The complexification of B2B data
It has not been hard to notice how the situation for marketers has become more complex of late. The context in which they exercise their profession has changed.
Previously, things were relatively simple. Each marketing department had databases whose data was structured around its clients and leads, provided by data suppliers and internal databases, aggregated over time.
At the moment, the huge digitalisation of marketing activity has caused an explosion of available data sources, for both structured and non-structured data. Information now comes both from internal and external databases, to which can be added all the elements coming from social networks, forms generated on websites or via e-mailings, cookies, client services, information systems (CRM, ERP, Marketing Automation platforms, etc.), mobile applications, accounting data, etc.
The mass of available data has significantly increased and this process is set to intensify.
So how now do we sort what is useful from what is not? How do we detect the signals emitted by the market to optimise our marketing actions? How do we ensure the performance of our campaigns? How do we not drown under such a deluge of data?
A new context and new opportunities
The advent of this “Big Data” should not frighten the marketer. To the contrary, this revolution in the practices of their profession is also creating new opportunities:
New ecosystems of external data and digital media suppliers are developing and are now easily actionable. Data solutions in SaaS have already been gradually replacing the static files of the past for some time.
The future will therefore mean the outsourcing of our data management: rather than using internal resources to work on the unification of all the data available in our market, it is now possible to use service providers who will do the work for us and enable us to make the data platform of our marketing activity reliable: data as a service, web access, continuous updates, data centralisation, structuring and cleaning, etc.
This outsourcing paired with the more widespread use of tools such as CRM or ERP, which are increasingly affordable and intuitive, now makes it easier to reconcile data from different environments and to harmonise them in order to have a unified and 360° client vision.
Many tools also let us centralise, cross-reference, analyse and steer information for greater running of marketing campaigns.
A new concept of the future: marketing agility in B2B
All of these technologies, that are now available to every marketer, focus on the same objective: to unify client vision and enable us to anticipate purchasing decisions by analysing client behaviour and the information emitted by the targets.
It is no longer impossible to have unified, complete and standardised client data. The integration of this so-called “intelligent” data or “smart data” into CRM- or Marketing Automation-type solutions potentially already allows every marketer to hyper-target their market, to create content adapted to the issues and maturity of their targets, which is what we call “lead nurturing”. The purpose is to interact with our leads and clients as closely as possible to their concerns, via the ‘screenwriting’ of multi-channel marketing campaigns, and thus generate increasingly better qualified leads for the sales teams.
Opening the field of possibilities
So this is where B2B marketing is heading. It has to show agility. It has to adapt to the technological changes of its era and to the behaviour of its clients.
More than ever, the quality, accuracy and comprehensiveness of data are essential issues in terms of conquering our market.
So let’s remember that the raw material of B2B marketing — data — has become more complex but, at the same time, the tools for analysing and exploiting it have significantly developed. Which, as of now, considerably opens up the field of possibilities for marketers: refined targeting, adapted content and increased responsiveness with regard to the signals emitted by the market.