Thinking of big data marketing as mainly the purview of B2C is short-sighted. It isn't just retailers who are figuring out how to combine big data and marketing, but also B2B companies. When a B2B company isn't satisfied with its digital marketing mix, big data can be the key to turning things around. But with big data, it isn't an overnight process.
B2B marketing professionals, like their B2C counterparts, have to adopt a customer-centric approach to marketing. Big data can help them create messages that are customized and consistent across platforms and contact points. This requires that data be collected and analyzed on a massive scale, something that is now possible to businesses of all sizes due to technology like the Hadoop framework run in the cloud.
Big data marketing focuses on customer insight and real-time analytics, whether in a B2C or a B2B environment. It's a good idea to begin by learning what today's data is like.
What Today's Data Is Like
If you want to exploit the opportunities buried within the huge amounts of data available today, first you need to understand the data itself. Big data is increasingly diverse, with some of it structured and much of it unstructured. It includes data coming from smart devices, wearable devices, social media, video, and apps. Big data marketing involves data on a scale that challenges an organization's technology and analytics capabilities. It's also messy, and this can make for a painful transition in companies that have always relied on neat, curated data sets. Finally, big data is generally shared among multiple organizations, departments, or individuals, rather than being locked up in silos.
A B2B Approach to Big Data
B2B marketing professionals may not know how to start when faced with their first big data marketing initiative. One technique that has proved valuable involves some reverse engineering. Once you understand your best customers, you can use big data to work your way back through their customer journeys. Do you see any patterns? If so, these data journey tendencies can offer valuable information on which parts of your marketing strategy are strong and which could use improvement. Using this data, marketing professionals can identify targets for upselling opportunities, accelerate sales, and even discover new markets. Additionally, you can fine-tune your strategies for the future.
The Importance of Data Unification, Cleansing, and Enrichment
When sales has its own database, marketing has its own, and operations has its own, all separate and apart from one another, data can't provide as much insight as it could if it were unified and integrated. Big data and marketing depend on data being made useful and shared, so everyone within an organization has a single source of truth on which to base decisions.
Furthermore, data should be cleansed. Duplicates should be removed, errors should be corrected, incomplete data should be appended, and data should be regularly refreshed. Unclean data leads to poor decision-making, and successful big data marketing rests on confidence that the data used is of the highest quality.
Finally, companies can turn to data enrichment solutions to obtain relevant, accurate data with which they can build the most comprehensive customer view. Data enrichment solutions like ReachForce augment existing data with accurate, up-to-date external data so that you can develop complete customer profiles and make the most of your big data marketing investment.
Putting It All Together
Big data and marketing go together naturally. The companies that bring together big data and marketing can have greater impact on the buyer lifecycle and develop a true, 360-degree customer view that allows them to make the best possible marketing decisions. Having big data analytics tools, however, isn't enough. In order to have confidence in your big data marketing, you have to ensure that the data that's fed to the systems is of the highest quality, is up-to-date, as complete as possible, non-redundant, and accurate. Big data by itself isn't enough. It has to be cleansed, and it has to be analyzed by advanced technology tools to maximize marketing ROI.
ReachForce can be an integral part of a successful B2B big data marketing strategy, by ensuring your data is cleansed, enriched, and integrated so it can yield the most accurate marketing insights. By providing continuous data cleansing including de-duplicating, correcting, enriching, and verifying, ReachForce can empower your company to gain the most from your big data marketing efforts.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.
To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, check out our real-time web form enrichment demo, or request a free marketing data diagnostic. Get the power to let data drive marketing and higher performance.