A Centralized Approach Drives Customer-Focused ABM Success

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Programmatic Advertising for Account Based Marketing

Programmatic advertising is unlocking new opportunities in Account Based Marketing (ABM) with the promise of targeting specific accounts, and specific personas within those accounts, with relevant ads throughout their buying journey.

A multinational enterprise information technology company is using programmatic advertising to drive their ABM strategy, and they’re leveraging solutions from Dun & Bradstreet to strike with more accuracy – reaching the right people at the right locations with the right message.

Holistic approach for consistent messaging

However, for programmatic campaigns to deliver on their potential, the company realized it would be crucial for sales and marketing teams to emerge from their silos and coordinate messaging efforts.

According to the company’s head of global media and performance marketing, “There was a lot of interest from many parts of the organization to invest in ABM within digital marketing. The challenge was that every team had different ways of thinking about their account strategy. There were many decentralized, siloed efforts – different people and different teams had their own ways of thinking about their account and customer strategy. The same account could show up on multiple lists at any one time creating overlap and conflict.

“As the center point for media activation across the company, my team was on the receiving end of these requests. Our ability to deliver on the promises that ABM holds in digital marketing was hampered.”

The company wanted to transition to a customer-centric model that would deliver the most relevant, consistent message to each account segment. This would require a holistic, centralized process where a single strategy could be put into market across the organization for any given account.

Putting data in action

With the organization aligned on a common goal, the company looked next at its data. “From a data quality and data governance standpoint, we would get lists that didn’t have an ID that we could activate against and tie back for measurement. We didn’t have the right levers to push to do digital marketing activation. What we needed was a single unique identifier to translate the requests into a targetable audience.”

Fortunately, they had that unique identifier in the Dun & Bradstreet D‑U‑N‑S® Number, which allowed them to make their first-party and third-party data actionable.

Having the D-U-N-S Number was a game changer. We could use it as the foundation to tie everywhere we are targeting back to a specific account and location.

“Having the D‑U‑N‑S Number was a game changer. We could use it as the foundation to tie everywhere we are targeting back to a specific account and location – whether it’s an office in New York or Indiana.”


The D‑U‑N‑S Number was instrumental to make sense of the complex relationships inherent in B2B marketing: identifying company locations and entity types, such as holding companies, subsidiaries, divisions, and branches.

The company’s manager of global media technology added, ”We don’t stop at identifying an account. We also want to target specific people in that account. We don’t waste impressions on the wrong team member when we’re going for the CEO. We focus on the users who are most interested in our products and the user who is making an IT decision.”

An account’s D‑U‑N‑S Number is tied to digital identifiers, such as device IDs, mobile IDs, email addresses, IP addresses, cookies, and more, in a private, compliant environment. This provides a single view that powers meaningful segmentation and list creation, enabling true omnichannel activation where it makes the most sense.

The manager of media technology added, “By using the D‑U‑N‑S Number as a unique identifier, where every target can be tied back to a specific account, an account’s activity can be measured to backend revenue and pipeline data to get a more complete picture of how accounts are engaging digitally and what it means to the bottom line."

Expanded reach

The company has been able to expand their ABM strategy across all media outlets, no longer limited to just programmatic channels.

“We’re creating targetable segments that can be pushed to multiple platforms: DSP, DMP, you name it. We can push it to publisher platforms, too. This gives us more options for media buy-in, and we’re able to target basically anywhere hitting every channel,” said the global media technology manager.

“We can expand anywhere. We're showcasing a lot of our rich media assets, like standard banners, but also online video. We’re expanding our account based strategy toward Connected TV as well, and we’re looking to expand this into more formats including social. We’re trying to make sure that our ABM strategy isn’t limited to just channel or trade partners.

“We can optimize and realign our strategy to account for new business opportunities, new product launches, changes in sales strategies and how accounts respond to the messages being delivered. There were so many blind spots to account-based marketing in the past. I think this is starting to open up what it means for the future of account-based marketing.”

Reaping Rewards

With a centralized, forwarding-thinking approach to account segmentation, a solid data foundation provided by Dun & Bradstreet sales & marketing solutions, and true multi-channel activation, this IT giant is reaping the rewards of their programmatic advertising efforts for ABM.

About the company:
Sector: IT Services
Employees: 50,000+ worldwide
Net Revenue (FY19), $20+ Billion

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