TechBytes with Mihir Nanavati, Vice President of Product, RollWorks

Mihir Nanavati, Vice President of Product, RollWorks

Mihir Nanavati
VP of Product, RollWorks

RollWorks is in a better position than many others in the market because for AI to be impactful, it needs to work off a large and accurate dataset of B2B companies and buyers, which they have. We spoke to Mihir Nanavati, VP of Product at RollWorks, to understand how they work with AI/ML and other intelligent technologies.

Tell us about your role at RollWorks and the team/technology you handle.

At AdRoll Group, I am the Vice President of Product for RollWorks — our B2B division that we introduced back in March. My team and I drive the strategy and execution of RollWorks’ products. This includes the development and maintenance of all of RollWorks’ core technologies, as well as exploring new and innovative technologies that we can use to strengthen our offerings.

What are the core tenets of your ABM technology?

Our RollWorks product has three core tenets:

Data: RollWorks has a B2B dataset that includes customer and company information to ensure we are targeting the correct people at the correct accounts. Using our dataset, we can learn and act on customer interactions with company websites and other websites, in order to understand their intent and likelihood of purchasing.

Engagement: We also leverage our datasets and insights to help our customers determine which companies and decision-makers to target. We engage them using personalized ads and eventually, other touchpoints and channels.

Results: At RollWorks, we are on a mission to help identify the business impact for our customers as a result of their engagement actions. Determining business impact could include knowing which accounts and leads were qualified through what actions, or through contribution and attribution on pipeline growth.

Do you think ABM will someday replace CRM systems?

I believe that ABM tools complement and enhance the value provided by CRM systems, and, therefore, will not completely replace them. As the name suggests, CRM describes all interactions a company has with its customers, whereas ABM focuses more on finding and interacting with potential new customers. In fact, most ABM programs do not maintain a single source of truth for all customer interactions. However, ABM platforms do enhance the value within CRM systems. For example, ABM platforms provide real-time insights to sales representatives regarding which prospects engage with the company, and the next best action would be to continue that engagement.

Could you elaborate how RollWorks leverages data management techniques to make ABM more powerful?

RollWorks leverages data management techniques in three core ways in order to make ABM more powerful. These include:

Building identity in the graph: As an example, RollWorks collects and manages work and personal email addresses related to cookies.

Enriching identities: RollWorks enriching the aforementioned identities with business attributes such as company relationships, job function, seniority and more.

Enriching company data: We are able to include important identifiers for our customers, such as industry, size, revenue and more.

With these data management techniques, RollWorks costumers are able to find and target companies and prospects within certain parameters. For instance, the B2B marketer can create campaigns targeting accounts and key buyers within those accounts in specific stages of their sales and marketing funnel — e.g. Fortune 500 VPs of Marketing in the “Marketing Qualified Accounts” stage. When these individuals are targeted and respond to our customers’ messaging, we are also able to track the leads and conversions back to the right job title and person.

How does RollWorks make online advertising more effective for B2B growth?

B2B sales growth is quite difficult — the average B2B deal now requires 6.8 people to sign off before a company makes a purchase. That means to achieve sales growth at B2B companies, you will need an effective, targeted strategy to reach key accounts. RollWorks is able to make online advertising more effective for this growth through:

Better targeting: Most approaches to ABM only target companies; RollWorks does this, but also finds the right targets at certain companies based on their role and buying power.

Personalizing ads: Based on first and third-party data, RollWorks personalizes messages in advertisements based on their stage in the marketing funnel, among other considerations.

Performance: RollWorks’ proprietary AI technology optimizes which advertisements a customer should bid on and on what price, in order to maximize media performance metrics. Since RollWorks has intent data behind the cookies we leverage, we can further optimize our online advertising to ensure it reaches the most relevant target.

What are the challenges and opportunities for ABM-driven advertising?

The main challenge for ABM-driven advertising is simply proving whether the ABM advertisements are not just driving traffic from target accounts to the customer’s website, but indeed are leading to quality opportunities from those target accounts that progress along the sales pipeline. This provides a valuable metric for marketers, who are then able to show what touchpoints are driving targets to a sale.

Therefore, the opportunity for ABM-driven advertising is to apply stronger, more targeted data to determine and target the right accounts and buyers. Through attribution models, there is a definite opportunity to determine the impact of not just the advertisements, but also of other touchpoints and their contribution towards pipeline progression.

What technologies are you keenly following to make ABM better?

There are a few key technologies I am routinely following and working with in order to make ABM stronger and more effective:

CDP: Companies realize they need a single view of the B2B buyer to engage them effectively through various channels. Whether CDPs fulfill this promise is something to keep an eye on. The efficacy of CDPs will require a focus on depth and accuracy of B2B data.

Integrators: As the marketing stack gets broader, beyond the need to have a CDP across these tools is the question of integrating them. This integration ensures that the customer journey is not disjointed and reporting and attribution behind your marketing achievements is correct and comprehensive.

AI: Forget the hype behind AI — there are meaningful opportunities that we have yet to explore around automation of cross-channel orchestration, or in applying personalization at scale. Being able to explore and act on these opportunities will require good models and a deep set of B2B data that the models can work off.

Tell us how you work with AI/ML and other intelligent technologies?

At AdRoll Group, we use AI extensively, especially in our RollWorks product. This powerful technology is used in the following scenarios:

Behavioral “act-a-like” models: We use these models to identify segments that have a similar behavioral (not just demographic) profile as the most valuable customers.

Ad bidding: Using user intent modeling helps RollWorks optimize bid amounts and volume to optimize for conversion touch points.

Personalization: By picking the most effective message variant among multiple ones based on propensity, RollWorks is enabled to not just engage, but also convert key targets.

This is just the beginning; RollWorks is in a better position than many others in the market because for AI to be impactful, it needs to work off a large and accurate dataset of B2B companies and buyers, which we have. This allows us to unlock other ABM advancements such as predictive segmentation of high intent buyers, determining the next best action for the prospect in a sequential messaging workflow, optimizing message variants through personalization and so on.

Thanks for chatting with us, Mihir.

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