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Big Data Drives B2B Personalization
Jon VanZile / BtoB / June 24, 2013
The days of mom-and-pop shops offering an individualized customer experience have mostly become a thing of the past, but the growth of Big Data may be bringing customization back.
Increasingly sophisticated data gathering and analysis now enable marketers to identify online prospects and speak directly to their personal needs. Companies such as Amazon, with its product recommendation system, have done that for years, but b2b personalization may finally be catching up.
Today, b2b marketers are using personalization both for in- and outbound marketing efforts, in desktop, and to a lesser degree, mobile environments (see sidebar). But modern marketing personalization can stir up controversy, sparking questions about if it works and how to handle privacy concerns.
“A lot of people are buying [retargeting and Web personalization] services, but they haven’t spent a lot of time answering [questions about] if it works,” said David Bailey, president of DecisionLinks Inc., a provider of predictive lead intelligence systems.
Personalization is quickly moving beyond traditional banner-based remarketing to inbound marketing for both the Web and multichannel environments, said Rob Brosnan, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
Tailored inbound marketing can, for example, include serving up unique Web content based on a visitor’s profile or making specific product offers to returning customers. The market for these services—provided by companies such as Adobe, Causata, IBM, Maxymiser and Oracle—is growing by 40% a year and will keep growing, Brosnan said.