by Matt Banks | , Optimise Works | February 21, 2018 Connecting your data to create an environment that brings together your many sources, has become increasingly important due to the amount of data B2B companies of all sizes are capturing. The growth of cheaper Data Management Platforms and cloud analysis tools such as Exponea and Google BigQuery amongst others, are designed to help you pull together data from the many disparate sources without crazily high budgets. However, many smaller B2B companies are still struggling to utilise these lower cost options due to a lack of knowledge and resource. Whilst larger B2B companies are still serviced by the large vendors such as Salesforce, IBM and Oracle to name a few; smaller businesses tend to get overlooked due to their more modest budgets. It's just not financially viable for larger consultancies to provide Data Management advice and consulting on this part of the market, but this shouldn't mean it's not as, or even more critical for these companies to focus on it themselves. Put simply, having a central Data, or Customer Management Platform should not just be the domain of large B2B companies. Due to the cloud and the lowering cost point, businesses of all sizes can now leverage the benefits associated with creating a central data repository. The current limiting factor is prioritisation of limited budget and resource. Setting aside time and resource to build a programme to capture more data on your prospects and customers, isn't quick and it isn't straightforward, but the rewards can be significant. Attributing success Suitably connected customer data should allow you to assign success (and then improve performance) by seeing all of your paths to purchase with all the marketing those people/ businesses have engaged with, and the content they’ve consumed. Backbone of personalisation Connected customer data is the backbone of good personalisation. Without a joined-up view of the customer, allowing you to target people across device and marketing channel, your personalisation will be limited to more simplistic, or more fundamental customer segments. Attributing value to marketing and reducing costs With your PPC, Display, Social, Email and all your other channels being tracked separately by whichever providers you’re using, and your web analytics tracking the sessions and conversions as well, it’s challenging to get the full picture. When data is connected, you unlock far more complex attribution modelling and much more control over the way in which a user is contacted. For example; no more spamming with retargeting when they’ve already responded to your social campaign. This is not only cheaper, but a much better customer experience. Future-proof your setup The way the market is shifting, and the direction companies like Google, Adobe and Salesforce and the new players like Exponea are taking the industry; connected customer data is going to becoming increasingly crucial for staying ahead of the competition. This only skims the surface, but the power of connected data is massive. This is why a Data Management Platform should be on the list of to-dos for any B2B company looking to push their customer understanding and customer experience to the next level.