Through the funnel: Marketing technologies becoming priority for b2b media

DragonForceSourceMedia has a new owner and a full war chest to pursue acquisitions. Among its targets: digital marketing technologies that can create a more efficient, targeted buy.

Advanced marketing solutions, including programmatic buying, marketing automation and retargeting, are no longer the domain of tech media but are becoming increasingly important in other verticals as well. “Where are we with tracking people through our funnel?” asked Mason Power, chief marketing officer at iLevel Solutions, during a marketer roundtable at ABM’s recent Annual Conference called “What B2B Marketers Want from You.” “Where are we with tracking people through [b2b publishers’ sites] and connecting the two? That’s what we want to discuss, not space and time.”

This week, Business.com launched a state-of-the-art data platform and content delivery system, designed to offer high-quality content and contextual advertising. The new platform includes advanced display advertising and retargeting, pay-per-click advertising, marketing-ready leads generated through content marketing and sales-ready leads, which connect marketers with active buyers at the final stage of the purchasing process. A video outlining the new services is available here.

“The old media model was to simply connect buyer and seller and get out of the way,” Uphoff said in a recent Q&A with ABM. “The new model uses data to connect the right buyer to the right seller at the right time while nurturing that relationship.”

Praetorian Group, Inc. earlier this year announced a partnership with Drakontas LLC, a software and communications firm geared toward providing solutions for the government sector. As a result of this deal, Drakontas’s DragonForce software will be incorporated into Praetorian’s PoliceOne Network, a news resource and directory for the law enforcement industry. Drakontas will specifically be working with Praetorian Labs, the innovation investment division of the parent company.

DragonForce is an interactive, software-as-a-service (SaaS) package designed to aid in connectivity of law enforcement teams – both tactical and non-tactical. It offers an instant messaging platform, photo and document sharing, tracking capabilities and a collaborative whiteboard-style program. Praetorian’s addition of this software to its PoliceOne Network – which already offers news, training, product research and more to law enforcement professionals – will result in an even more comprehensive user experience.

“Many leading tech companies have incubators, labs or investment funds to better monitor trends, inform future M&A and investments and stay on the forefront of innovation,” Praetorian CEO Alex Ford told ABM. “I think we’ll see more of these types of programs being launched by media companies as they continue to evolve. It’s one thing to launch tech products and websites, but entirely another to become a part of the tech ecosystem of your market and stay on the forefront of innovation. Programs like Praetorian Labs and partnerships with companies like Drakontas allow us to do just that.”

Marketing automation is being used to service advertisers and to identify new opportunities within publishers. At ABM’s 2014 Annual Conference, GreenBiz senior vice president Hugh Byrne detailed how he used automated programs to grow conferences by connecting with consumers and discovering where they were in the marketing funnel. GreenBiz could tailor their efforts to each subject’s individual journey and preferences. The result was a 51 percent year-to-year spike in attendee revenue as compared to the days when the company employed a “batch and blast” tactic of e-mail bombardment.

Digital content and services company Purch has seen the implementation of a proprietary audience development tool called Maven, which puts first-party data into an AI engine to develop a profile of a user who has demonstrated interest in Purch – regardless of whether or not the user is a customer. Maven then locates similar Web browsers and markets to them. This process of retargeting – marketing to customers based upon their past browsing history – allows companies to reach people who are predisposed to having an interest in their products.

Programmatic services themselves can be monetized. At ABM’s Executive Forum last November, IDG TechNetwork CEO Peter Longo detailed how the company’s programmatic network has opened up new business opportunities with trading desks and demand-side platforms.

The evolution has continued: In May, IDG Enterprise announced the expansion of its Premium Data Services line of ad-purchasing solutions. Using first-party data collected on IDG’s sites, the Premium Data Services now allow marketers to target visitors based on interests aligning with site taxonomy and browsing history. Third-party data on IDG’s Data Management Platform is also available, and marketers can integrate their own data, as well.

“Artificial intelligence and big data [have] radically changed the course of digital advertising, providing the ability to target messaging to the right technology decision-maker at the right time,” IDG Enterprise CEO Matthew Yorke said in a press release from the company. “Data will continue to play a vital role in media and technology marketers’ digital strategy.”

At the upcoming Business Information & Media Summit, which brings together ABM’s Executive Forum, SIPA’s Marketing Conference and the DataContent show from SIIA and InfoCommerce,  Mark Howard, chief revenue officer of Forbes, will demonstrate how programmatic advertising has become a significant part of the Forbes strategy by allowing buyers to bid for inventory on the open market. The result? Programmatic now drives more than 30 percent of total revenue for Forbes.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Videos and decks of recent ABM conference presentations on advanced marketing solutions are available. Scroll down to find the titles listed below, then click on the links to play the videos.

10 Ways You Can (and Must) Leverage Audience Data Today

Reality Check: Advanced But Realistic Marketing Solutions

What B2B Brands Want from You

Building Business Enablement Tools: SaaS and PaaS Solutions for Publishers

By Matt Kinsman

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