Hell-Bent On Intent: B2B Publisher Deploys Outside Data To Find Firms Seeking To Buy

B2B publishers typically base their ad targeting on content consumption on their own sites. Breaking Media has added a “third dimension: ”intent to buy, as determined through a broader array of data supplied by Bombora." 

Publishers are “all trying to leverage first-party data,” John Lerner, CEO of Breaking Media, observes of B2B in general. “A lot of fallen into lead gen trap and just want to sell names.”

Breaking Media offers several all-digital products: Above the Law, Dealbreaker, Fashionista, MedCity News, Breaking Defense, Breaking Energy and Breaking Government.

Like other publishers, Breaking Media has long-used data driven by “our own content and email to define the audiences and segment them in ways beneficial to readers,” Lerner acknowledges.

But the 13-year-old company wanted to help firms move beyond branding and lead gen and from the top and bottom of the funnel. Rather, it seeks to find “the sweet spot halfway down the funnel and getting them into your funnel, not someone else’s funnel,” Lerner says.



Equipped with an in-house studio for creating native sponsored content, Breaking Media began working with Bombora roughly 18 months ago.

What does Bombora bring to the table?

Bombora has a B2B publishing co-operative and works with hundreds of business and analyst sites that share consumption and behavioral data. The firm’s Company Surge Analytics helps marketing and sales teams  learn which businesses are researching the products or services that they and their competitors sell,  Bombora says.  

Breaking Media had lacked that “demographic overlay” that can signal intent and help advertisers to “stay at forefront today rather than guessing and looking at the past,” Lerner says. 

He adds: “Bombora’s data complements our niche expertise and first-party data, enabling us to learn, for example, what other interests our readers have. So we can offer our advertising partners programs that we know will reach their target audiences.”

Lerner continues: “On higher-end campaigns, we’ll be able to confirm, afterward, that we’ve done so.”   

This requires patience: There are many approvals needed for a high-end B2B purchase. 

Breaking Media has been enjoying a good year. “Business is up almost 90% YoY, although Bombora is not the only reason we’re up,” Lerner laughs. He notes that there has been a “big uptick in people targeting segments of their audience, getting in front of them and hitting our email list less. The readers are pleased, and traffic is up.”

How has Bombora helped specifically?

Lerner thinks for a moment. “A year ago, we didn’t pitch any programs around intent data,” he says. “This month, we pitched 25 to 30 programs.” 

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