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Successful B2B marketing in a changing landscape

Any B2B marketer worth their salt knows that times are changing, and with it, the way businesses must market themselves to be successful. As a result, big tech companies have started to buckle down on cross-browser tracking, email delivery tracking, ad targeting, and other changes that will keep marketers on their toes for in the short term.

Marketers go cold turkey on cookies

Cookies have been helping marketers for years, and I’m not talking chocolate chip, or snickerdoodles. No, I’m talking about the tiny bits of code that websites leave on a visitor’s browser. Cookies offer websites and apps an opportunity for personalization, remembering user login info or preferences. Still, there are different cookies, and one particular cookie, dear reader, has a limited shelf life.

What’s the difference between first-party and third-party cookies?

  • First-party Cookies: First-party cookies help provide a good user experience by collecting customer analytics data, remembering language settings, and carrying out other functions. First-party cookies work with your website, and these cookies are sticking around.

  • Third-party Cookies: Now considered in their end-of-life stage, third-party cookies track website visitors. Third-party cookies can track how people interact with a website. They can be placed on your computer or mobile device without any user input, making it easy for advertisers and other third parties to access the information about you that they need to make ads more personalized based on this data.

Google announced in January 2020 that it would overhaul the Chrome browser by removing third-party cookies to prevent advertisers from following people around the web. Firefox started blocking third-party cookies by default in 2019. But, again, first-party cookies are not going away.

For years marketers have exploited cookies as a standard practice to track their customers’ browsing activity. Retention marketing, in particular, is a strategy that relies on data from across various sites or apps where users have engaged with content-related ads. So, it’s essential to be aware and stand out as someone worth reaching back to!

Ad-serving is another area where cookies play a role, deciding when to show ads on websites, what type, and how much information they should collect for advertisers to know their performance.

How eliminating third-party cookies highlights the importance of first-party data

The elimination of third-party cookies will make it essential for all marketers to start collecting and analyzing first-party data on website visitors, so you can tailor and personalize experiences without relying on third-party data.

“It will not be the end of the world for marketing, but you will need to change,” said Thy Phan, Senior Product Manager with Experian, “in a post-third-party cookie world, marketers will use other tools to accomplish the same things. For example, Experian’s U.S. Business Database contains commercial marketing attributes that can help marketers fill in any gaps in first-party data for personalization.”

Create better experiences for your website visitors

One way to head off a drop-off in marketing campaign performance is to collect more first-party data by asking your web users to opt-in to data collection or tracking tools like cookies and pixels. Then, when you have a lot of first-party data, you can create detailed customer profiles to understand your target audience’s needs better.

One-way Experian clients can target business owners is through C2B Linkage data. The ideal clients who can really leverage C2B linkage are companies with both consumer and business portfolios, such as Rewards/Loyalty programs, Financial Institutions, and Insurance.

C2B Linkage Service is a non-regulated marketing solution offered by Experian Business Information Services that enables our clients to associate consumers within their existing portfolio to a business based on Experian’s commercial database. With this Linkage our clients can segment linked accounts by firmographic and commercial credit attributes.

How to generate more first-party data

When designing your email campaigns, you should craft messaging that gets users to click and engage. Doing this will generate that first-party data from your website that signals engagement. You can segment this audience for further action by monitoring the success of these campaigns by focusing on click rate vs. the open rate. Best practice ensures that email content motivates people to click. In this case, you don't put the most valuable content in the body of your message, but you include a clear and compelling call-to-action button to encourage clicking. This content can be a blog post or a landing page on your website

Things to keep in mind in times of change

Take stock of how you measure success. The goal should always go beyond opens and clicks when determining how successful your email marketing campaign has been. Even though click rates are still reliable, they shouldn’t hold all the weight regarding what metrics you look at going forward – because there’s more than one factor at play here!

If you don’t have the expertise to run effective campaigns today, now is a great time to engage with Experian for help with marketing. We can help you profile your visitors and responders — enhance your email records with matching postal addresses, contact details, and firmographics to improve segmentation so you can execute multichannel strategies. If you want to expand relationships with business owners in your customer base, we can help you connect with business owners through B2C Linkage.

Despite these winds of change, marketers still have plenty of options to strike a chord with their customers while respecting privacy measures. So, it's not yet time to raise the white flag of surrender, my friends, the seeds of opportunity are all around us, blowing in the wind.

April 11, 2022 by Experian

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