Customer Data Platform (CDP): It’s not just for B2Cs anymore
Shruti Shukla - Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Dynamics 365
The CDP Institute’s latest research indicates that 34 percent of B2B companies plan to start deploying a customer data platform (CDP) in the next year, compared with just 19 percent of B2C companies. B2Bs have significantly longer and more complex sales cycles that create huge volumes of data, and the relationship-driven nature of B2B business requires a persistent and holistic view of the customer across the entire customer journey.
Also, today’s B2B buyers are changing the rules of the game. Accustomed to fast, frictionless, and personalized buying experiences in their everyday life as a consumer, they bring those high expectations to their roles as B2B buyers. They are technically savvy and comfortable engaging via digital channels, which means their data is scattered across different systems. Without unified customer data, it’s impossible for companies to personalize experiences with B2B decision-makers.
A CDP provides B2B organizations with the means to unify customer data and gain a complete view of customers. This unified data is the foundation for gaining insights, from better account segmentation to predictions about customer behavior, that drive intelligent and personalized experiences.
A CDP brings together customer data from all sources – CRM, ERP, email, website, POS, cases, partner systems, firmographics, and social networks like LinkedIn – and performs identity resolution at the contact and account level to generate unified profiles for individuals and accounts. The data combined with AI generates insights – accounts to target, content to share, products to recommend, and the best time to call. Insights are activated when they are integrated with business applications and tools like sales applications, marketing applications, workflow, and analytics. In today’s fast-paced, competitive environment, a robust CDP is an essential tool for delivering personalized B2B experiences:
- Account-based marketing – Complete customer profiles and the resulting intelligence lead to better prioritization of high-potential customers and alignment of B2B sales and marketing teams in delivering coordinated and personalized experiences.
- Sales enablement – Organizations that equip their B2B sales team with rich customer data, curated content, and insights from across the customer journey, without salespeople having to search for it, can have more intelligent conversations, deepen relationships, and be more productive.
- Recommended next best action and automated workflow – Proactive recommendations and automated processes based on unified customer profiles including product usage data, ensure a well-orchestrated customer journey. For example, when product trial usage exceeds a threshold, an alert is automatically sent to the salesperson to follow-up with a call.
In order to deliver personalized experiences at scale, organizations need a foundation to better understand and engage their target customers. Microsoft’s CDP solution, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights, is a pre-assembled and ready-to-go CDP solution that helps B2B organizations achieve a 360-degree view of customers and deliver personalized omnichannel experiences, making B2B experiences as engaging as B2C experiences.
To learn more, read Digitally Transforming Customer Experiences.