Creating Data-Driven Buyer Interactions A Hot Topic At CRM Evolution 2015

Published: August 18, 2015

CRMDay1B2B buyers expect more personalized messaging, and emerging technologies such as predictive tools and advanced analytics position B2B organizations to provide buyers with more relevant experiences.

These are just some of the takeaways from CRM Evolution 2015, a three-day event with sessions designed to help attendees learn how to adapt their marketing, sales, customer service and IT strategies to meet buyers’ expectations.

With this technology evolution, B2B companies can leverage analytics and a holistic view of the customer to tailor messages and meet their prospective buyers’ needs, presenters noted.

“If you create more relevance, you’ll create more revenue for your company,”said Neil Capel, founder and Chairman at SailThru, during his keynote session. “Put the buyer first; that’s what we need to do as marketers, if we keep doing that, we’ll keep creating business.”

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A study from Signal shows that a majority (84%) of businesspeople feel the marketing technology landscape is growing steadily or is evolving rapidly. While this growth in technology complicates the B2B buyer’s ability to choose the tool that is right for them, incorporating tools that fit into your current marketing stack can further enhance marketing initiatives.

In a session hosted by and CXOTalk, presenters highlighted how that these tools intend to offer new ways to engage target audiences across multiple channels and devices.

“Many new marketing, sales and customer service tools are client facing,” said Scott Brinker, Founder and Editor of, during his presentation. “This helps companies create new types of experiences for prospective buyers.”

As B2B buyers continue to interact with vendors later in the sales cycle, technology enables marketers to maximize their impact when buyers decide to engage. “Digital empowers the individual,” Brinker noted. “When you look at the digital revolution, individual marketers are gaining more and more empowerment. It’s much like how buyers are now empowering themselves to make buying decisions.”

The right technology can help companies create the right message, through the right channel at the right time, presenters noted. Messaging in context can also create the right emotions within a prospect during their buying decision, according to Robert Bergman, Professor of Marketing at Lewis University.

“Language is important,” Bergman noted. “The context of the text and feeling has to give off a sense of trust and honesty — which is expected by potential customers.”

During his session, Bergman highlighted several factors that make a great relationship between companies and their prospective buyers, including:

  • Loyalty and commitment: “People seek stability in their relationships, with no end,” Bergman said;
  • Understanding and forgiving: Bergman noted that “the goodwill from a single bit of forgiveness more value for an organization than all the fee and penalty revenue collects from customers”;
  • Attractive to the viewer: “Cater to the imagined, perceived and aspired self.”
  • Respect the prospect and their time: Every contact point should be an enjoyable experience, according to Bergman. “Some people visit your site and want to develop a relationship with you; others don’t. It’s counter-productive to try to force a relationship on visitors.”

Marketing and IT need to collaborate to ensure that new marketing applications fit within the current technology stack and maximize spending, observers noted.

“Tech budgets for marketing are dramatically increasing,” said Michael Krigsman, Founder of CXOTalk. “The marketing organization has a tech budget, and the ‘adapt or die’ mentality now is relevant to IT and the CIO. There are no longer IT projects, they are all business projects.”

B2B companies need to connect marketing activities to the overall business mission to maximize resources, according to presenters.

“The highest value you can provide is to listen and serve the customer with this technology,” noted Krigsman.”If we do that, we’ll be able to organically create loyalty within our current clients and prospective buyers.”

Advanced Analytics Tools Help Drive Productivity

Of all the technology at a B2B marketer’s disposal, advanced analytics tools have grown vital to effective marketing initiatives and customer relationships. But presenters noted that this growth in technology also means that more and more data is being collected by companies on a daily basis — making it more difficult to gain the actionable insights required to target and engage prospective buyers.

“Customer data isn’t what it used to be; it’s bigger, messier and more abundant,” said Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond the Arc, during his session. “Our organizations have sophisticated IT groups based on traditional thinking revolving around data. CMOs are underprepared for the data explosion and need to embrace tech and analytics.”

In a session hosted by IDC, attendees learned how leveraging data to transform from a reactive marketing to proactive and predictive approach.

“The idea of smart data is that it has context and could be useful to a marketing team,” said Michael Fauscette, GVP of WW Software applications Research at IDC.”If I could give the data context, I can take that and find the spread pattern and formulate a predictive model.”

Ramirez discussed how a B2B company that provides SMB financing for operational needs and equipment was using predictive. The firm was looking to prevent a portion of loans from being written off — a significant expense to the company. The company intended to create more real-time offers and reduce labor for manual underwriting. They incorporated predictive models to its loan, customer and third-party credit information, allowing the underwriters to focus on more difficult tasks.

The predictive models increased underwriter productivity by20%. The company also reduced its risk portfolio by 3%, saving the company “millions of dollars,” according to Ramirez. “Enabling businesses to use predictive models to exploit patterns found in historical data to identify potential risks and opportunities before they occur.”

Intelligent customer engagement is engaging prospects through the channel of their choice, allowing marketers to create the targeted messaging prospective buyers are expecting from B2B organizations during their buying process. In a session hosted by Microsoft, attendees learned how converting Big Data into actionable insights through the help of technology can maximize overall marketing initiatives.

“Keeping the conversation in context and tying together internal and external data helps create long-term relationships with customers,” said Angela Bandlow, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Dynamics Customer Engagement Solutions at Microsoft.

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