Customer Story


How Zenefits found the key to targeting ideal customers on Facebook

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Use cases

Ad Targeting

B2B marketers underutilize Facebook as a digital marketing channel, struggling to control an Ads Manager ostensibly designed for consumer marketers.

Instead, they turn to LinkedIn's built-in options to be able to target companies and their employees. But Yuri Daniels, Director of Performance Marketing at Zenefits, was determined to crack Facebook for B2B for a simple reason: "Facebook has the largest audience of any platform out there." Plus, advertising on Facebook is considerably more affordable than LinkedIn (with some studies showing a click on Facebook costing $0.51 versus LinkedIn’s $5.61).

With a pricing model per seat, Zenefit was looking to increase its average deal size. Yuri needed a way to better target ad audiences to reach larger companies with potential for greater annual contract value (ACV). "With LinkedIn, for example, you can just raise the floor on the companies you're targeting," Yuri explains. "Facebook, however, doesn't have that granular data on companies, so you have to get crafty about exclusion and feeding their algorithm."

To make Facebook targeting perform more like LinkedIn's, Yuri put Clearbit Advertising to the test. Clearbit Advertising is a platform that helps you target exactly who you need to reach. By combining all of your customer data with Clearbit's, you get real-time, holistic context on everyone in your database for powerfully specific segments that automatically sync to channels like Facebook Ads.

By using Clearbit Advertising, Zenefits drove a 33% larger median company size and a 20% increase in the conversion rate from prospect to qualified lead.

Clearbit Advertising helps to strengthen Facebook to perform better with cleaner data and better targeting. It makes me feel powerful.

Yuri Daniels
Yuri DanielsDirector of Performance Marketing, Zenefits

Needing to smarten up Facebook targeting

After constantly grappling with the Facebook channel the year prior, Yuri and his team sat down to rebuild their strategy from the ground up.

They revisited the campaigns they were promoting and how best to follow up on engagement. In one year, they tested 375 different ads, monitored spend efficiencies through the funnel, and investigated how best to feed Facebook's ads algorithm. As a result, they'd honed their content approach to become "much more awareness-driven to feature education and thought leadership and play down the hard-sell or demo CTAs that we'd tried in the past."

They started seeing reliable growth from Facebook. But when Zenefits broke down performance by channel, the leads Facebook was driving turned out to skew smaller in terms of company size — and there wasn't a simple or direct solution.

At first, Yuri’s team tried to manually create exclusion audiences in Facebook and keep them up to date. It took months of painstaking, annoying list management to encourage Facebook’s algorithm to ignore smaller companies in favor of larger companies to produce targeted lookalike audiences.

Zenefits team members caffeinating

Gaining control of targeting parameters

Using Clearbit Advertising, Zenefits could create custom audiences that drew from multiple sources of first-party data, all enriched with Clearbit demographic and firmographic attributes. Yuri found his direct path to reach valuable new leads with more precision and in considerably less time.

He sums up: "Clearbit Advertising has a super intuitive and easy-to-use interface for us to segment our data in Salesforce, layer on Clearbit-enriched targeting, and then exclude clients already in pipeline or existing customers from our database. So we can target very specific lists that have close alignment with our ideal customer profile and deploy them onto Facebook."

an example of one of Zenefit's Facebook ads An example Zenefits ad

For instance, Zenefits could build segments of executives and HR reps for deals of different types in Clearbit Advertising, automatically sync those audiences to Facebook, and then display specific campaigns tailored to personas, company size, and other firmographic details of interest.

In line with the team's data-driven ways, Yuri experimented with these Clearbit-built segments — looking at specific sets of ads using Clearbit Advertising targeting alongside existing ad sets based on native lookalike audiences based on size and industry — to compare performance and measure impact all the way through the funnel.

The result — more ideal customers

What Yuri found was that Clearbit Advertising could make Zenefit's targeting capabilities on Facebook even more powerful by reaching more of their most ideal leads.

"When we look at our Facebook targeting with Clearbit Advertising, it has driven a 33% larger company size," Yuri reports. "It's just way more closely aligned with our ideal customer profile, with comparable or better conversion rates throughout the funnel. There was also a 20% increase in the conversion rate from a prospect to a qualified lead."

Zenefits had already built and scaled up a growth engine using Facebook, and Clearbit Advertising helped kick that engine into high gear. Yuri and his team could be more confident that all that work to customize content and optimize campaigns would actually get in front of more of their intended audience. "We have been able to layer on Clearbit Advertising's more direct targeting towards our ideal customer profile from a channel that we already know is optimized. Clearbit Advertising helps to strengthen Facebook to perform better with cleaner data and better targeting."

Yuri lifts up his arms and flexes. "It makes me feel powerful."


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