B2B is another vertical. B2B marketers have definitely been slow to pick up on CDPs, which may seem surprising given their frenzied adoption of other martech. I’d again explain this in part by the state of the existing customer data: the more advanced B2B marketers (who are the most likely CDP buyers) nearly all have a marketing automation system in place. The marketers’ initial assumption would be that marketing automation can assemble a unified customer database, making them uninterested in exploring a separate CDP. Eventually they’d discover that nearly all B2B marketing automation systems are very limited in their data management capabilities. That’s happening now in many cases – and, sure enough, we’re now seeing more interest among B2B marketers in CDPs.
But there’s another reason B2B marketers have been uncharacteristically slow adopters when it comes to CDPs. B2B marketers have traditionally focused on acquiring new leads, leaving the rest of the customer life cycle to sales, account, and customer success teams. So B2B marketers didn’t need the rich customer profiles that a CDP creates. Meanwhile, the sales, account and customer success teams generally worked with individual and account records stored in a CRM system, so they weren’t especially interested in CDPs either. (That said, it’s worth noting that customer success systems like Gainsight and Totango were on my original list of CDP vendors.)
The situation in B2B has now changed. Marketers are taking more responsibility for the entire customer life cycle and work more closely with sales, account management, and customer success teams. This pushes them to look for a complete customer view that includes data from marketing automation, CRM, and additional systems like Web sites, social media, and content marketing. That quest leads directly to CDP.
If Sales owned MarTech, CDP would be atop their list.
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