategic solutions with technologies that live behind the corporate firewall … enabled by a quiet wave of system integrations occurring among top marketing technologies.

Leading data companies are integrating with software companies such as Adobe, Eloqua, X+1, BlueKai, Turn, Google, Search Discovery, Salesforce.com, and others to make the movement of information and data seamless between these systems.

What has historically been a siloed, disconnected group of software platforms that includes Content Management, Marketing Automation, Site Analytics, Data Management, Tag Management, and CRM systems, is now becoming an Integrated Marketing Stack.

So what does this mean, and how is this movement potentially disruptive?

For the first time, we will now be able to create truly integrated marketing programs that document and measure the value of every marketing touch along the customer’s journey, throughout the entire B2B decision-making process, from initial awareness to sale to renewal. Imagine a world where B2B marketers can understand — and attribute value to — each component of a customer’s path to purchase. For example, thanks to the Integrated Marketing Stack, marketers can now combine the power of first- and third-party data to reach their target prospects anywhere online. What’s more, these marketers can also know with certainty that a customer’s journey included not just receiving a few emails, but viewing a display ad five times, searching for a specific brand on Google, and finally landing on a corporate website to research products. B2B marketers are now armed with the power to more accurately attribute ROI to specific channels and reach their prospects in more relevant ways than ever before.

Here are a few real examples of how the Integrated Marketing Stack is making this achievable right now:

Search Vocabulary

All keywords are not created equal. Varying roles within an organization use different terms to search for products and services. For example, an accountant will use a different set of terms when searching for financial services products than a small business owner or CFO will use.

The Integrated Marketing Stack connects the “Who” – the Searcher’s role – with the “What”—in this case the Search Term. With this integration, we can now understand how different keywords are used by various audience segments, and value them accordingly.

Site-Side Personalization

Content Management Systems have long had the capability of delivering personalized content based upon a “known” or “registered” user of the system. However, being able to leverage this capability against “unknown” or “unregistered” users has been unavailable. And, for most corporate websites, the vast majority of site traffic is unknown.

With the Integrated Marketing Stack we are now able to identify a significant percentage of a site’s unknown business professional audience traffic and deliver specific content and offers tailored to that exact audience profile — all while producing quantifiable and measurable ROI.

True Attribution

For some time now, email, search and display advertising have lived separate lives and are generally managed by different groups within an organization.

Now, the Integrated Marketing Stack can merge display impression data, on a specific user level, with the marketing automation system’s knowledge of the user’s email and site visitation history. For the first time, marketers can understand each touch point along a given prospect’s buying journey. Further, they can understand the optimal combination of emails and display impressions at a user level and even time their deployment accordingly and build comprehensive attribution models — a gain, something that’s never been done before.

These are just a few examples of how the Integrated Marketing Stack can make a huge difference for B2B marketers. So while third-party solutions such as RTB will continue to play a role in the marketing mix, the real, game-changing excitement is happening behind the firewall … and for today’s leading B2B marketers, this story is just beginning.

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