I travel the coun­try meet­ing with com­pa­nies of all sizes across indus­tries, from lead­ing finan­cial insti­tu­tions to niche retail cus­tomers and prospects. When dis­cussing the poten­tial ben­e­fits of opti­miza­tion for their busi­nesses, a lot of the con­ver­sa­tion focuses on where the company’s dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing divi­sion is with its test­ing and opti­miza­tion pro­gram (see Ado​be​Tar​get​Pro​.com to assess your company’s pro­gram). We also dis­cuss what capa­bil­i­ties, process improve­ments, and resources they need to move to the next level of test opti­miza­tion. Using Adobe Tar­get, many cus­tomers have grown their pro­grams expo­nen­tially in just a few years’ time to an advanced level of opti­miza­tion and have improved the per­son­al­iza­tion of the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence for great returns.

With our recent advances in data and solu­tion inte­gra­tions, com­pa­nies can now move their pro­grams ahead even faster than before. I’ll be focus­ing a series of blog posts on these capa­bil­i­ties, and for this first post I’d like to talk about the B2B indus­try. In this space, part­ners like Demand­base are lever­ag­ing our APIs and inte­grat­ing with our mas­ter mar­ket­ing pro­file to offer advanced lev­els of per­son­al­iza­tion, from first touch­point to sub­se­quent vis­its within long sales cycles. Excit­ing dis­cus­sions will be tak­ing place around this topic at the Demand­base Sum­mit this Thurs­day, so be sure to sign up if you haven’t already. More on Demand­base in just a second.

No mat­ter their indus­try or size, personalization—or the tai­lor­ing and stitch­ing together of the best cus­tomer expe­ri­ence to an indi­vid­ual vis­i­tor across touchpoints—is the ulti­mate goal for all of the com­pa­nies I meet with. In the travel indus­try, the focus is on lever­ag­ing vis­i­tor and cus­tomer data from both online and offline inter­ac­tions (from web­site pur­chases and searches to flight check-ins, sta­tus queries, and even infor­ma­tion gath­er­ing at the kiosk in the air­port ter­mi­nal) to bet­ter serve the most rel­e­vant offers and ser­vices for a spe­cific cus­tomer to increase con­ver­sion and loy­alty. For finan­cial insti­tu­tions, it’s the stitch­ing together of branch inter­ac­tions with the online bank­ing expe­ri­ence as well as third-party data to deter­mine pre­qual­i­fi­ca­tions for new accounts and invest­ments. For media and enter­tain­ment com­pa­nies, it’s quickly iden­ti­fy­ing and then rec­om­mend­ing the most rel­e­vant arti­cles, videos, games, and expe­ri­ences to keep the vis­i­tor engag­ing in more high-value pages, result­ing in increased ad revenue.

What ulti­mately fuels this per­son­al­iza­tion is the abil­ity to iden­tify a vis­i­tor in real-time with a uni­fied pro­file, and then to make that pro­file acces­si­ble to a test­ing and opti­miza­tion prod­uct to use for per­son­al­iza­tion in a next-click sce­nario. It’s not enough to claim to have a “vis­i­tor pro­file” cre­ated mostly from session-based data or data col­lected within an opti­miza­tion tool alone, as so many point solu­tions do. A lim­ited data set or view gives you a skewed or lim­ited view of a visitor’s pref­er­ences or true intent.

In my next blog, I’ll dis­cuss how we’ve recently resolved the main obsta­cle to iden­ti­fy­ing a vis­i­tor pro­file across ses­sions, touch­points, and chan­nels: namely, the vari­ance between data sets and the inabil­ity to synch pro­file data sets into one mas­ter pro­file in the Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud. But first I want to dis­cuss how this can be effec­tive in the B2B and high tech indus­tries uti­liz­ing the rich fir­ma­graphic data pro­vided by Demandbase.

In the past, B2B web­sites were viewed mostly as glo­ri­fied brochure-ware. The main con­ver­sion has always been lead gen­er­a­tion, but the website’s focus was on entic­ing a prospect to reach out to a sales rep for a per­son­al­ized con­ver­sa­tion or demo. The site itself or the con­nect­ing of the con­tent acquired off­site to the onsite expe­ri­ence was not a major focus, because it was dif­fi­cult to deter­mine who the vis­i­tors were and what they were most inter­ested in see­ing. So, the short-term res­o­lu­tion was to “throw up” all of your offers and prod­ucts on the home­page in the hope that some­thing would grab the prospects’ eye. With the rich action­able data of Adobe’s mas­ter mar­ket­ing pro­file along with the valu­able fir­ma­graphic data of Demand­base, how­ever, this is no longer the case.

Adobe’s mas­ter mar­ket­ing pro­file cap­tures all vis­i­tor data from Adobe’s dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing solu­tions in the cloud, and allows it to be aggre­gated with the valu­able com­pany data deliv­ered by Demand­base. Demand­base pro­vides Web and dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing teams with crit­i­cal busi­ness infor­ma­tion about the prospect (at first touch and at sub­se­quent vis­its) such as the com­pany name, indus­try, size, loca­tion, num­ber of site vis­its, and what they’ve pre­vi­ously engaged with. This, along with the envi­ron­men­tal, refer­ral, behav­ioral, tem­po­ral, and other data cap­tured in the mas­ter mar­ket­ing pro­file can help you define the right cat­e­gory and depth of col­lat­eral, con­tent, or expe­ri­ence to deliver across dig­i­tal touch­points. Using this real-time action­able data ele­vates a B2B company’s web­site from glo­ri­fied brochure-ware to a tool that works to edu­cate a prospect on the most rel­e­vant areas of its prod­ucts and moves prospects for­ward in the lead-generation process toward a pur­chase or invest­ment in the company’s offerings.

The synch­ing of and act­ing upon this uni­fied pro­file data has become eas­ier than ever based on recent advance­ments by Adobe (announced at the Adobe Sum­mit in March) and con­tin­u­ing advance­ments made by Demand­base (which you can hear about at their Sum­mit). Visit Demand­base on the Web to get more infor­ma­tion about the Demand­base Sum­mit and the ben­e­fits you can real­ize from the company’s inte­gra­tions with the Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud. I hope to see you at the event!