Greetings on this final Saturday in June, readers. In this issue, we’ll talk about California legislation that may impact the way your business handles customer data, will explore ways to tap into the talent that may be hidden right under our noses, will find out what one survey says about marketers and AI and will discover why simplifying the customer experience may be the key to B2B marketing success.  

The GDPR comes to California…sort of

If your North America-based company has been wondering when something like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be hitting our shores, your wait is over. Earlier this week, California’s governor signed The California Consumer Privacy Act, a bill that will give the state’s residents the greatest level of privacy protection and control in the United States. According to MarTechToday, the bill, which will go into effect as law on January 1, 2020, is anticipated to undergo several amendments prior to its enforcement deadline.

Similar to the GDPR in Europe, proponents of the law say it will give consumers the right to know what categories of their data are being collected and sold and will make it easier for individuals to request that companies stop using their data. Opponents cite increased costs on state and local governments. Regardless, it’s on its way, with other state governments expected to use California’s laws as models for their own. The question is not IF your company will have to comply with different state-level data privacy regulations but WHEN. Read more about it here.

Tap into hidden talent

Is your company having a hard time finding the right people to lead initiatives, accomplish goals or work together to handle everything that’s on your plate? If so, you be overlooking a resource that is hidden in plain sight. As Zach Heller suggests in Business2Community, marketing leaders may be overlooking great folks within their own businesses, sometimes neglecting to show their own internal teams clear pathways to new roles within the business, leaving them instead to get comfortable and plateau or begin to search for outside opportunities.

In lieu of immediately casting a net outside your organization the next time you need to hire, think about who you can tap internally. One thing Heller recommends is to be transparent and forthcoming about future plans about where the company is going; doing so will allow motivated employees to prepare and adapt to the roles that will likely be necessary in the future and can help guide their professional development. Read all of Heller’s tips here.

Marketers hold hope for AI

In a recent study by EverString and Heinz Marketing as reported in Marketing Dive, 53% of B2B marketers said that they believe artificial intelligence (AI) will improve how effective marketing is in driving revenue. And it can’t come soon enough, as just 21% indicated they felt very confident meeting their marketing goals using their current marketing data.

Where are the areas that marketers indicated their greatest interest in deploying AI? Nearly three-quarters (71%) said they wanted to use it for personalization, and 58% wanted to use it for customization. Diving deeper, 59% of respondents said they expected AI to help them identify prospective customers.

Certainly, marketers are putting a lot of stock in what their AI-based future may look like, but it’s worth taking note of two things: 1. Not all AI is created equal and 2. Your AI insights are only as good as your data. Take note: If we at Perkuto can lend a helping hand as your business navigates the AI landscape, please get in touch.

Simplify the B2B customer experience

The B2B customer journey is rarely linear or straightforward. So what are the keys to optimizing that experience as much as possible? According to Dennis Kostusev in Forbes, customization and simplicity. Getting these two things right may take some work in your technology and operations but the payoff will be worth the investment.

First, Kostusev suggests, gather the necessary data. Pull together all of the info you have including customer preferences and demographic data, remembering to access data that may be housed in other departments’ siloes. Then, work across departments to create a unified customer view, working together to identify areas in the customer journey where things may get a bit discombobulated. Find out the rest of his tips here.