B2B: Innovation is necessary, but what to invest?

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To survive and advance in the new market dynamics, companies need to be more agile and operate in real time. Technological complexity, scarcity of qualified human resources, limited resources, time. All these factors weigh, but they can not be impediments that hamper the continuous and necessary development of marketing and corporate IT. The lack of timing implies a slowness that will cause the company to lose relevance and space in the market.

Hence the need to analyze information in a fast and versatile way, so that it can be a support for rational decision making. With regard to ICT, however, it should be noted that solutions are not just tools. They are means that, if well used, promote organizational changes that lead to gains in productivity and performance. Without objectivity, clarity and planning, the risk is to implement tools in a fragmented and inefficient way.

Successful ICT investment planning depends on a number of factors, such as: corporate goals and objectives and organizational maturity.

If the company still lacks more processing, hosting capacity and free space, it is the case of investing in virtualization solutions, such as cloud computing. In case of fragmented management processes, it is best to focus on adopting management integration platforms (ERP).

When it comes to generating qualified leads and boost sales, you need to know more about the customer’s buying cycle. Investing in projects of intelligence and business analysis, customer relationship management and also Big Data is the way to greater assertiveness with buyers. However, there is no point in turning to the “big data” if there is not a well-established and integrated database architecture and adequate infrastructure. Or, still, to work with enormous amounts of data without having defined which are the relevant variables to be studied, according to previously defined goals.

It is not, then, to plunge indiscriminately into an ocean of data. A good start is to better exploit the company’s internal data more effectively. Important insights into the profile of customers can be extracted from this data. More traditional CRM technologies and spreadsheets can and should be used in this mining work.

Analyzes based on the internal history of company information efficiently guide the directions of executive decisions and should not be discarded. Big Data, on the other hand, includes technological resources of predictive analysis, allowing the anticipation of new opportunities and threats, behavioral tendencies and greater agility.

One of the differentials of Big Data tools is to allow the collection and integration of data from diverse and fragmented sources, including social networks, CRM itself, complex database systems, financial platforms, management and HR, among others. Here again, it is important to note: the important thing is not the quantity, but the quality of the data in order to guide the corporate decisions. For example, relevant patterns and relationships can be found through representative samples based on well-drawn variables. Without good analytical models these tools will bring few increments to the company’s performance.

Convergence, integration, alignment, conjugation: these should be the signposts of the B2B market investments in ICT. We must implement projects that combine operational systematization and marketing automation.

The return will come in the form of greater agility, great competitive advantage, better products, qualified lead generation and greater profitability. Out in the front who understand and move in that direction. On this path with no return, those left behind are at serious risk of not surviving.