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Introducing master data: The new king of B2B

When a sale involves 5.4 people, having data on each individual and how they like to be communicated to is key. Rishi Dave, CMO at Dun & Bradstreet, outlines the importance of a master data strategy

We all know B2B buyers interact differently with brands in this digitally driven world. In fact, SiriusDecisions just updated its long-standing Demand Waterfall to focus on demand units (or buying groups) within an organisation and the complexities of working with buying groups in the modern world.

According to CEB, brands must sell to 5.4 people at their targeted companies to make the sale, and each one of those customers has many channels with which to interact with the brand. How do brands identify which companies to target, who the buying groups are within those companies, and how to connect with them off and online in an integrated way? 

Marketers need clean, integrated, and structured data to do this and this data needs to flow through the company across groups in order to architect the right experience for the customer.

Focus on big data quality over shiny objects

Marketers often fixate on the ‘cool’ stuff like AI or a myriad of martech solutions, but they should spend as much (if not more) energy on their core data quality and structure, and determine how to surface the insights from that data to the right systems and people who can act on it in real time.

Marketers shouldn’t outsource their data strategy completely to IT. If I had to advise a marketing organisation to invest in one thing next year, it would be master data and a master data strategy that enables them to clean and structure their data using industry-standard universal identifiers (like a D-U-N-S number) so that all departments and systems across their organisation can use it. 

The universal identifier not only links all the data, but also connects to IP addresses, mobile IDs, and other identifiers to facilitate targeting online and offline in an integrated way.

Having that unified, 360-degree view of the customer with an industry-standard identifier is the only way to create the customised, connected experience that modern-day customers expect.

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