Digital MarketingDigital AdvertisingLiveRamp and Bombora partner for patent-pending approach to SMB targeting

LiveRamp and Bombora partner for patent-pending approach to SMB targeting

LiveRamp and Bombora are partnering for probabilistic targeting of SMBs with stated 86% accuracy, as determined by blind tests with 40,000 businesses.

Account-based marketing systems and lead generation tools can be essential tools for marketers looking to target specific kinds of businesses.

But they are often oriented toward large businesses. To reach smaller businesses of a hundred employees or less that are in-market for a given product, intent data service Bombora has teamed up with identity resolution provider LiveRamp to create a patent-pending service that is targeted at specific kinds of small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) that are in market.

IPs by behavior

Often, LiveRamp B2B COO Pieter De Temmerman pointed out to ClickZ, lead gen services utilize reverse-IP lookup, where the IP address of a given site visitor is looked up in the Whois internet directory to find out the company.

But reverse-IP is known for being unreliable, and De Temmerman said that is often because it is harder to make the match for smaller companies.

While an enterprise might have a block of IP addresses reserved for itself, smaller firms often use IP addresses that show up as the Internet Service Provider such as Verizon, or the business doesn’t identify itself in the Whois directory, or there is some other small business factor that makes identification difficult.

In order to, say, find all the dentist offices within 500 miles that are in market for a given product, Bombora SVP Strategy and Partnerships Mark Dye noted, the Bombora/LiveRamp partnership took a different approach. First, it started analyzing IP addresses by their behavior.

He pointed out that an IP address used regularly by a business will show certain patterns, like bursts of activity starting at 9am and ending at 6pm on weekdays.

ESPs, surge tool

After this first analysis of which IP addresses are probably businesses, Bombora then works with a variety of email service providers (ESPs) to determine which of those IPs were used for opening an email. The domain of the email is added to the clues, and can be used to determine the kind of business.

Then, that winnowed list is analyzed by Bombora’s surge tool, which looks at which IP addresses are surging – that is, visiting web sites – about a given product.

If a given IP address appears to be a business, has an associated email address domain for a dentist’s office, and is checking out multiple web pages about office furniture, Bombora makes the assumption it is the online presence of a dentist’s office interested in buying office furniture.

LiveRamp’s IdentityLink

At this point, the winnowed list is sent to LiveRamp, which maps the list to its massive IdentityLink set of profiles, to determine which devices and third-party cookies are associated with those data points.

The result: third-party cookies and associated devices for anonymized users at specific dentist offices that appear to be interested in buying office furniture.

Ads or other marketing can then be shown to those users, when those third-party cookies are seen at web sites in a particular ad platform network.

Additionally, by knowing the devices, the marketer can determine which ads should be sent to mobile devices and which to laptops, with some limits on the frequency of the ads.

This probabilistic targeting of SMBs, Dye said, has an 86 percent accuracy rate, which Bombora and LiveRamp determined by trying it out blindly against 40,000 businesses it already knew, and seeing how well the process worked.


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