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To build a successful sales & marketing function you must become a(data) architect

By Rishi Dave, Chief Marketing Officer, Dun & Bradstreet @RishiPDave

Rishi Dave

Rishi Dave

In today’s digitally-driven world, sales and marketing teams are finding it difficult to keep up with their customers and prospects, who expect a completely customised experience. Increasingly, buyers are also taking more actions on their own to research a company, both on and offline, making it even more of a challenge to connect the customer journey. Savvy teams are finding a solution in Master Data, something that was typically only known to CIOs, but is slowly making its way into the CMO’s toolbelt as well.

Reliance on data increases with the rise of technology. A modern marketing team must centralise execution of data. CMOs must take control of data across all business systems and digital properties so they can create a single consolidated customer view and they must invest in the right technology to enable sales and marketing teams to gain access to the most relevant, real-time information so that they can create integrated and personalised experiences for their customers.

Become the master of your master data

The first step to a single view of customers is to master your data. A master data strategy ensures the organisation has clean, accurate and structured data on which to make decisions. Consider it the foundation for the business – the cornerstone on which all decisions will be based.

A master data strategy combines a company’s own in-house data with trusted third party data, then allows that data to be surfaced in real-time to the departments who can best take action.

Businesses also need to find a way to link online customer actions like form fills and web visits and offline actions like trade show visits or sales meetings. This can be difficult in a business to business setting where you not only must track the individual, but also have to place them in context of the company for which they are buying. Companies need a single, unique identifier by which to track those actions so they are truly getting a unified customer view.

Having the right data = creating the right customer experience

Modern marketers need to use data and analytics to architect the optimal customer experience for each account. This requires leveraging data to understand in real-time what customer needs are and what messages are relevant to them and then delivering those through the proper mediums.

Ensuring that each customer record is up to date and connected across the company will help avoid any duplication in communication while also establishing common relationships that can uncover links between current partners, vendors and customers.

The insight now available in the data-driven world must be measured, analysed, and surfaced as insights to the right people and systems (like your website) in order to consistently provide unbeatable experiences.

The age of data is now upon us

As the always-on digital world brings very unique challenges for B2B marketers,investing in a master data strategy is going to become paramount to success. Architecting the optimal customer experience for each account requires leveraging data to understand in real-time what their needs are and what messages are relevant to them and then delivering those messages through the proper mediums. Master data lays the foundation for this architecture and allows for a real-time, connected customer view that ensures a seamless customer experience across all touch points. In a world of non-stop flows of information, the effective use of data is going to be the key to company growth.

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