Big data has been important in the B2C sphere for several years now. Giants like Amazon and Netflix have used predictive algorithms and customer retargeting with big data to great success. And now B2B companies are realizing that big data marketing could work with their business models as well, helping them gain greater, more accurate insight into their customers' needs and wants.
However, many companies - B2C or B2B - don't have the amounts of data on their customers that big players like Amazon have. Most customer bases simply don't have the level of scale and customer activity that a Walmart or a Netflix has. A lot of B2B customer activity takes place well outside the B2B company's ecosystem, whether on social media, in blogs, or in clickstreams. This data is where many great insights are located and where B2B companies can use big data marketing to their benefit.
Big data marketing can be used by B2B companies to combine structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data to develop the coveted 360-degree view of the customer. That data may come from a number of sources, including CRM data, social media, and email. Here are 4 B2B big data marketing trends that will help B2B firms get their arms around big data in 2015 and make use of it.
1. Better Forecasting of Reactions to Marketing Efforts
Predictive analytics for B2B should improve significantly over the next 12 months. Big data marketing for B2B will collect more data on actions taken by customers (such as opening emails, clicking links, etc.), providing near-real time information on how customers respond to marketing efforts. As more such data is collected, companies will be able to make more accurate predictions about reactions to marketing efforts, allowing them to ramp up successful tactics and re-align efforts that are falling flat. The result should be improved marketing ROI and better customer retention.
2. Improved Customer Engagement Through Lead Scoring
With lead scoring, companies analyze data on potential customers so they can better evaluate whether they represent a strong prospect. Strong prospects can then be ranked based on perceived value so that big data marketing efforts are directed where they have the highest chances of success. Lead scoring brings together big data, analytics, and human oversight, maximizing the potential of the data to deliver results. Algorithms will do the heavy lifting of going through the masses of data, while marketing professionals collect and oversee the results, qualifying leads with greater accuracy than was possible before.
3. Better Team Management for a More Efficient Sales Cycle
The need for spontaneous reactions to customers in the moment in order to close a sale will start dropping as analytics drive more decisions. Territory and account assignments by management as well as individual opportunities by sales professionals will be more heavily influenced by big data marketing insights. Positive side effects will include less pressure in finding prospects and an easier time making sales quotas due to more efficient use of time. Expectations will increase too, but the use of big data marketing to qualify leads will shorten the sales cycle and increase the number of deals that close.
4. Higher Data Quality and More Data Integration
Data quality will be taken for granted as traditional data quality assurance methods improve. More data will be unified across organizations (and externally in some cases), and better access to that data will become a higher priority goal. Greater attention will be paid to keeping data clean and ensuring data is enriched where possible. Whether in B2C or B2B, a lack of accurate, complete, unified data can lead to poor decision making, and businesses will become more impatient with data that doesn't meet quality standards.
Big data marketing isn't just for the B2C world. An increasing number of B2B businesses are discovering the great value that big data can deliver when complete, accurate data meets powerful analytical tools. Smaller businesses are turning to data enrichment and cleansing providers so that they can make the most of the data they collect from customers and potential customers.
SmartForms by ReachForce brings the power of big data marketing to more small companies by offering data enrichment from hundreds of millions of up-to-date, accurate global records. This allows the B2B marketing professional to draw maximum insight from customer data and greatly improve marketing ROI. To learn more about SmartForms and data enrichment, why not check out our demo or sign up for a free trial? There's no reason your company can't put the power of big data marketing to work in your B2B efforts.