Authored by industry experts, the Predictive Marketing blog by Radius offers insights on predictive, B2B marketing, and all things that drive revenue. Its mission is to help B2B marketers find, target, and understand their best prospects.
After Salesforce denounced the need and longevity of the customer data platform , they’re announcing one of their own. The claim is that there is a need for “Enterprise-grade CDP” – one platform to rule them all. By defining their vision, Salesforce does in many ways help clarify where CDPs fit in the tech stack, and how they could be used to ultimately create compelling customer experiences for consumers. Customer Data Platforms may be the technology category with the most variance across vendors, with one product looking a lot like BI, one like marketing automation, and the next bordering on master data management (MDM). So I welcome any large cloud provider like Oracle CX Unity or Salesforce raising awareness of the category and guiding the market toward a standard definition.
However, Salesforce’s vision statement also adds to the confusion. I see several gaps, or details that were left out or intentionally overlooked, that will mislead the market toward the CDP that Salesforce wants you to see.
Definition of “Enterprise-Grade” Customer Data Platform
Salesforce claims to “deliver the first real enterprise-grade CDP.” But what makes a platform enterprise-grade? It is scalability, flexibility, and trust.
First, scalability is critical to a customer data platform. Customer data growth is exponential across volume, variety, velocity, and veracity. The platform must be able to handle massive loads of customer data at once and respond as the data changes. Data storage, matching and validation pipelines, and APIs all must be built for scale. Imagine the data from several enterprise CRMs, marketing automation platforms, dozens of third-party data providers, and data lakes all synced and managed by a single platform. That’s enterprise scale.
Second is an open platform that’s flexible to the customization large enterprises require — purpose-built interfaces, APIs with broad endpoints and detailed documentation, and transparent processes. While the use cases can be generalized to terms like ‘data management’ and ’segmentation,’ each enterprise is a snowflake with unique needs.
Lastly is trust built from a focus on security, privacy, and responsibility. Enterprises across every industry often claim they are becoming technology and data companies. Customer data has become their most precious asset. Platforms must have security and privacy as a pillar to both their technology and ethos to work with enterprises. They also must showcase the values enterprises so desperately are trying to encompass. Is positive impact part of the pitch? Are you using data for good versus evil? How are you giving back?
No knock on Salesforce here. They’re gods of the enterprise cloud. They have enterprise solutions and have mastered selling them. I look forward to seeing if their CDP lives up to the criteria of enterprise-grade.
Where’s the “Data Platform”?
Breaking down a Customer Data Platform into its various parts and where it sits across your technology suite is a worthy exercise. Salesforce lists “Insights Platform” and “Engagement Platform” as the two things marketers want. They understate the foundation to both insight and engagement – and that’s data.
CMO, CIO, and CDOs first phase is operational efficiency. How can we clean up and unify the data we have, augment it with critical data we don’t have, and then use our mastered data to improve our decisions as an organization? These actions can be very tactical, like enriching CRM data, or very strategic, like migrating from on-premise data lakes to cloud data management. Next is differentiating with rich customer experience. How do we use the master customer data to create faster, more personalized, delightful experiences for our customers?
Building platforms on top of a shaky foundation put big promises for customer experience at risk. End-to-end Customer Data Platforms must fully commit to their role in data transformation.
Revenue Operations Inefficiency
Let’s piggyback on the importance of enterprise-grade characteristics and “data platform” specific capabilities. CDPs that address fundamental data accuracy and unification open up a smattering of other use cases under the umbrella we call Revenue Ops. Data is essential to the revenue-focused responsibilities of operations experts who:
Formulate go-to-market strategies
Optimize sales and marketing processes
Implement technologies and manage their workflows
Deliver data across organizations and systems
A sales ops team with a CDP that offers a robust data management toolset can do better routing, territory planning, forecasting, and strategic planning. Data teams can use CDPs to find data redundancies across internal and external sources that lead to significant cost savings. Strategic groups concerned with data portability can use the open, scalable data infrastructure of a CDP to break down enterprise-wide silos for a broad set of needs. We see customers using CDPs to migrate from one system to another (CRM to CRM), manage M&A go-to-market integration (i.e., customer overlap, joint-market planning, system consolidation), and even analyze shared opportunities with partners.
Is Salesforce definition of a CDP too narrow? They could make the argument that all these technical solutions are in pursuit of better customer experience. We believe the applications and gains for revenue ops are so significant that they deserve their own call out.
Nothing B2B CDP Specific
As usual, solutions built for B2B are always an afterthought. While some technologies can serve both those targeting consumers and businesses, Customer Data Platforms do not translate well. An email to a consumer is not all that different than an email to a business buyer. A consumer website visitor who converts in a shopping cart is tracked similarly to a business buyer that converts on a demo request landing page. Both B2C and B2B CDPS are in pursuit of a single view of the customer, but the tech required to handle the complexity a B2B data is wildly different.
Data architecture in B2B is built to ingest, match, resolve, and manage a variety of data types: business records, hierarchies, buying centers and locations, contacts, departments, intent data, behavioral data, and countless others. To create a high-performing platform tuned to business data requires years of dedicated work from expert data scientists and engineers. Moreover, unlike their empty-box B2C counterparts, B2B CDPs often come with external data accessible within the platforms. This data is used for enrichment, total addressable market analysis, segmentation, audience activation, and prospecting lists.
Experts in CDPs generally agree that B2C CDPs are weaker on:
Third-party data on-boarding
Proprietary prospect data sourcing
Data stewardship (hygiene, enrichment)
Rich top-down profiles of business and contacts
Salesforce’s vision for their CDP isn’t wrong. However, it lacks detail and does not encapsulate the broad applications and technologies that have become known as Customer Data Platforms.
Looking to reduce your total cost of ownership and accelerate time-to-market? Don’t build a customer data platform from scratch for data management and integration — buy one and build an innovative solution that drive competitive differentiation.
“Organizations investing too much in building or customizing systems of record have less funding available for differentiating applications.”
This statement from Gartner has proven all too correct for many business struggling to create their own customized B2B data collection and distribution systems from scratch. While you might understandably wish for a bespoke solution to meet your exact specifications, there’s a much smarter way to get there — by buying a powerful, out-of-the-box platform that is also open for customization. Then use the money you’ve saved on total cost of ownership (TCO) and time-to-market efficiency to build differentiating applications as needed.
Buy Customer Data Platform (CDP) to Standardize, Build to Compete
Creating systems of record that integrate data flawlessly and connect readily to outside applications is no small feat. This is especially true in the B2B space. Any organization hoping to build a B2B data management system from the ground up must cope with time-consuming, laborious issues:
B2B Data Architecture: You can’t onboard and manage your B2B data until you’ve created a reliable, well-tuned infrastructure to handle Business records, hierarchies, locations, contacts, departments, intent data, behavioral data, and countless other details. Creating a reliable architecture that can actually do all these things requires years of dedicated work from expert data scientists and engineers. That’s talent and brainpower you could (and should) be devoting to more specialized applications.
Aggregated 3rd-Party Data: External data allows for data enrichment, net-new data sourcing for prospecting and reaching out to new audiences, and more advanced analytics such as total addressable market analysis, territory planning, and risk assessment. But aggregating a robust 3rd-party data ecosystem internally is very costly and impractical, especially when you consider the issues of maintaining that ever-evolving data.
Pre-Built Integrations and APIs: Designing and developing the “pipes” to connect and integrate your various customer and prospect data systems is a major investment. Why re-invent APIs when many vendors offer ready-made, flexible, open, well-documented APIs and native integrations built specifically to onboard, register, and catalogue B2B data sources? Don’t forget the additional need to integrate your data with other key go-to-market systems such as ad platforms for activation of your data. You’re better off purchasing a pre-built solution and then focusing on putting that data to work for your business operations, and marketing and sales channels.
The ROI of Buying a Customer Data Platform
Buying an established, pre-built B2B data management platform frees up your engineering resources to focus on your core product and equips go-to-market teams with the integrated tools and data they need to drive meaningful customer experiences. By leveraging a CDP’s economies of scale and expertise in B2B data integration, management, and sourcing, you can create your customizations on a trusted, continually improving platform that is built on best-of-breed tech. The benefits of the platform, along with access to expert teams and communities of peers, can yield dramatic returns as opposed to building:
Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Access existing data, tools, and integrations as your foundation. The solutions on the market may be best-in-class for your needs, or good-enough when looking at the cost to build exactly what you want. Your costs can be 3-5x if you choose to hire internal teams, commission technology-enabled service providers to build a custom solution, or buy the entire big data tech stack. Case in point: Comcast Business reduced their TCO by 75%, meaning the solution they were building and maintaining was four times as expensive!
Accelerate Time-to-Market: While the goal is to eliminate data silos, a risk for new centralized data sources is that they often end up creating a new, sometimes larger silo. For instance, the promise of Data Lakes for marketers was that their teams could do granular segmentation and analysis on audiences from this wealth of data. The problem was data requests required IT, were not fulfilled for weeks, and the data then had to be re-prepped for activation since the data lakes were not connected to sales and marketing channels. Customer Data Platforms enable both IT and revenue teams, and connect to the systems critical to reach more buyers.
Extensibility & Innovation: Achieve data unification and data stewardship across your existing systems with a Customer Data Platform, and benefit from their innovation and yours. These platforms are well-funded, growing businesses that are constantly releasing new capabilities that you will benefit from. If you’re an enterprise, look for open, flexible options that will allow you to customize and scale to your needs. Beyond the core capabilities of the Customer Data Platforms, other bleeding-edge technologies required holistic, accurate data like BI and analytics, customer experience engines, AI-driven applications. CDPs with robust APIs can make trusted, unified data accessible to these powerful systems.
Forrester’s Steven Casey predicts of the companies investing in data unification, 75% will choose a CDP over Data Lakes and custom build solutions. Packaged Customer Data Platforms and other data management solutions open the door to more than new code, apps, API, documentation and integration. Increase your business agility, experience the ease of maintenance, and access expert teams. You’ll be glad you bought these proven, expertly-crafted, fully-integrated solutions instead of trying to build them yourself!
Letter from Darian Shirazi, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Radius
When we started Radius six years ago, we knew managing, understanding, and unifying B2B data for enterprise customers was an unsolved and massive opportunity. For years, our Mission Statement, our north star, has been the same – “Radius will be the nucleus that powers data insights and intelligence across all B2B applications, channels, and users—built on The Global Network of Record.” Last year we announced Radius Advertiser, a solution in partnership with LiveRamp, to help our customers reach business buyers on more than 550 channels. Last month we announced Radius Unify, a platform that allows companies to connect and manage any application to Radius. And last week we announced The Network of Record is now global, and has grown to include the world’s most trusted data sources like Dun & Bradstreet as part the largest B2B data ecosystem. Defining a lasting vision statement that brings significant value to customers is challenging. Delivering on that vision is even more challenging.
Behind much of that success has been our CTO, Joel Carusone. In the past three years, Joel has driven our technical vision to serve Fortune 100 customers and captured the support and confidence of our team. He’s built relationships with those customers, becoming a trusted partner to some of the most impactful companies on the planet. He has set product vision and driven innovation that has resulted in the launch of a next-gen, enterprise-class data platform. And most of all, he’s gained the trust and admiration of the entire Radius team.
That’s why, when I decided to step into a new role as Executive Chairman, I could think of no one better than Joel to become the new CEO of Radius. He’s the absolute right person to steer Radius into its next phase of growth and I’m happy to have him take on most of my roles and responsibilities going forward. After having done this job for six years from founding, to the scale we operate at today, it’s important to take time for yourself and your family which is what I plan on doing. I’m still passionate and excited by where we are going as a company that this role allows me to stay involved with customers and work on our company vision while making more time for my personal life.
Joel is going to do great things, and I know I speak for the entire Radius team when I say that I am excited to see where we can take Radius next.
My vision for Radius
Letter from Joel Carusone, CEO of Radius
As I step into my new role, I’m thankful to Darian for building a company that is rapidly expanding while continuing to invest in developing amazing products. But most importantly, I’m thrilled to be leading the Radius team, who I know to be among the best and brightest.
Enterprises are at a crossroads – I’ve seen this firsthand with so many of our customers. The emergence of advanced tools, like our industry leading enterprise customer platform, comes at a time when streamlining growth and creating unified customer experiences is becoming more complex than ever before. Data, channels, user expectations – they are all increasing exponentially. The next decade will require major investments from enterprise companies to rewrite their data infrastructure to handle the growing needs for data and integration. Those that make those investments will be able to fully leverage the next phase of AI-driven automation, insights and customer engagement applications.
That’s why, under my leadership, Radius will continue to invest in providing the most trusted, unified data to the world’s top B2B brands. Our recent announcements with the launch of Radius Unify and our relationship with Dun & Bradstreet are major milestones in this evolution.
But technology isn’t the primary driver of our success. We only win if we have the most talented team, and I plan to spend a significant amount of my time making sure that the team we’ve already built can grow, while keeping up the high standards that have led to our current success.
Thank you to Darian, the board, and to the Radius team for putting your trust in me.
The 2nd annual Radius B2B Champions Club held at One Kearny Club in San Francisco last week afforded attendees an opportunity to step-away from Moscone and enjoy hosted food and refreshments, as well as valuable B2B educational sessions and networking activities.
With over 20 speaking sessions and 40+ speakers, the goal was to provide B2B thought leaders with content from the best and brightest in B2B.
Wondering how best to capture key takeaways and session highlights from the event to share with your team or incorporate into your existing marketing strategy? Take a look at the presentation decks from the B2B Champions Club below.
Learn about the B2B transformation that’s created a new Revenue Ops framework, and how operations drives revenue. Join our panel of experts as we discuss best practices for the ops functions through the four Revenue Ops pillars: Management & Strategy, Process Optimization, Technology & Project Management, and Data & Analytics.
Moderator: Jocelyn King, CMO, Sprimo & President of MOCCA Professional Association
Real-time, holistic B2B customer knowledge is finally possible, and it’s changing everything: just look at Comcast’s strategic initiative to “”Know Every Business””, or Sam’s Club’s decision to reinvent their prospecting strategy. In this session, Radius’ CEO, Darian Shirazi and CPO, Mark Woollen, will explain how enterprises are mastering customer intelligence with a new breed of real-time data platforms.
There’s never been a better time to be in marketing or sales. That’s because AI-driven data isn’t about technology for its own sake, it’s about creating truly customer-centric experiences at scale. So, are you ready to capture the full potential of this Golden Age of Revenue? Join TOPO Co-Founder and Chief Analyst, Craig Rosenberg for an exploration of the full customer lifecycle, with targeted insights for both the near- and long-term.
GDPR and other international policies have disrupted marketing as usual. In this session, you’ll learn how to turn those challenges into opportunities. Leaders from Radius’s legal, operations and technology divisions will explain how to build a stack that’s both compliant and effective—and how to gain the advantage in a new marketing era.
Conference themes are a great way to track the major trends in enterprise technology. But, exactly how reliable are they as predictions of things to come? We’ll look back on past themes and see how they’ve fared. Then we’ll turn the tables and place our own bets on the big news in Benioff’s future keynotes.
Moderator: Julia Vinyard, President, Sutherland Gold
The data in your CRM is mission critical, but if you can’t trust it, you can’t build on it. Find out how MINDBODY used Radius appending to bring data integrity to their CRM—and drive major efficiencies in their sales program.
Pipeline Marketing is fundamentally changing how marketing and sales teams work together to achieve shared revenue goals. So, just how many companies have adopted this powerful new paradigm, and what’s next? In this session, Pipeline Marketing pioneers will share the results of the 2018 State of the Pipeline and identify the big trends to watch for the coming year.
Moderator: Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing Inc.
Vin Turk, Co-Founder & COO, Madison Logic
Randy Frisch, CMO, Uberflip
Kris Rudeegraap, Founder & CEO, Sendoso
Caitlin Ridge, Director of Corporate Marketing, Allocadia
Jordan Con, Product Marketing Manager, Bizible
Katherine Grunert, Director of Revenue & Growth Marketing, Radius
ABM. Omnichannel Marketing. Revenue Ops. The biggest trends in B2B marketing all have one thing in common: A new level of partnership between marketing and sales. In this session we ask what that coordination really entails, and what it takes to get it right.
Caroline Bray, Sr. Manager, Training & Enablement, Radius
Kristina McMillan VP, Research, TOPO
Katherine Grunert, Director of Revenue & Growth Marketing, Radius
ABM is a full pipeline approach, but most marketers stop at the top of the funnel, reducing close rates and placing a drag on revenue. This session will show you how to think like a revenue marketer and then walk you through the strategies and programs you’ll need to capture your full revenue potential.
Jessica Fewless, VP, ABM Strategy, Field & Partner Marketing, Demandbase
New technology now allows consumers to control their digital experiences. That means marketers need to expand beyond the inbox and break down the barriers that are keeping them from their increasingly sophisticated audience. Join us to learn how you can reach customers in the most timely, relevant and coordinated way across all channels.
Despite the huge excitement around ABM, many enterprise executives are still unsure that account based marketing is their best bet. In this session, you’ll learn how ABM (when it’s done right) will grow revenue, improve your brand, align your entire organization, and ultimately deliver a better customer experience.
The best sales conversations come from human connection and real understanding. Of course, building relationships like that takes time and resources that few sales teams have. Until now. This session shows you how to use ABM marketing data to build comprehensive profiles of your prospects and target your conversations to the things they care about most.
For some companies, spending too much energy trying to force an ABM strategy to acquire customers from named accounts, just isn’t worth it. Thirty percent of 10 is still less than six percent of 100. Does that mean we should ditch ABM, not necessarily. We’ll dig into how we’ve pivoted our ABM strategy to focus on existing customers and drive demand across multiple teams and organizations within a company.
Gary Kamikawa, VP, Demand Generation Marketing, Nintex
ABM rises and falls on personal relevance and content, a lot of content. So how do you feed the content beast without slipping into a generic, one-size-fits-all experience? We’ll dig into some smart, effective strategies that can help you build engagement that works for the long haul.
Bryn Powell, Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Programs, ON24
Content is the beating heart of effective B2B marketing, but most B2B marketers know next to nothing about how their audiences actually consume the content they create. This session explores a new class of data that can help marketing teams break through their silos and power relevant content at every stage of the funnel.
ABM is huge in B2B marketing right now, but many otherwise savvy teams are missing out on the value of website personalization. In this session, we’ll explore successful personalization case studies and show you how to integrate this critical ABM element into your overarching strategy.
Takeshi Young, Head of Digital Marketing, Optimizely
Events are hugely expensive, but they can deliver a major ROI. So how do you ensure that your events deliver for you? Get the right behavioral data and use it wisely. In this session, you’ll learn how leading companies are using that data to weave events into their ABM initiatives, with breakthrough results.
The secret to jumpstarting a successful ABM strategy isn’t so secret: start with quality data, add the right orchestration tools and finish with Sales and Marketing alignment. Of course, knowing what it takes is one thing, putting it all together is another. In this session with Radius product marketer John Hurley, you’ll get a step-by-step action plan to move from theory to successful practice.
John Hurley, Sr. Director, Product Marketing, Radius
Interested in learning how to reclaim revenue by discovering your buyers, controlling your data, and reaching more customers? Join our live executive roundtable with Radius CEO, Darian Shirazi, CTO, Joel Carusone & Sr. Director of Product Marketing, John Hurley as they explore the implications of quality data in 2018 and beyond.
Have you ever woken up humming a song and wondered, “Why is that stuck in my head?” It could be because it is your personal anthem, a catchy hit single, a tune playing on repeat on the radio or a jingle in Apple’s latest ad. Perhaps the co-worker next to you at work can’t stop humming it. Whatever the reason, it’s stuck solidly in your head and it may just encourage you to take particular actions. You could Google the song to figure out its name or the artist, open Spotify to listen to it again, or maybe even buy concert tickets or the product promoted in that commercial.
The Importance of Digital Awareness
What does this have to do with omnichannel marketing? The first phase of every marketing funnel or customer journey graphic always starts with the same word: Awareness. Before your future customers ever enter the consideration and selection phases, they will become aware of vendors and pain points that inspire action. As buyers progress through the journey, the more familiar they are with your brand, the more they develop trust and a connection that could result in meaningful action–filling out your lead capture form, stopping by your booth, or even purchasing products.
The primary challenge you historically run into with awareness campaigns is that it’s synonymous with mass marketing and wasting your budget on a broad demographic. Today’s buyers don’t respond to broadcasts. Even worse, unsolicited push-marketing can have a negative effect on your brand if consumers feel that they are being targeted unjustly. Even when you have a defined list of target accounts and contacts, cold email batch-and-blast and telemarketing are no longer the only options for the first customer touch point.
The Bieber Effect of B2B Advertising
With today’s digital marketing channels and audience targeting capabilities, you have excellent opportunities to spend time, money and effort on building hyper-targeted awareness campaigns with your ideal audiences. You have a chance to truly ‘get in their heads’ based on their their needs and behaviors. We refer to these digital awareness tactics as “The Bieber Effect.” It’s the idea that you become the catchy tune in your prospect’s mind by getting in front of them across the digital channels where they spend all their time.
You need to understand that these interactions may never become a source of conversions. In some cases, you may be unable to even create an attributable pipeline. Similar to billboards or radio stations, impressions and clicks may be the only metrics to which you have access. Even “soft offers” such as gated whitepapers and webinar may receive low conversions at these early stages. While you may have a difficult time tying awareness campaigns back to pipeline generation, you’ll find an uplift across your marketing efforts as a whole.
One way to determine whether you’re reaching your intended audience is by paying attention to the prospect conversations. An effective awareness campaign provides education about your company, products and services. It can help you get a foot-in-the-door with target accounts, as well as allow buyers to self-educate on common questions so your sales teams engage with more educated customers.
Getting Into Rhythm
First, if you aren’t sure where your prospects spend most of their Internet time, analyze your current customers base to discover the top performing channels and preferences among people who’ve already converted.
Second, build your target account lists to identify and prioritize which business should be your next customer based on their fit and intent. There are millions of variables to factor into building your list, which is where predictive analytics can help. By sifting through all possible inputs and every potential account, predictive can recommend your top accounts for you, as well as assign a grade (A, B, C, D) and score based the accounts likelihood to convert.
Third, integrate or upload target account lists to campaign delivery platforms that allow you to focus your ads on defined set of buyers within the set of accounts you want to target. Avoid broad targeting criteria such as segment based, behavioral based (ie. retargeting), or IP-based. Employ new, people-based marketing strategies that are now available due expansion data sets.
Power of Social Advertising in B2B Marketing
Ad platforms are launching new capabilities that let marketers take advantage of their highly active networks of people. In fact, Facebook has become the #1 B2B social channel to reach decision makers. 47% more B2B decision makers believe Facebook outperforms LinkedIn advertising. Why? While LinkedIn is more business focused, Facebook’s targeting function is years ahead of LinkedIn.
So why aren’t all B2B marketers advertising on Facebook? The two roadblocks I hear daily are:
My target audiences aren’t well-defined.
The necessary data isn’t available.
Luckily, Customer Data Platforms solves these two pain points and early adopters have shown marketers can target the exact audience they want with personalized, relevant ads that drive conversions. Now, before you sales team calls or your email nurturing campaigns send, you use those same segments to layer in targeted ads. That way your prospects hear the familiar tune of your brand before receiving more direct outbound campaigns.
Whether you’re actively advertising, exploring options, or have experimented to no avail, be sure to learn how to activate B2B advertising or risk losing the brand-building opportunity to your competitors
Adding a specific awareness layer to your account-based marketing mix can reinforce your message and increase conversions from your campaigns – period. In an initial two month test, we reached 7,433 people, generated 98 clicks, and converted 2 accounts – all for $709. Every person reached was a tier A or B account. These people fit our ideal customer profile perfectly, and we’ve gotten in front of thousands of them.
If you can guarantee that these viewers are the right audience for your message and that costs are low, your awareness campaigns using digital channels can be an impactful first step in your buyer’s journey.