The Basics: How B2B Companies are Taking Advantage of Big Data

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Much of the potential impact of big data, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) is targeted towards B2C (Business to Consumer) segments. However, big data plays an increasingly critical role in the B2B space as companies begin to emphasize high standards similar to those of consumers when it comes to their interactions with businesses big and small.

As a B2B company, the transition into the big data space can be complicated in itself. Beyond that, actually taking advantage of all the information available to you gets even more challenging as technology grows more complex and databases continue increasing in size.

To help, here’s how B2B companies are currently utilizing the power of big data to their advantage.

What Is Big Data?

Terms like “big data” are tossed around a lot these days, but many people feel left behind due to a sheer lack of information. To put it simply, big data is a term used to describe just that: a large amount of data. This data is usually a mix of structured and unstructured information, and B2B companies are already dealing with it at scale.

Every day, companies are inundated with information, whether it pertains to orders, customers, or marketing activities. When stored, this data turns into a very real and very valuable asset. But it’s worth nothing unless an organization is doing something with it.

When analyzed and utilized, big data can reveal insights that help inform business decisions and strategies. The trick is getting to the point where an organization’s data can be properly organized, understood, and acted upon. Once that is achieved, the benefits will prove limitless.

Big Data Fuels B2B Marketing Strategies

Last year, the B2B Content Marketing Report found that analytics tools ranked as one of the top three most used technologies in content marketing. Given the importance of content marketing (and other digital marketing tactics) for customer acquisition and selling, big data is essential for helping B2B companies figure out the right types of content they should be posting in order to get the biggest return on their investment.

Therefore, big data is helping B2B companies better plan their marketing campaigns, improve results through informed strategies, and ultimately get more out of their marketing budgets. Meanwhile, big data analytics also reveal how customers engage with different types of content as they move through the sales funnel, helping these companies better shape strategies to fit leads in every phase.

Big Data is Improving B2B Customer Service

Whether in the B2C or B2B space, quality customer service is essential when it comes to sustaining customers. With increasing standards for service interactions, big data stands to offer vast improvement for B2B companies. In 2018, Accenture reported that nearly 8 in 10 B2B companies were already using chatbots to automate customer service, providing smart responses in an instant to queries at all hours of the day.

Moreover, the same report found that about 73% of these organizations rely on augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) as part of their customer service. These statistics alone represent a substantial adoption rate of innovative technologies in order to better meet customer need. If these companies also begin utilizing big data and the right ETL tools, they could see even better improvements.

For example: Big data tools could be used to help analyze the conversations that customers have with chatbots. After all, chatbot interactions are extremely prevalent in the B2B space, and if big data can reveal sentiment in any given conversation, human reps can be alerted to frustrated or urgent requests so that they can take over right away, helping to keep customers happy and onboard with the business.

Big Data is Building Better Loyalty Programs

Losing a customer can be extremely costly to an organization, especially in the B2B space where acquisition cost can be in the hundreds or thousands. Fortunately, big data can do a lot when it comes to maintaining happy customers, and one example can be found in B2B loyalty programs.
One challenge with selling in the B2B space is that a business tends to have multiple decision makers, and that makes B2B loyalty programs much more complex as they need to please many people within the company. With big data, this task is made easier as it can help identify the people most likely to make commitments at a given company and help decipher the exact rewards a loyalty program could offer that would most interest them.

By helping companies determine who to focus on, then aiding the process of specifying and narrowing down options and rewards, big data is helping to build better loyalty programs. And it doesn’t end there. Big data represents limitless potential across the B2B space. You just need to know how to utilize it.

 

Image by Fabio at Unsplash

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Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans

President at B2B News Network
President, @B2BNewsnetwork (launched Nov 2014). Content, community and analytics obsessed. Inventor @squeezecmm. Past chair, @itac_online @whiteribbon