4 minute read 13 Oct 2021
From regulatory compliance to customer experience, learn how fresh approaches to data management are changing the game for B2B companies.
Women climbing out of glacial cave

How modern data management helps organizations unlock deeper insights

Cecilie Burleson

Manager, Technology Consulting, Ernst & Young LLP

Digital marketer. Passionate about advertising technology. Mother of an adoring toddler. Fitness enthusiast often found exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Joel Wright

Senior Manager, Technology Consulting, Ernst & Young LLP

Experienced digital leader. Customer advocate. Creative problem solver. Passionate about providing results. Proud father of three. Avid supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Breakfast enthusiast.

4 minute read 13 Oct 2021

From regulatory compliance to customer experience, learn how fresh approaches to data management are changing the game for B2B companies. 

In brief
  • With rapidly evolving customer and regulatory expectations, B2B marketers need to streamline their data collection efforts to keep pace.
  • A fresh approach to data management can help them navigate this landscape with ease.
  • This approach includes innovative customer data platforms that harmonize data storage, usage, disposal and more across disparate systems.

As business-to-business (B2B) organizations navigate today’s marketplace, they face many of the same challenges as business-to-consumer organizations: siloed functions, fragmented data, and governance and compliance issues — all of which can be addressed with a fresh approach to data management. To that end, several leading companies are utilizing cutting-edge technology to transform their data architecture, streamline compliance activities, empower marketers to drive customer loyalty and develop smarter business insights. 

By standardizing the collection, storage, management, usage and disposal of customer data, B2B companies promote cross-function synergies while also staying one step ahead of customer and regulatory expectations. We believe that marketing teams in particular are better positioned to drive business value and enhance customer touch points when they can consistently track and validate regulatory compliance through the use of modernized data architecture. 

The marketing impact of data privacy regulations

When the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into effect in 2018, it signalled a new era in data privacy and protection. The GDPR requires all organizations that collect EU customer data to process and safeguard that data in the prescribed manner, taking into account each customer’s wishes with regard to privacy — but it is by no means an outlier. The global trend toward enhanced data privacy regulations is a direct result of growing consumer control in the marketplace, complicating how marketers collect, store, use and report the consumer data that’s so essential to promoting the business. 

Without the right data management strategy and tools in place, this shift can be costly for not only the marketing function but also the broader organization. For example, GDPR fines for noncompliance can be as high as €20 million (~US$23 million as of July 2021) or 4% of a company’s annual revenue (whichever is greater) for serious infractions.1  Moreover, as of January 2021, a total of €272 million (~US$321 million) in GDPR-related fines had been levied by authorities in less than three years.2 For these reasons, the GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act and other data security laws around the world are top of mind for B2B and marketing leaders across every region and industry. 

For marketers keen on gaining as many customer insights as possible, these requirements present a delicate balancing act and, in many cases, uncertainty around the function’s compliance and effectiveness. But with technologies that help simplify data management, the marketing function can gain a complete picture of the organization’s data landscape and streamline processes. This helps marketers and the larger enterprise rest easy knowing that highly complex data challenges are being addressed efficiently and consistently for the long term. 

Customer data platforms like Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) provide a “one-stop shop.” They can unify data from multiple enterprise systems and allow marketing teams to better identify, understand and engage customers by taking the guesswork out of often-conflicting regulatory and consent parameters. 

A customer data platform also allows marketers to track customer consent, extrapolate customer profile information, delete data when requested and much more through the use of data usage labeling. Implementing a customer data platform that integrates with other business and marketing systems helps B2B organizations and their marketing teams reduce compliance risk and achieve return on investment.

Functionality that streamlines compliance and marketing efforts

Customer data platforms bring a host of features that can significantly change the game for marketers, with data governance capabilities enabling users to manage customer data and maintain compliance with regulations, restrictions and policies regarding data use at various levels. For example, data usage labelling is a highly efficient process of categorizing data and creating usage policies for it. Once data labels have been applied and data usage policies are in place in AEP or similar platforms, marketing actions can be evaluated to validate the correct use of data. 

In addition, integrating a customer data platform helps to break down the traditional silos that can impede marketers’ visibility into the end-to-end enterprise, providing marketing with real-time access to data across all company functions. Bringing together data from disparate systems, the right platform helps the organization appropriately capture consent and preferences within a customer’s unified profile. 

Customer data platforms also can be leveraged to conduct consent conflict resolution, another key data governance component that helps resolve ambiguities. When the marketing function can be responsive to all customer privacy requests by leveraging a customer data platform that manages consent and preferences, and provides easy access and removal options for an individual’s information, marketers are better able to focus on enhancing customer touch points to drive revenue and build loyalty — while also efficiently and effectively managing compliance with complex privacy regulations across many jurisdictions.


We believe that privacy regulations like the GDPR are here to stay, further complicating marketers’ already crowded agenda. However, with guidance from our highly skilled teams and the latest customer data management tools in place, B2B organizations and their marketing functions can drive greater agility, compliance and long-term value while focusing on what matters most at the end of the day — building customer loyalty.