Thursday, January 23, 2020

B2B Audience Building & Segmentation Blog Series, Part 1: Bringing More of Your Data Together

Digital marketing success requires constant improvement, but it’s not always easy to determine best next step toward achieving that improvement. That’s why Oracle developed the Marketing Maturity Model, which helps you determine where your organization is in developing its various capabilities and what should be done to enhance those capabilities.

Today, let’s look at your B2B audience building and segmentation capabilities. Let’s start by looking at the first stage of our Marketing Maturity Model, where your capabilities are siloed or departmental.

Stage 1: Siloed/Departmental 

Businesses at this level have data that’s siloed with no integration across systems. Because of that, data stays within the function where it resides and is mostly used for aggregate-level reporting, which is focused on basic performance and trend reporting.

Marketing, commerce, sales, service, and other departments rely solely on first-party transactional or operational data and are missing considerable segment- and user-level data, limiting their insights into customer behavior. Data inaccuracies are common, and there are limited data strategy and governance processes in place. As a result, decisions are siloed and often based on hunches rather than hard data.

If any of that describes how your business currently operates, then let’s talk about…

How to Uplevel to Stage 2: Cross-Channel

Moving up to a cross-channel approach entails bringing more of your data together to get a holistic view, even if the process of doing so is mostly manual. It also means enriching the data you have so it becomes more useful for targeting and understanding your audience. Let’s look at how your organization might level up their audience building and segmentation efforts.

Audience Building

Having a unified customer experience that is channel-agnostic increases trust and consistency across your brand. Start with the goal of understanding behavior across channels and, more importantly, determining if you have a unified goal across channels.

Cross-Channel Data Aggregation. Leveraging past performance will help you forecast and build a data-driven strategy. Start with aggregating data across channels. This can take the shape of data imports, native integrations (i.e., CRM), or third-party apps to enrich your data. 

The key is to look at data holistically across channels and consolidate them into one platform. Looking at data from each platform will help influence new content, budget allocation, and stronger sales pipeline.

Data Acquisition Reinforcement. Once you have taken steps to consolidate your data sources, reinforce your data acquisition strategy. Give your audience the opportunity to share data on their own terms, which could include:

  • Communication preferences

  • Profile data

  • Progressive profiling

  • Surveys and polls

  • As well as engagement data from email, web, and other channels

All of those opportunities are made more powerful when you give your customers incentives to participate and share. Enriching your data from first-party efforts, as well as third-party sources, and the unifying that data means you can build personas and gain a deeper understanding of your audience.


An effective marketing strategy means knowing and being able to identify your target audience so you can send them messaging that’s personally relevant. Even if you don’t have your data sources fully integrated, you can still build a targeted audience. You just have a bit more manual work to do.

Data-Driven Decisions. Leverage the historical data that you have to build your segmentation criteria, and then create personalized content. You may have to manually cross-reference data across channels, but start with identifying common trends to understand your engagement thresholds. 

For example, if you can build segments based on engagement with specific products, then you can send them a newsletter highlighting their product of interest. You might also create a segment that engaged with a webinar or other content on a particular topic, and then send them content about how your product or service relates to that topic.

Ongoing Optimization and Test. Segmentation is an iterative process. It is essential to optimize your target audience and continue testing. Start by looking at how your segments perform. Ask yourself...

  • Are you seeing an uplift in engagement from the segment?

  • Are you generating more leads?

  • Is the segment renewing at higher rates than average?

  • Is the segment generating a higher-than-average annual spend? 

Use these findings to develop your A/B testing strategy and continue to tweak your audience, as well as the message you’re sending. The more insights you have, the better you will understand your customers’ journey and how to build the right target group. 


Testing gives you the data you need to optimize, but where do you from there? Find out about “Getting Started with Optimization.”


from Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud