For most businesses, keeping up with the social, economic, and digital changes of the past year has been a challenge. With many in-person meetings on hold or extremely limited, digital connections are essential for creating the relationships needed for new business. Now more than ever, with so much of our lives being conducted online, new ways to reach target audiences must be explored.

The data is out there, but harnessing it in a useful way and finding solutions that work together remains tricky. Especially for digital advertisers looking to deliver highly targeted ads. In theory, the digital sphere should give marketers the confidence that their ads are reaching the right audience. But the reality is that many marketers use a complex spider web of systems and murky data profiles based on general traits. New privacy regulations add another element to consider. And as more people are working from home, on new devices, and at different hours, how do digital marketers know their ads are really reaching the right audience?

The answer lies in new innovative acquisition strategies that bring together a variety of data sources.

Connect Data for a Full Picture of the Contact

As a data provider, I’m confident in the high quality and breadth of the data my company, Outward Media, Inc., provides. But I also know that with the massive amount of data out there today, no one provider has it all. Digital marketers need a solution to better connect, control, and activate data from multiple sources to optimize their campaigns. Enter, identity graphs.

Identity graphs are a key component of people-focused platforms that connect data from multiple sources and map it to customer profiles. Each anonymized ID on the identity graph is tied to an actual person, but the personally identifiable information (PII) is not accessible to the marketer, allowing adherence to consumer privacy regulations. Using the identity graph, marketers can access online and offline data from multiple providers and data sources, then use a variety of conditions to build their custom audiences. The marketer, agency, or brand can then take the anonymized IDs from the graph to a demand-side platform (DSP) to deliver the ads.

Identity graphs pull high-quality data from many sources, with some platforms having profiles in the hundreds of millions. This leads to a deeper and more complete view of prospects and the access to reach them through their business and personal contact data. Marketers can better identify the right prospects for offers and engage more effectively with them.

Get More Value from Intent Monitoring

Digital marketers already using intent monitoring know that this technique can deliver powerful results. Purchase intent insights are obtained when buyers’ online activities are anonymously monitored, captured and analyzed based on website visits, content downloads, product reviews, registration for webinars, etc. to identify warm leads who are in-market now. From there, these insights can be used to improve and tailor email campaigns, content marketing, programmatic advertising, account-based marketing, and more. Sales and marketing teams can focus their time and energy on prospects that show the most promise of becoming customers.

B2B intent data primarily identifies companies, since it tracks based on IP address. This is why it’s important to work with a provider that can match the intent insights to contact data through IP address lookup process – in order to identify the specific individuals most likely to be the decision-makers.

With intent data, the buyer or potential customer is raising their hand to show interest when they activate digital intent signals, instead of a marketer selecting the potential audience using demographics, firmagraphics or other audience selection criteria. Identity graphs can boost the impact of this valuable data further: when intent signals are matched to companies and potential prospect data residing in the platform, the resulting data set gives marketers greater precision in their ability to not only reach the right targets for their offers but also leverage the most up-to-date insights into the individuals within that target group who are most likely ready to buy.

Data privacy is also addressed within the platform. Anonymized IDs are created out of the combined data set and then securely delivered to a DSP, which paves the way for marketers to develop highly targeted campaigns for email as well as other channels, such as digital banner ads or social media ads. This overall process unleashes a force multiplier effect and results in higher campaign ROI.

Adapting to the Changing Digital Marketing Environment

In this new sales landscape, businesses are rethinking their game plan. Most digital marketers know they have to meet their audience where they are, across various channels and devices. But getting a complete prospect profile – to limit redundancy and increase the personalization of your messages – is difficult.

An identity graph aims to bridge those data gaps to create a full picture of the contact and enables digital marketers to better reach their desired audiences without the hassles of dealing with multiple data providers or worrying about data privacy concerns. Identity graphs, combined with intent insights matched to contact data, can close the loop for digital marketers to reach the right targets, at the right time, on the right device.