Zoominfo Targeted Audiences (Part II)

Zoominfo launched their new Targeted Audiences service to support programmatic advertising against their universe of B2B account and contact data. [Part I]


ZoomInfo employs signature-block mining, natural language processing, machine learning, and email verification to build and maintain their Data Cloud.  They also recently acquired EverString to augment their firmographic depth and field fill rates for 95 million companies.  Targeting against the Zoominfo Data Cloud offers “campaigns with unmatched precision and enhanced performance.”

“Digital agencies and marketers typically face challenges in collecting high-quality, complete B2B audience data,” contrasted ZoomInfo. “Most widely available contact information for companies and their employees is either inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated, which means many digital agencies and marketers deliver their messages to the wrong people altogether.”

“What’s common knowledge to those in the industry — but not to a bright-eyed data guy like me — is that advertising audiences aren’t engineered to be precise.  Quite the opposite, actually: This space is all about volume and audience expansion through inferences, and modeled data has taken over.”

ZoomInfo SVP of Innovation and Data R&D Derek Smith

Marketers can also build custom audiences from over three hundred demographic and firmographic selects, including funding data, benefits data (licensed from GlassDoor), event participation, banking variables, technographics, and Fortune 500/1000 flags.  Biographic variables include function, level, and title/keyword.

Targeting is most effective for the North American market because ZoomInfo is limited in the number of legally gathered and stored identifiers for EU citizens due to GDPR.

“Our product is unlike any other for two reasons. First, we’ve amassed a treasure trove of emails, phone numbers, and titles. Second, we’ve architected our company data to let you identify companies with a level of granularity that significantly eclipses the competition,” said Derek Smith, SVP of Innovation and Data R&D. “Was this always intentional? Of course not.  But unbeknownst to me, our data became tailor-made for advertising activation as a result of other projects at ZoomInfo.”

As a new offering, Targeted Audiences should be viewed as a solution for building precise B2B audiences and activating them via LiveRamp.  With nearly 100 million targetable professionals, 500 million identifiers, and 300+ selects, ZoomInfo can build very focused audiences.  However, there are some gaps.  Targeted Audiences does not offer any campaign analytics, creative management, social marketing, retargeting functionality, or intent-based targeting.

“Targeted Audiences allows marketers to build strategic campaigns based on contact and company information and creates new levels of granularity in B2B audience data that have never before existed on the market,” said ZoomInfo CEO Henry Schuck.

Targeted Audiences is a standalone offering.  Marketers and agencies can test out the service on a few audiences before signing a volume contract.  The fifty off-the-shelf audiences are priced at $1 CPM ($1 for 1,000 advertising exposures).  Custom Audiences begin at $2.75 CPM, but the price falls with volume commitments.

Zoominfo Targeted Audiences

ZoomInfo moved deeper into the marketing and advertising space with the launch of Targeted Audiences.  The newly unveiled B2B data service “gives digital agencies and marketers the ability to target their ideal customers with unprecedented accuracy.”  Targeted Audiences are built from the ZoomInfo Data Cloud, which includes 500 million emails and phone numbers for nearly 100 million professional contacts.

ZoomInfo was in the advertising space in its early years but spun off its Bizo platform in 2008.  At the time, CEO Yonatan Stern said, “We realized our business information index allowed marketers to deliver targeted online ads at a level never before seen.”  

Since then, ZoomInfo has acquired a deeper set of contacts and richer firmographics, technographics, funding data, benefits plans, and event data, supporting superior targeting precision.

Unfortunately, Bizo was acquired by LinkedIn in 2014 for $175 million but folded 18 months later when LinkedIn balked at the integration cost.  

Targeted Audiences should be viewed as a new market entry for the firm, but one that supported a $175 million opportunity back in 2014.  The October acquisition of Clickagy fueled this market entry as Clickagy intent data is deployed programmatically via data marketplaces.

“With the team at Clickagy now on the ZoomInfo team, our familiarity with the advertising space accelerated from 0 to 60 mph almost overnight.  The combination of our massive Data Cloud with a select few experts in advertising data allowed us to quickly discover the path to making our data actionable,” blogged Derek Smith, SVP of Innovation and Data R&D.

ZoomInfo launched the programmatic service with over fifty pre-packaged audiences “built on advanced demographic and firmographic data.”  ZoomInfo offered several examples outside of their core technology and business services customer base:

  • Educational institutions can target individual contributors and managers employed by firms with tuition reimbursement.
  • Optometrists can market to employees of companies with vision plans.
  • Luxury brands can reach out to C-level execs at firms with more than one hundred employees.
  • Financial advisory firms can target director-level employees of firms that recently went public.

ZoomInfo is passing audience identifiers to the LiveRamp data connectivity platform.  LiveRamp maps identifiers to channels, screens, and devices for media activation.  Additional partner platforms will be brought online in the coming weeks.


Continue to Part II.

Bombora – LiveRamp Partnership

LiveRamp - Bombora data flows for audience targeting.
LiveRamp – Bombora data flows for audience targeting.

This is Bombora week in my blog. Yesterday I covered their Bombora for Growth offering and today I’m discussing their August LiveRamp partnership. It is one of many partnerships they’ve formed over the past few years

Bombora’s latest partnership is with LiveRamp, an identity resolution firm that also supports data onboarding.  Bombora identifies audiences based on intent data to develop in-market audiences for both large and small companies.  Large company attribution is fairly straightforward as IP addresses can be employed.  For smaller companies, attribution is performed behaviorally based on thirty attributes with an 86% confidence level.

Bombora then layers in their topical surge data to determine which companies are showing high levels of intent by topic.

“What typically we’d receive from Bombora is a list of IP addresses which map a specific business profile,” said LiveRamp B2B COO Pieter De Temmerman.  “For example, we might be asked, ‘Can you find small businesses that are currently in-market to buy a CRM system, or accounting software, or you name it’.”

“What Bombora has done, and patented, is we’ve looked at IP addresses from a behavioral perspective, and because we see 30 to 40 billion business transactions a month, we’re looking at them through the lens of the behavioral attributes of a business (versus a home, Starbucks, or hotel) IP address.”

Bombora CSO Mark Dye

“What we realized is that a lot of these B2B marketers are wanting to target large companies, which are easy to identify, but are also wanting to have a conversation with the longer tail of customers,” said de Temmerman.  “When you’re dealing with these smaller companies, you might be dealing with a large number of prospects, but you don’t necessarily know who they are,”

The combined offering pulls together a set of third-party cookies and associated devices for anonymous users, expanding the universe of targetable in-market SMBs.  According to Bombora, “This solution, being the first of its kind in the B2B market, produces a high likelihood of the SMB audience to be susceptible to the ads they are seeing.  Thus, producing a higher return on ad spend and a lower customer acquisition cost.”

Bombora targets 7.5 million global SMBs with up to 100 employees based on IP addresses.  Bombora audience targeting is initially available for North America and the UK with plans to expand to additional markets “in the coming months.”

LiveRamp charges $2 per CPM for SMB targeting and $4 per CPM for Bombora surge-based SMB targeting.


Other articles on Bombora Partnerships: