Blog Entry

B2B Audience Building & Segmentation Best Practices Part 3: Real-Time and Predictive Data …

Building up your audience and then delivering the right messages to the various cross-sections of your audience is how you succeed in the modern marketing world. However, it can be confusing to determine how best to improve your efforts. 

Oracle’s Marketing Maturity Model can help you determine where your organization is in developing its various capabilities and what should be done to enhance them. In Part 1 of this series, we talked about how to uplevel your capabilities to Stage 2, which is all about how to take a cross-channel approach. And then in Part 2 of this series, we discussed how to take your capabilities up to Stage 3. Let’s quickly review what B2B audience building and segmentations looks like at that stage.

Stage 3: Data-Driven 

Companies at this level have broken down their tech stack and departmental silos and centralized their data. This has allowed them to improve data governance, data privacy, and data accuracy. By having people who are clearly responsible for those functions, they’ve drastically increased accountability for all data functions.

The company augments their first-party data with second- and third-party data, giving them a better holistic understanding of their customers. Historical data as well as real-time data allow the company to not only answer WHAT questions, but also understand the WHY. They also use that data to create detailed segments for message targeting. Customer experience efforts involve marketing plus at least one other department such as service or sales.

If your business doesn’t operate at that level yet, then let’s take a step back and look at how to enable data-driven B2B audience building and segmentation. But if your business is already achieving that, then let’s talk about…

How to Uplevel to Stage 4: Intelligence-Driven

Moving up to an intelligence-driven approach entails being able to act on individual-level data, not just segments. It requires that companies not only be able to look backward using historical and real-time data, but also look forward using predictive models, including scoring that’s powered by AI and machine learning. And it involves businesses being able to connect customer journeys across all customer experience touchpoints.

Let’s look at how your organization might level up its audience building and segmentation efforts.

Audience Building

The big shifts here are that you’re able to aggregate all of an individual’s data in one place and access it in real-time, and that you’re also able to use that data for predictive modeling:

Intelligent Customer Profiles. With your centralized data sources, you are now equipped to have a 360-degree view of your customer. These profiles include not only demographics, but also rich behavioral, predictive, and psychographic data to support modeling and personalization. They have been enriched with intelligent attributes built from machine learning and AI.

Omnichannel Intelligence. An individual’s engagement with every channel is taken into consideration as part of a blended, holistic view. For example, someone’s place in your customer journey is no longer determined by a single touchpoint, but rather determined by the combination of their past interactions. This comprehensive view helps ensure the right message at the right time on a 1:1 basis with more nuance than previously possible.

Predictive Scoring. Instead of relying solely on backward-looking historical data, you have the data in place that allows you to leverage predictive scoring engines so you can predict the future. For instance, you could use machine-learning algorithms to identify that portion of your audience that is most likely to purchase or most likely to churn, and then adjust your message content or frequency to those audiences to generate the best outcome. Whether for segmentation, personalization, or automation, this advanced methodology can be used to customize your messaging for each audience.


With a more holistic view of your customer and with an eye more on their possible future actions, you’re able to segment your messaging in a much more meaningful and effective wa:.

Individual-Level Intelligence. At this level of data sophistication, you are able to access in real-time all data on an individual within minutes and it’s ready for streaming instantaneously. This allows for nimble segmentation, plus the continuous tweaking of personalized messaging in your emails, on your website, and across other touchpoints.

Real-Time Experiences. Consumers often make decisions very quickly. If you take too long to react, the moment and the opportunity is lost. Utilize direct connections through APIs to customize the customer experience at the individual level in real-time. This allows you to deliver individualized, relevant content across the customer lifecycle at all touchpoints.

Real-Time Updates. Having a 360-degree view of your customer readily available allows for real-time course-correction and message updates, as compared to sprints or other ways of updating that are more reactive than proactive. Again, in today’s marketplace, consumers move quickly. Your business needs to be able to match the speed of your customers’ interactions.

Is your business already doing all of those things? If so, then your company’s capabilities are on the leading edge of what’s being achieved in the industry. You should feel good about what you’ve accomplished  but know that there are many companies right on your heels. Don’t rest on your laurels. Keep experimenting with new technologies and testing new tactics and strategies. Eventually there will be a Stage 5. We’re innovating with our closest customers to pioneer it.

Regardless of what stage your company is at in the Marketing Maturity Model, we want to help you level up your capabilities with our CX Marketing products and CX Marketing Consulting services.


Read Part 1 of this series to learn how to bring more of your data together to better build au audience and segment them. 

Read Part 2 of this series to see how to centralize that data and use it to help your teams speak together as one company when reaching out to those audiences and sending the right message.