It’s not a big secret that the way marketers gather information on customers is changing. It’s changing because customer data and interactions are becoming increasingly complex on a day-to-day basis. It’s forcing organizations, and marketers in general to adapt in new and exciting ways. But just as these new changes are exciting, some significant challenges are ahead for Web marketers as they brace for the future of realities of customer intelligence, and CRM technology in general. While a lot of these changes are fairly cut and dry, many of these changes are wrapped up in the complexities of big data, which make for a unique set of challenges for the B2B space.

Let’s take a look at three major ways customer intelligence is changing, and how B2B organization can and should adapt.

Three Major Ways Customer Intelligence is Changing

Big Data is Essential for Customer Intelligence

As data becomes increasingly complex, the need to analyze and interpret data is just as important as putting that data to good use within the B2B marketing process. This is why big data is so important for the success of future B2B marketing campaigns. In fact, many analysts are pushing for a deep integration of behavioral and survey data, and the only way to do this well is through big data solutions. However, for B2B organizations who are used to traditional analytics tools, integrating a new big data solution might seem like too much too soon. The good news is that these organizations don’t necessarily need to do a full big data integration right away. A “soft integration” approach may be more suited for B2B marketers with cold feet when it comes to big data.

Customer Intelligence Tools are Improving

While you probably don’t have to dig incredibly deep to learn that customer intelligence tools are evolving quickly, you might be surprised to know the types of CI tools that B2B marketers are embracing. For instance, some analysts are pushing for marketers to integrate gamification in their data gathering processes. This is of particular use to survey data gathering processes that rely on a marketer’s ability to keep the survey subjects engaged. Gamification in the data gathering and research process proves to keep the subjects engaged, while maintaining a high level of efficiency in the data gathering process.

Customer Intelligence is Being Disrupted

How is CI being disrupted? Well, for starters you need to look at the context of customer intelligence in 2013. For instance, there are more devices and content sources than at any point in the history of the web. This all means large amounts of data – yes, we’re talking about big data again. The problem with many CI solutions – especially in the B2B world – is that they are simply incapable of keeping up with the sheer volume of data being produced and consumed by consumers. This has forced a wide range of marketing professionals and CRM providers to re-think and reinvent how that data can be collected and analyzed. In short, the future of customer intelligence on every level is going to mean deep disruption that will affect, and quite possibly transform, data-driven industries, which basically means that every industry will be affected.


If big data technology is not on your radar right now, you may need to re-assess what you’re paying attention to. Keeping up with new data management and analytics technology is paramount for the success of every B2B marketing campaign. If you can’t adapt to these changes, there will be another marketer or organization that is a few steps ahead of you. In other words, it’s high time that the B2B space understands that value of big data in relation ship to customer intelligence.