Consumer marketing might have grabbed many of the headlines around data-driven marketing, but B2B marketing is also going through a revolution thanks to digital change
With all the hype that has accompanied the digitisation of consumer marketing, it is easy to forget that another important field of marketing has been going through its own digital revolution.
While it might not boast the same massive data sets as those wielded by consumer marketers, business-to-business marketing (B2B) has been making steady strides in improving how it captures and utilises data to fine-tune the sales process.
B2B marketing is benefiting from many of the same automation and analytic technologies and techniques being used in consumer marketing, but applied to a much smaller range of targets and in a one-to-one fashion that many consumer marketers might only dream of.
In B2B, what you do with your data is far more important than how much of it you have.
At the heart of the changes in B2B marketing is the fusion of big data analytics with marketing automation. These technologies are forging closer bonds between B2B marketing and sales teams, and at times blurring the lines between the two.
Big data database technology company, MapR, reports increased interest in its technology from B2B sales organisations. According to its US-based chief applications architect, Ted Dunning, this is especially true for companies with highly-complex product lines, where a single rep cannot possibly be aware of everything the company sells.
According to Dunning, this work represents an evolution of the original CRM systems that first appeared well over a decade ago, as big data technology brings predictive analytics to the rule-based responses of original CRM systems.