Adobe has announced the new B2B Edition of its Real-time Customer Data Platform (CDP), built on Adobe Experience Platform. Available this summer, the B2B Edition of Real-time CDP unifies person and account profiles across systems to give go-to-market teams a complete and trusted understanding of customers.
According to Adobe, with real-time profiles, B2B companies have the right foundation for building high-precision audiences. In addition to the ability to deliver consistent, personalised, account-based experiences quickly and at scale.
Building the foundation with a B2B experience data model
At the foundation, the B2B Edition of Adobe Real-time CDP is powered by Adobe’s open-source Experience Data Model (XDM). This has been updated to natively support B2B data, unlocking B2B use cases across Adobe Experience Cloud applications, and in addition, non-Adobe connected applications. The B2B enriched XDM supports account hierarchies, people who work at multiple accounts, and rich connections between B2B data objects. This provides B2B marketers the flexibility needed to ingest and activate B2B-centric data according to their unique data management needs.
B2B identity resolution and activation
Combining the B2B XDM schemas with an array of tools allows brands to onboard B2B data. Access B2B-enhanced profiles for people and accounts, and define segments using the B2B data. A new Adobe Marketo Engage connector adds to 100+ sources and destinations to allow B2B marketers to unify data. This includes lead, account, opportunity and buying group data from multiple Adobe Marketo Engage instances into a single, unified view. CRM data can be integrated via Adobe Marketo Engage or by leveraging direct connectors across multiple CRM systems. All of these B2B enhancements are purpose-built from the ground up. Designed to help B2B marketers get to market faster with compelling, account-based experiences necessary to compete in today’s digital environment.
Along with the ability to ingest data from multiple sources, marketers will have built-in, patented data governance capabilities allowing teams to label data sources, assign usage polices against those labels, and enforce policies to market responsibly. This ensures practitioners are adhering to data-related policies and regulations, so brands can spend less time on data compliance and more time creating meaningful customer experiences.
Bringing B2B and B2C data and teams together
With these B2B enhancements, Adobe’s CDP offering now supports both B2B and B2C use cases with a single, unified profile for every person. Companies with both B2B and B2C businesses can ingest, unify and manage both types of data. (e.g a personal email address and buying habits.) With account related data (e.g. open opportunities related to the company they work for). Businesses can form B2C person profiles, B2B person profiles or a single profile that contains both types of data.
Adobe says there has been a dramatic shift in B2B buying toward more digital, self-serve options. This has led to a steady decrease in the amount of time buyers spend with vendors when considering a purchase. According to Gartner, 17% of their time across all potential suppliers.
This shift is ushering in a new era of B2B customer experience centred around respect for a buyer’s time, process and privacy. This means businesses have to show a deeper understanding of the customer — the individual people, their preferences and their business. To earn their attention and engagement.
Brian Glover, Director of Product Marketing, Marketo Engage, Adobe says, “Brands have to get creative. In today’s increasingly digital economy, B2B brands must find new ways to connect with customers. Across an ever-expanding set of touchpoints in a personalised, relevant way and do it at scale. Building relationships in the digital-first experience economy requires a complete reimagining of how to engage with accounts and buying teams. It all starts with data.”
Gaining clarity with data
Analyst research has indicated that companies often have multiple vendors are in their marketing tech stack. For large enterprises this can go well over 100 different ones. Each of those technologies has a fragment of what is known about a customer. When companies grow through acquisition, this is further complicated by multiple CRMs, multiple marketing automation platforms and more. This diminishes the aim of a complete picture of the customer out of sight. Glover suggests, this degrades the customer experience, as well as internal trust in the data, which slows time to market. Factor in external issues like changing privacy regulations and the idea of delivering personalised experiences for individual customers at scale seems unattainable.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business?
Retailers have been in the vanguard of digital charge over the past few years. Retail has always been highly competitive, and customers often have a large choice of which company they can buy from – especially online. As a result, this competition has stimulated innovation and the customer experience is now the focus of the majority of retailers. Until recently, B2B was very different. Customers have generally had less choice (in some cases, none) in where to purchase from. Some suppliers have generally had a lot less competition; especially online. This picture is rapidly changing.
For example, B2B marketers in the telecommunications industry can view if a person that is currently expressing interest in an internet plan for their small business is already a customer that has a personal mobile phone plan. On the flipside, a B2C marketer in the financial services industry can view if a person who has a stock plan through an employer already has a personal brokerage account or not. Thus, both B2C and B2B marketers need the ability to see in real-time how customers are interacting with their digital properties. Both on a personal and professional level to enhance existing use cases, create new ones, or unlock undiscovered use cases for both sides of the businesses that take their collective customer experiences to the next level. Hence the importance of Adobe new B2B Edition of its Real-time Customer Data Platform (CDP) announcement. A move that blurs the line between the user experiences of B2B and B2C customers.