Big Data and the B2B Market
The complexity of pre-sales processes, with buyers becoming increasingly connected and well-informed, has significantly contributed to making Big Data one of the topics most touched by the specialized media and one of the most focused foci in the corporate world. Incidentally, Big Data and other data processing tools appear at the top of the B2B investment ranking for years to come. The main reason, besides searching for efficiency gain in management and operation, is the need to optimize the relationship with the client, current and potential, and to anticipate their demands.
Big Data platforms provide an unprecedented opportunity for the near real-time collection and storage of large volumes of data from various media. Continuous and integrated analysis of internal and external data on the market, the objectives, strategies, tactics and action plans of the potential buyer company, allow the development of relevant and measurable commercial and marketing strategies.
The enthusiasm for analytical data, however, has as its counterpoint rather negligible obstacles. On the contrary. In the case of most B2B organizations, especially in the case of emerging markets such as Brazil, there is still a long way to go.
Although they say the digital agenda has priority, many executives still can not see clearly how innovations can contribute to improving the decision-making process. In addition to the organizational culture not always favorable to technological and digital innovations, there is a lot of confusion about the tools and solutions available and how these fit within the company’s strategies, hindering their effective implementation. There is also the mistaken belief that ICT investments are very expensive, supported precisely by the lack of knowledge.
There are many challenges, but it is not an impossible task. Changes that drive customer engagement at all relevant stages of the purchasing cycle should be part of the agenda for all departments. It should be emphasized that there are solutions available and financially viable for companies of all sizes and for each stage of organizational maturity.
Large B2C corporations have ample amounts of information about the habits of their consumers. This is rarely the case for B2B businesses, which need to explore data sources external to the enterprise ecosystem, as well as implement the infrastructure required to handle large amounts of data.
However, the data does not provide answers per se, you need to know how to use them. Before any investment, it is necessary to map out which are the company’s problems that can be solved or, what strategies can be leveraged with more information and with what type of information. Just as important as having a data-driven management culture is planning investments in appropriate technologies, according to the company’s goals. Another crucial aspect is to invest in skills in order to make professionals able to deal with both the new tools and the data generated by them in order to transform them into useful knowledge.
The opportunities offered by Big Data should not be underestimated, but will only be used if their implementation is based on such considerations. The recommendation is to think of Big Data not in terms of data volume but as a powerful data collection and analysis technology in a variety of formats, structured, semi-structured and unstructured, from a variety of sources, the scope of which must be according to the strategies defined by the organization.