A while back we wrote an article outlining the six biggest data gaps B2B marketers face and how to fix them using different toolsets and best practices. The article is here if you’re curious. For the rest of you, the largest gaps we consistently hear about from our customers are:
- Your CRM Doesn’t Think of a Buyer as an Account
- Your Company Thinks 1 Campaign Activity = 1 Sale
- Bad Data Hygiene
- Data Silos
- Oversimplified Campaign Reporting
- Salesforce Is Your Source of Truth
Marketers are under constant scrutiny. The C-Suite demands that they prove their return on investment and pipeline contribution.
Marketers understand multi-touch attribution is necessary to prove the value of a campaign across a buyer journey, and they know that lead and account scoring can speed up the sales cycle significantly. Unfortunately, messy data, disconnected systems, and the high-volume of marketing activities to bring in a qualified prospect add several layers of complexity that most struggle to navigate.
CaliberMind works with marketing and sales organizations to understand their distinct data patterns and all of their key systems to figure out how to best create a unified view of prospects and customers. In order to do this efficiently and bring the greatest value to our customers, we leverage Sisense and Fivetran technology in our customer data platform.
What’s a Customer Data Platform?
A customer data platform (CDP) is defined as a customer database with consistent, unified information accessible by multiple platforms. A customer data platform should act as the single source of truth for your account and contact information and house any recorded interactions, linking them to the appropriate account and/or contact.
Here’s a very simplified view of a customer data platform:
A CDP links all of your systems together and creates a single pane view of your prospects and customers, summarizing all of your transactions, marketing activities, sales activities, etc. in a single data lake or warehouse. Then this data is used as the single source of a business’ reports.
How Does CaliberMind Work With Fivetran and Sisense
Calibermind’s secret sauce is the machine learning algorithms we use to normalize data, calculate attribution, and calculate engagement. As a company, we strived to support every application housing relevant data, but our engineers were spending a lot of time building and supporting connectors.
Fivetran’s specialty is data integration. By leveraging Fivetran, it allowed CaliberMind to focus on where we add true value, the hard work of integrating all of the data together from many sources into a single, consistent set of records. We’re able to connect to over 150 data sources out of the box by leveraging Fivetran, and they offer multiple ways to connect depending on the user-experience level we need to present to end customers.
On our CaliberMind diagram, Fivetran primarily assists us with data ingestion from the source systems:
With the features and support we receive from the Fivetran technical team, our engineers have been able to focus on updating some key infrastructure items that will improve our customer experience and provide innovative functionality our competitors don’t offer.
To be transparent, one of the areas we struggled with was figuring out a way to maintain data integrity and allow a great deal of flexibility in our reporting and visualization. Our users wanted self-serve dashboards, and we stood at a crossroads. We could either spend a great deal of time (and other resources) creating our own dashboard engine, or we could collaborate with a company that already had a highly flexible tool with a modern UI.
Sisense is a very powerful tool that allows people to drag and drop reporting components without having to know code. On our side, CaliberMind can focus on the hard data engineering work and creating report templates – that can then be leveraged by all our customers.
On our CaliberMind diagram, Sisense powers our in-application reports and dashboards:
Our customers have greater flexibility and the added bonus of being able to set up alerts on key KPIs.
Dashboards and Reports are great – but many times all you want to know is when certain KPI’s are trending either up or down. You may want to understand when a core metric suddenly changes its trajectory.
Imagine you’re running a new campaign and would like to know when it has reached a certain attribution threshold. With Pulse Alerts, you would just open the campaign, look at the Pipeline Sourced Attribution metric, and set up a Pulse alert on it. Tie the alert to an email, Slack, or other notification sources to make sure the necessary people know when you’ve hit a milestone.
How Do We Address the 6 Data Gaps?
03 Bad Data Hygiene, 04 Data Silos & 06 Salesforce Is Your Source of Truth
The average enterprise B2B marketer uses over 91 cloud-based applications, and it’s hard to keep up with the ever-expanding list of B2B marketing and sales applications. If you want to connect all of your platforms to get to a single source of truth and don’t think it out all the way, it can create a chaotic web of information, like an old cobweb. Some of the connections break, some overlap, and many of them get less useful with age.
A connection tool like Fivetran coupled with a customer data platform removes the interdependencies systems develop when they are directly linked. For example, if you integrate your CRM to your marketing automation platform and change the API name in Salesforce on a shared field, you will likely break the integration for that field (and possibly everything else as it errors out). When you integrate those data sources to a customer data platform using an integration tool, tools can be discontinued or changed without having a catastrophic impact on your other systems.
CaliberMind works as an intelligent source of truth. When your data is piped into your customer data platform, we can begin identifying information that can be used to tie people and accounts together across all of your applications (for example, perhaps it’s an IP address on the web, an email address in your CRM, and a combination of name and address information in your direct mail tool).
We then use industry best practices to recommend how to deduplicate, merge, and streamline the data in your customer data platform and then push that information back into your primary systems (like your CRM and/or marketing automation platform).
Data Models & Reporting/Visualization
01 Your CRM Doesn’t Think of a Buyer as an Account, 02 Your Company Thinks 1 Campaign Activity = 1 Sale & 05 Oversimplified Campaign Reporting
Our customer data platform has done the hard work of identifying transactions from given people and accounts and aggregating that information. This enables us to create a meaningful story about how your prospects first engage with your company and the journey they take to convert into a sale.
Much of the hard work is done on the data modeling side, but any data analyst will tell you that how you visually present the information is just as (if not more) important as the underlying data.
If executives are used to seeing data presented in a specific format, they become uneasy when that format changes. If the formatting is inconsistent, the underlying data may be too.
Multi-touch attribution is also a difficult concept to wrap your mind around. If you work with a vendor who isn’t transparent about how numbers are calculated, the entire platform is called into question. Secrecy leaves room for a significant amount of doubt.
Sisense helps us visualize the underlying data in a way that makes sense, and we’re able to present consistent information across our customer base. Some customers want to focus on different KPIs, and now they have the ability to make these changes with a drag and drop interface—or they can combine components on different dashboards to create a view that makes the most sense for their organization.
A customer data platform with a built-in data visualization tool allows our customers to throw out the old excel templates they were using every quarter to cobble together a quarterly review. They can save up to 50% of their time on scrubbing data and focus on proactively optimizing campaigns and getting the most out of their budget.