Fiber optic light trail highrise buildings

How GenAI transforms the B2B customer experience with first-party data

Real-time customer data is playing a pivotal role in helping B2B organizations gain greater insights in their buyers’ needs and wants.

In brief
  • Increased connectivity through digital platforms has led businesses to put more value in building personalization throughout their organization.
  • The EY-Adobe Alliance is blazing new trails by helping businesses find value in creating qualified buying groups that help them target their message to leaders with decision-making capabilities.
  • The effort to get to know existing and prospective customers more closely can create stronger ties that lead to enduring sales and marketing relationships.

Businesses spend billions of dollars each year studying customer behaviors and trends to shape their go-to-market plans and connect with their respective target audience. It’s a system that has worked quite well across industries fueling commerce and the economy as a whole.

But what if there was a better way to make connections and build enduring customer relationships enabled by digital transformation and generative AI (GenAI)?

Shifting to first-party data

Technology has changed how customers make purchases, whether it’s business-to-customer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B). They want to do business with companies that understand their wants and needs on a deeper and more engaged level. This is driving a change in sales and marketing strategy. Instead of relying on third-party data as their primary source of actionable customer insights, businesses are shifting to first-party data to precisely target marketing efforts based on real interactions and engagement.


The result is companies gain detailed knowledge about customer behaviors and preferences that third-party data just can’t provide. First-party data is collected directly from the source. This leads to greater confidence in its accuracy and reliability, and ideally, both improved conversion rates and greater revenue.

First-party data is obtained through technology stacks that can support customer data platforms (CDPs), which aggregate and organize data from multiple sources and create a unified customer profile. CDPs help businesses stay compliant with data privacy laws by tracking consent and managing data accordingly. In addition, they can help businesses optimize marketing spend by accurately targeting high-value customers or those most likely to engage or convert based on the unified customer data.


The EY organization recognized this trend and set out on a journey to create a blueprint and platform that would give businesses the ability to fully leverage the value of first-party data. Working with Adobe, team members developed the Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform. Aimed at B2B companies, it’s a tool that allows businesses to get to the single source of truth about their customers that can more effectively inform decision-making. 


As the largest implementation of the Adobe Experience platforms, EY integrated existing data sources, aligned disparate sources to  identify the foundation for personalization across the global ecosystem, and adopted journey analytics to help manage end-to-end client journeys.


Building qualified buying groups

The shift to using first-party data takes advantage of the ability technology provides to connect with people on a more personal level. Combine that with the idea of the qualified buying group (QBG), and businesses have a means to engage potential customers more directly. The QBG recognizes that it’s not just the CEO who evaluates purchasing decisions. It’s the CTO, the CMO, the CFO and other leaders outside the C-suite. While the B2B space is about one business doing business with another, it’s ultimately about people trying to make connections and meet needs.


A sales team that can use technology to identify the members of a QBG and create a holistic view of that group different from the holistic view of the company will be able to act and market differently. They will have a better understanding of who they need to reach and what they need to provide in order to initiate a relationship that ultimately leads to a transaction.


GenAI is a critical piece in this effort. One of its strengths is taking and automating repeatable processes. A company can purchase a database of contacts and then using GenAI, develop a series of rules that leads to a condensed list of individuals who are thought to be buyer and decision-makers in that organization. A process that would take days and even weeks for humans to complete could be done in minutes.

Gaining trusted advisor status

Standing out in today’s immersive and rapidly evolving digital environment requires organizations to deliver tailored content and product bundles in consumable segments to avoid sensory overload. Formulating the right message at the right time throughout the customer management journey is dependent on a full understanding of a wide array of customer profiles, micro-segments and observed preferences. Done right, executing smart campaigns alongside a purposeful engagement strategy should yield value-packed encounters that build trust with clients and grant permission over time to increase proactive engagement.

Getting to trusted advisor status is difficult unless a business knows its target customer and what it is they value. 

Across multiple sectors, client expectations are now experience-driven. Businesses expect personalized access, advice and value as defined by them. Content and engagement engines are becoming competitive differentiators. Leaders who exhibit a people-focused mindset are investing in capabilities that enable them to orchestrate and serve up value-infused journeys. Content needs to meet specific inquiry needs – or better yet –  be based on the exploration of gained insights and perspectives. The ability to educate clients and prospects on something they may have never considered in their buying equation only adds more value.

A personalized experience coupled with tailored content ignites the next level of conversation with clients, allowing a business to gain traction and accelerate the buying lifecycle. As the velocity of communications and engagement touch points increase over time, there is a direct correlation to higher revenue opportunities and ROI. Experience influences stickiness throughout the relationship and in turn yields sustainable lifetime value.

Illuminate new possibilities with the EY-Adobe Alliance

The EY-Adobe Alliance can be a valuable tool for leaders seeking to transform their own customer journey.  As part of our powerful ecosystem, the EY-Adobe Alliance can help add the momentum to transform the journey more quickly, effectively creating a consumer-first reality.

Learn how the EY-Adobe Alliance can help you develop a customer-centric journey, including collaborative efforts with chief marketing officers and chief digital officers in both B2B and B2C arenas.


Business intelligence is mission critical to deliver timely, relevant brand experiences. If your business doesn’t have it, your competitor will. Once you get it, you need to be diligent about studying the data, understanding customer behavior and identifying steps that can build trust, engagement and customer connectivity. The EY-Adobe Alliance has developed a blueprint for B2B customer experience (CX) transformation, based on the EY team’s understanding of B2B challenges and the benefits transformation can bring. The goal is to  provide a more personalized and customized client experience by modernizing marketing capabilities and unifying sales, marketing and finance.

About this article

Related articles

EY-Adobe Alliance: Enhancing CMO’s customer-centric approach with AI

Discover GenAI’s role in reinventing customer experiences with EY-Adobe Alliance. Uncover strategies CMOs can use to amplify personalization, content and digital value.

Transformation in Action: Inside Adobe's future-proofing transformation

Here’s how Adobe used the combination of organic and inorganic strategy to transform and drive growth.