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by Alex Low | @Alexander_Low | LinkedIn

We are in unprecedented times. The 4th Industrial Revolution is gathering pace at an extraordinary speed. Exponentially? Possibly. 

Self-Driving cars, Hyperloop, quasi sentient chat-bots such as Google Duplex, Amazon, 20year Old billionaires, VR, AR, WeChat, Douyin, half the world is now connected online, the list goes on and on and on. All B2C.

B2B is not there. Yet.

We are all consumers. We consume information, almost every minute. I am sitting on The Northern Line drafting this on my IPhone on Evernote, which will sync across all devices. The power of the nefarious cloud. I look around me and 90% of the carriage are staring at their phones. Black Mirrors. That is why Charlie Brooker called the series Black Mirror. When our phones are off. They are a black mirror. A reflection of yourself. A reflection of society. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest watching. The subjects that are tackled are now becoming reality. 

The more books, blogs, videos and podcasts I consume, the more I believe, no predict, B2B Sales & Marketing is in for a rude awakening. An Uber moment if you will. 

Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, IBM Cloud are now in a  Cloud War. They want all your data, your search behaviour, your voice behaviour, your social media behaviour. Even your face’s data. All of it.

Every time you search Google, Bing or any other public search either by typing or your voice, they learn. Every time you comment, like, share. They learn. Every time you use a loyalty card. They will learn as that data is sold. Where you are in the world. Every time you check in. They learn. Every time you tap in & out of the Tube. They will learn. Every card transaction. They learn. 

We are in an Arms Data race. It is a race to the top. Or bottom depending on how you look at it. 

GDPR is trying to tackle this in Europe. However, now the hype is over, I suggest most people don’t care at the consumer level. We want it seamless & now. The brands that can deliver this will get our money. In order for that to happen, we willingly give them our data. The better they get. The more we give.

Think about it. How uncanny it is they Amazon usually gets the predictions right in guiding you to your next purchase, Netflix to your next film or documentary, Spotify curates that amazing playlist without you even asking it to. YouTube is even taking on the music streaming industry. Think of all the search data it has access to. Owned by Google.

This is the digital ecosystem your suspects, prospects, targets, clients, whatever Sales & Marketing terminology you use, this is the world they live in.

So now what.

Any word that you put in front of Sales & Marketing is dead. Tele, Cold, Email, Social, Digital, Modern. Whatever the next buzz word is. This is just Sales & Marketing. In the 21stCentury.

We are in the world of Predictive and Prescriptive analytics. Cambridge Analytica may be gone. But Pandora’s Box has been well and truly opened. And there is no way of closing it. 

Are we that naive that something like this happened? What on earth do you think Supermarkets have been doing for years with their, sorry your, loyalty card data. 

This for me is where CMOs, CROs, Sales Directors, Marketing Directors – in fact, this needs to be on the CEOs agenda – have to be focussing on as part of the wider go to market strategy. The irony is that this could even predict your go to market strategy for you. 

B2B Sales & Marketing is in its own Data Arms race. Microsoft acquiring Linkedin should have been a massive sign post to this. SalesForce is on the warpath having lost out on this deal. 

The focus must be on data acquisition strategy first. CRM, Marketing, Client Feedback, Website traffic, Social Listening traffic, Cost of Sale Data vs Profitability Data. 

Unlock this and then you can start to look at historical trends, which then can enable you to start looking at predictive analytics, which can lead to prescriptive analytics.

This is the future of Sales & Marketing. 

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