Solve 5 B2B Marketing Problems Using Better Customer Data

February 15, 2024 | 6 minute read
Atif Zubair
Product Marketing Manager, Oracle
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You want to bring together data about your B2B customers such as purchase history, product usage, and account contacts to build an upsell campaign. But it takes days to gather and clean data from multiple systems, some of which you can’t touch without an IT request, thereby adding more days.

The solution to this and many other crucial B2B marketing problems is easier access to better customer data. And the answer to that access is often a customer data platform, or CDP. A CDP collects and unifies data from multiple sources to build a complete view of each customer. Data can include actions a customer took on your website, past transactions, demographic data, service calls for that customer, and more. A CDP puts that data in one place and makes it accessible to the people and systems that need to use it, including AI models for analyzing data. 

In this article, we'll explore how CDPs help you solve five key problems, and how doing so can revolutionize your B2B marketing strategies.

1) Put an end to data dirty work

Navigating the complexities of B2B marketing can feel like a never-ending maze, especially given the surge in data volumes and the abundance of customer signals. Imagine the frustration when:

  • Marketers spend days cleaning and stitching together data pulled from different sources, including CRM, website, social media, spreadsheets, and marketing automation tools.
  • Marketers must rely on IT or data teams, often waiting for days to obtain necessary data.
  • Marketers struggle to target the right audience at right time due to slow processing by traditional marketing automation systems, poor data quality, or incomplete information.
"26% of B2B marketing decision-makers pinpoint data quality as a critical challenge”
Source: Forrester’s Marketing Survey, 2023

 

A company’s front-office and back-office applications both contain valuable customer information that can be effectively leveraged in campaigns—if this information is connected and available in a timely way. 

A CDP can help bring together ERP data such as subscription details, contract specifics, purchase history, and product usage data, creating a holistic view of the account to launch targeted renewal or cross sell and upsell campaigns. It can connect billing history, contract duration, credit score, and account profile to spearhead refinancing campaigns tailored for CFOs. Likewise, integrating app usage, service details, and support ticket information into an account profile can help you avoid pitching unhappy customers with a subscription or service renewal campaign. Those are some examples of the endless possibilities when you have connected, quality data at your fingertips.

CDPs can revolutionize data management by automating data tasks, and offering built-in capabilities for cleaning, standardizing, and integrating customer data across the organization. This eliminates the need for manually scrubbing and connecting data, saving time and resources for marketers. Having clean, unified data source facilitates effective analysis and utilization, resulting in precise targeting. 

Watch how Oracle Unity CDP streamlines data management

2) Gain a deeper understanding of accounts and buying groups

Another key problem faced by B2B marketers is dealing with the complexity of B2B accounts and buying groups. The intricate web of decision-makers and influencers within these groups often makes it hard to understand who does what at your prospects and what their priorities are. 

Coordinating marketing efforts to resonate with various stakeholders, understanding their distinct needs, and navigating complex buying dynamics is a daunting task for B2B marketers. Moreover, with the phase-out of third-party cookies there is a growing need to rely on first-party company data to understand prospects. These challenges demand a strategic approach to communication and strategy that goes beyond a one-size-fits-all model. 
 

“77% of B2B marketers agree that buyers and customers expect a personalized experience across sales and marketing”
Source: Forrester’s Marketing Survey, 2023

 

A B2B customer data platform resolves the complexity caused around B2B accounts and buying groups by creating customer profiles at the contact, account, and buying group levels. B2B CDPs excel in managing complex data, assembling buying groups through CRM data or utilizing AI to identify and construct groups based on extensive engagement data. By stitching together information such as job title, purchase history, communication preferences, engagement data, app usage, contract details, sales, and service interactions, B2B CDPs provide a granular understanding of customer behavior and preferences within an account. 

This granular view allows both B2B marketers and sellers to understand stakeholders’ roles within a buying group and then tailor the message and even the channel according to their preferences. 

See how Oracle Unity CDP helps marketers

3) Unify marketing and sales

In the dynamic landscape of B2B, the challenge of aligning marketing and sales stems from the disparity between marketing’s demand generation strategies and sale’s account-centric focus. While marketers focus on creating marketing qualified leads (MQLs), sales teams concentrate on selling to accounts. Attempts to bridge this gap through additional metrics, processes, and technology have only added layers of complexity and jargon, hindering effective communication.
 

“As buyers move their research to digital channels, sellers lose visibility into these previously personal moments — but improvements in digital capture tools have increased marketing’s interaction visibility. A lack of technology integration between departments means that sellers haven’t had access to much of this data yet,”
Source: Seth Marrs, Principal Analyst, Forrester in Leverage Visibility Into Sales Interactions To Generate Sales Insights

 

But there’s a big potential payoff for business that do bridge the gap. Businesses with strong sales and marketing alignment are 67% more effective at closing deals and 58% better at retaining customers, according to LinkedIn

CDPs help unify sales and marketing efforts by providing essential, shared insights. With features such as shared account views, profile unification, real-time analytics, and orchestrated experiences, B2B CDPs enable businesses to understand each customer comprehensively, predict their needs, and deliver personalized experiences aligned with account behaviors. The ultimate goal shifts from mere marketing-sales alignment to unification of goals, strategies, and understanding of customers, thereby reshaping the dynamics of B2B marketing and sales collaboration.

4) Overcoming resource constraints with AI in CDPs

B2B marketers often face the problem of limited resources, whether it’s a tight budget for advertising and other demand generation or a small marketing team. Marketers are spread thin, facing tough choices on where to focus their energy and resources.

AI and machine learning capabilities in CDPs can help B2B marketers do more with less. By leveraging advanced AI/ML models, CDPs can automate and optimize various marketing processes. 

One key area where expanded AI/ML can help is campaign personalization. With the ability to analyze vast amounts of customer data at scale, CDPs can use AI to identify patterns and trends that humans might miss and recommend customer segments based on demographics, firmographics, behaviors, and predictive indicators. This helps marketers deliver highly personalized content and offers to individual customers, hopefully leading to better engagement and conversion rates.

Explore Oracle Unity CDP AI models to enhance CX

5) Unlocking real-time insights and a unified customer view

A final problem that B2B marketers face is the lack of real-time insights and a unified view of their customers. Traditional marketing tools and systems often fall short of providing the timely and comprehensive data that marketers need to make informed decisions.

CDPs can address this problem by collecting and centralizing data from diverse sources to create a real-time unified customer or account view, which equip B2B marketers to:

  • Gain a holistic and up-to-date understanding of each account or buyer group's interactions, preferences, and behaviors. 
  • Unlock real-time insights by continuously analyzing incoming data to identify patterns and trends in the customer journey.
  • Create tailored experiences, using the right content and offers to keep customers happy and coming back.

Learn how Mazda Europe uses Oracle Unity CDP to personalize communication

Conclusion

A CDP is not just a nice to have; it is increasingly a necessity in today's data-driven marketing landscape. By harnessing the power of CDPs, B2B organizations can overcome crucial marketing problems and take their strategies to new heights.

Tips to Make the best use of CDPs:

Also, find out:

Evaluate your customer data strategy:

Evaluate your organization's customer data strategy using our CX data excellence self-assessment.

See a brief interactive demo of Oracle Unity CDP:

Explore a brief interactive demo to experience Oracle Unity CDP in action.

Atif Zubair

Product Marketing Manager, Oracle


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