This blog post was updated on June 30, 2020.
At this point, you’ve learned what a CDP is and what it can do, and now it’s time to figure out what use cases make sense for your organization to implement. We’ve compiled a list of common B2B use cases along with links to related resources to get up-and-running in no time.
Define your ideal customer profile: A CDP can combine data from many different data sources to give you valuable insight into what your ideal customer looks like and how they may behave. Beyond employee count, revenue, and industry, you could pull in technographic data from Datanyze or funding round information from Crunchbase to paint a more vivid picture of your customers.
See the entire customer journey: One of the most popular use cases for a CDP in the early stages of a customer’s journey is to link web traffic from when that user was completely “anonymous” to you (meaning, they have not provided you with any contact details) to when they became “identified” (meaning, they submitted a form on your website and gave you contact details). This allows you to connect the dots and see the complete customer journey, from the moment they interacted with your brand.
Reveal and target anonymous web visitors: Sometimes the accounts you really want to work may be right under your nose, perusing your website and you may not even realize it. In this use case, you can use reverse IP lookup (like Clearbit Reveal) to identify the companies on your website that fit your ideal customer profile. Once the companies have been identified, you can identify individual prospects to target. Instantly build lists inside your CRM, marketing automation tool, or even Google Sheets with relevant accounts for your sales team.
Improve ad targeting: Ad spend can get expensive really quickly with little to no results to show for it if you’re targeting the wrong people or accounts. A CDP can help you get a lot more granular with your ad audiences so you can tighten up your targeting and messaging and ensure you don’t spend your ad budget recklessly. For example, a CDP can link data from multiple tools like your CRM, payment, and customer success platforms so you can prevent the wrong ads from appearing in front of users who just started a trial or requested a demo.
Help sales focus on the right accounts: This use case can be carried out in a variety of ways, from enriching accounts with new data from third party sources, to scoring them based on firmographic attributes and behavioral activity, to understanding their engagement with your product during a free trial. The key is to help sales zero in on the right accounts, whether that means they look like the type of company you want to target or they are starting to show signs of buying intent (like being highly engaged with your product).
- Score and filter prospect accounts based on firmographic data
- How Appcues uses Hull to unqualify 30% more leads
- Pusher prioritizes hundreds of inbound leads per month
Optimize conversions at every stage of the funnel: Conversion optimization means presenting the right offer to the right person at the right time. Getting there requires knowing your prospect well enough to personalize your offer to them, and having the tools in place to build granular segments in an automated way. For example, we worked with a customer who implemented a Net Promoter Score survey at the end of their free trial. Once the survey was completed, our customer segmented the responses by score, and sent email campaigns with different offers depending on their segment.
- Re-engage inactive prospects with personalized emails and relevant content
- Increase product adoption by triggering timely, personalized emails
- How one SaaS company fixed their 50% demo drop-off rate
- How Oz Content 20x increased marketing qualified leads
Score entire accounts, not just leads: Lead scoring has been practiced by B2B marketers for years now to provide insight on which individuals fit certain demographic criteria and reach behavioral thresholds, but it only tells part of the story. In today’s ABM-focused environment, it’s all about the account as a whole. A CDP can help aggregate and build rules for scoring accounts based on the individuals within those accounts. Wouldn’t you like to know that at one of your target accounts, multiple individuals, including some potential decision-makers, were engaging with your content and campaigns? In the end, you have a more holistic picture of what’s actually going within the account.
Automate alerts to team members: There are hundreds of sub-use cases that can be executed with this one because you can automate alerts on all kinds of things. At Hull, we alert our #sales Slack channel when someone from a target account is currently visiting the website. We have another alert that goes off when someone is checking out the Pricing page, other down-funnel webpage, or has viewed 10+ pages in one session.
Automatically assign accounts to sales: This use case is a must-have for organizations that want to introduce more automation and streamlined processes into their marketing and sales operations. Eliminate manual assignment by implementing auto-assignment rules that take into consideration account attributes like geographic location, industry, size, and other factors that may go into your territory assignments.
Increase sales intelligence with more contextual information: This is another use case that can be taken down a lot of different paths, but the idea here is to align sales and marketing so that sales can have the right context on a prospect or customer to have effective and productive conversations. Valuable information about a prospect’s disposition during a free trial or their engagement with marketing collateral may be good information to have on hand to show prospects that they are being paid attention to.
- Enrich your CRM records with data from Clearbit and Datanyze
- Spendesk makes sales outreach & data management smarter with Hull
- Criteria Corp introduces account-based selling with Hull
Retention & Upsell
Prevent churn for customers at risk: This use case can be extremely valuable in order to maintain the health of your organization. Your CDP can keep a finger on the pulse of customers who may be at risk, and quickly alert your customer success or account management team for any worrying signals. That way, they may be able to ameliorate the situation and get them going on a better path before it’s too late.
Identify opportunities for upsell: Alternatively, a CDP can also help your customer success or account management teams identify opportunities to upsell a customer.
Related Resources - Send product usage data to your CRM to enable sales to upsell or prevent churn
Reporting & Analytics
Attribute revenue to marketing programs: A CDP can track any and every online and offline touchpoint that your prospects have with your company. The data in your CDP paired with the power of a data warehouse for analytics can yield some really profound insights on what marketing programs sourced or influenced closed won deals.
Make data-driven decisions on marketing budget allocation: This use case is an extension of the one before it — if you know which programs have been the most successful, you can point more of your marketing budget towards similar programs and campaigns.
Cleanse and standardize your data: With incoming data from dozens of sources, the data can sometimes get messy. There are bound to be scenarios where field values may not align, making using the data difficult. For example, one of our customers was able to standardize the values of their UTM parameters in order to streamline their reporting and get accurate Lead Source counts for revenue attribution reporting.
Transform and compute new traits: Sometimes many different fields house information on your customer, but you would prefer to simplify and perhaps just look at one field to make a judgment. For example, if you want your sales team to know whether or not an account is a good fit or not, you could simply take the data from fields containing industry, size, employee count, revenue, etc. and “compute” a new field value that inputs either: “bad fit”, “ok fit”, or “great fit” depending on the data in the former fields. Here’s another example: You can generate a new field for events like “began trial”, “requested demo”, or other activity.
Fill in data gaps in customer profiles: If your organization uses multiple data sources to enrich prospect and customer profiles, you can use a CDP to fill in the gaps where one data source may be lacking. You can set a “fallback strategy” in place to effectively rank which data source your CDP should pull from first, and should that data source fail to return any information, have the CDP look to the second data source to fill in any gaps.
Supporting your organization’s growth
The power and flexibility of a CDP lends itself to executing on a variety of different use cases across all stages of the funnel. At Hull, we’ve helped our customers carry out these use cases, among many others. Our recommendation is to start small — with just one use case, and then go from there. With a clear initial use case and trusted partner, you can be well on your way to growing and scaling your business with the help of a CDP.
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Angela brings over a decade of B2B technology marketing experience to her role as the Director of Marketing at Hull. Prior to Hull, she spent 5 years at utility data aggregator, Urjanet, where she held various roles in demand generation, marketing operations, and product marketing.