Rockwell Automation Embraces Digital Transformation

Seven skills that move from vision to value

Let’s face it. It’s increasingly difficult for business-to-business (B2B) organizations to reach buyers, measure performance of campaigns, and prove ROI. Outside economic pressures aside, three key trends are shaping the way revenue teams address the rising demands of today’s B2B buyers. Buyers have an expectation of privacy; they want more control over their personal data — yet they’re willing to forgo some of that control if they believe they’ll receive value in return. Buyers also expect — perhaps demand — a personalized, relevant buying experience as they move along a self-guided buyer’s journey. And as organizations struggle to meet these demands, they’re managing a proliferation of tools and the data these tools produce across their go-to-market tech stacks.

Rising to the demands of today’s B2B buyer requires the alignment of people, processes, and tech stacks: adtech, martech, and salestech. This emerging trend, calling for go-to-market teams that are unified around data and processes, is known as Revenue Technology, or revtech. It enables B2B organizations to leverage online and offline data to serve buyers’ expectations of a personalized, relevant buying journey and the business’s goal of moving the buyer through the funnel, without friction, from awareness to consideration to purchase.

Rockwell Automation embraces digital transformation

In 2020, Rockwell embarked on a mission to transform its marketing organization from “just a cost center” to a profit center “that would better support the customer journey of tomorrow, generate demand, and drive revenue.” To meet their goals of growing marketing-sourced pipeline, Rockwell recognized the need to invest in a CDP. A CDP, or Customer Data Platform, can increase marketing efficiency and effectiveness by collecting a lot of in-depth customer insights and data for a robust profile that can be used to deliver personalization and omnichannel marketing. After vetting over 150 solutions, Rockwell chose D&B Rev.Up, powered by the D&B Lattice CDP.

“Rev.Up offered the most complete solution, supported the location-based identification we needed, and seamlessly integrated with 20 years of embedded Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S® Number account management Rockwell had already been doing, said Gudrun Wetak, ABM/ABX Marketing Manager at Rockwell Automation, about D&B Rev.Up ABX. “This is a great tool, and it offers so much vision and cool things we can do with it. It’s intoxicating.”

Yet while the value of digital transformation and being data-driven was clear to Gudrun, she is quick to comment that “the harsh reality in much of digital transformation is that it’s a lot of work that everyone is still figuring out. So our team got to work. We built a model that would not only drive our CDP implementation but would also serve as a framework for driving all digital transformation and change moving forward. This model encapsulates the data requirements, technical capabilities, and professional competencies that cut through the chaos and help us build, optimize, and innovate.”

Gudrun’s team called their model “the seven skills of AI-driven demand marketing.”

Thinking data first

“Change has to start with data. When we think about data, we tend to position it at the end, thinking of it as a fossil, not a fuel,” observed Gudrun. “Data is typically viewed as a function of reporting, and we use it to tell us what happened, not necessarily to guide us to what should happen. But if you want to be data-driven, you have to be data-first.”

The challenge, as Rockwell experienced firsthand, is there’s often just too much data — hoards of data, in fact.

“Most of us don’t have the luxury or the time to sort through every pebble and figure out what’s data gold or data pyrite. There is good data and bad data, and definitely overthought and overcomplicated data. It’s fast, it’s hard to access, the integration paths are precarious, and nobody really knows what’s around the next bend. And it’s growing every single day, at exponential rates.”

So what does Gudrun look for? “First, I look for high-value data. This is the 20% of data that 80% of people actually know how to talk about. These are the top accounts with enterprise visibility. This data drives a lot of revenue, a lot of decisions, and more importantly, it’s the data that people are going to be looking for.

“Second, if I’m going to be judged at the campaign activation and impact level as a primary performance indicator, I will prioritize things that show signs of life. Are contacts actively doing anything? Are they visiting our website? Opening our emails? Are we even sending them stuff? Is sales doing anything with these people, either at the contact level or the account level? Basically, I’m looking for enough data volume to build about 65% of my records under management, because I know it’s not just about who we know today, it’s about all the additional accounts and contacts we want to source for tomorrow.”

And Gudrun points out that you can’t worry about getting everything right on the first try. “There are going to be things you forgot and things you didn’t know you needed, and you are just going to have to develop better understanding over time. I host a quarterly phased data meeting, partly for our users to bring non-immediate needs and talk about their use cases, but also for us to educate and communicate and align on decisions around data strategy and platform development.”

Being data-driven is about more than just platforms and processes. It’s about people, too. “You must enable and empower the people who have the different skill sets to drive the multiple initiatives forward. That is the reason we called our model ‘the seven skills of AI-driven demand marketing,’ not the seven steps.”

Rockwell moved their data mountain

Getting the bulk of the work done in less than six weeks, Rockwell created a fully integrated, dynamically supported system — one that created one accessible source of truth — that seamlessly bridged the gap between research-driven insights and reporting capabilities through features like Account 360 and dynamic insights available in the Explorer module.

  • Rockwell saw productivity gains: Segmentation work that used to take weeks, if it could even be done, now took mere moments.
  • User adoption and tool usage increased 46% month over month, attributable to the productivity gains.
  • The company experienced a 7% increase in database growth by onboarding new logos (new business) and reprioritizing dormant accounts, attributable to visitor intelligence and intent models.
  • Now, 45% of Rockwell’s CDP managed accounts are actively engaged. “They are opening our emails, they are visiting our website, and they are pinging on our intent models. And we not only know it, but we can also see it, we can socialize it, and we can actually do something about it,” said Gudrun.

D&B Rev.Up pulls information from Rockwell Automation’s CRM, MAP, adtech platform, and website, providing feedback from audience engagements, and how and where they’re interacting, and then pulling that back into the CDP to create this virtuous cycle to optimize programs.

“We did it. We figured out our data. We stood up a platform and started giving our users the tools to climb out of the data darkness and use it as a guiding light. Our team is empowered with access and ability to visualize the impacts of their segmentation and view white space and greenfield opportunities,” said Gudrun proudly.

“Gone are the days of spray-and-pray digital strategy supported by flat file uploads into a platform with dubious match rates. Now we have the functionality and support to turn the dials and pull the levers on page strategy, utilizing cross-channel insights. Looking to avoid spending LinkedIn budget on contacts already engaged with our email campaign? Done. Maybe we want to double down on Facebook and push engaged contacts through the pipeline. Okay, that can be done, too. And we can take simple steps to reduce the friction and figure out what people want. We use Visitor Intelligence on our website to reduce form fatigue and inform a content bingeing model to serve up the next best piece of content, capturing our users’ attention, personalizing their experience, and keeping them on our site,” said Gudrun.

Gone are the days of spray-and-pray digital strategy supported by flat file uploads into a platform with dubious match rates. Now we have the functionality and support to turn the dials and pull the levers on page strategy, utilizing cross-channel insights.

“Unified data plus audience visualization drove a 20%–50% increase in average segment size. We’re no longer reliant on sales or other enterprise teams to create contacts in our CRM systems and then manually link them to accounts. Dun & Bradstreet now does that for us. We are supporting our ABM efforts with insights into new opportunities, increasing revenue and share of wallet with hundreds of unique locations and contacts sourced and added directly from Dun & Bradstreet. We are no longer just providing information to sales; we have paved the way to a seat at the account management table, leveraging the dynamic dashboards in Explorer and the deep insights available in the D&B Hoovers, CRUSH, and OneStop reports. And through the seamless insights and integrations with Eloqua, Facebook, Google Ads, and LinkedIn, we have the ability to optimize not only our digital efforts, but our digital budget.


“Moving forward we need to learn to look beyond human intuition and interpretation and check our own internal bias at the door, using modeling features to uncover unseen opportunities. This work has already begun. Leaning into our unified account profile, we support direct-to-seller regional campaigns, providing access to all known buying group contacts for select target accounts, to better support them and our customers as they work through complex purchase decisions.”

Data that drives ABM

Gudrun added, “Account-based marketing is more than just relationships; it’s data, and data is what Rev.Up makes possible. Looking at all the available data, we plan to leverage the modeling features in the CDP to target and prioritize accounts worthy of the resource investment ABM requires. We are working on scoring initiatives because we want our content creators, business developers, leaders, and budget dollars to work smarter, not harder.

“Resources are finite, and particularly at the seller level, expensive. We look to provide better understanding and a basis for aligned decision-making that even those most removed from the in-the-moment management can understand and draw conclusions from.

“Intent modeling and aggregated research and buy scores opened this door for us. By ingesting this information into our native platforms, we can track and analyze customer awareness from the very earliest moments in the buying journey, before they even know what they need and before they maybe even know we exist, providing quantifiable proof that awareness efforts targeting new accounts work to fill the pipeline.”

Now marketing has its own call to change. Customer data management now spans the entire Rockwell Automation organization. Gudrun and her team are improving all aspects of the customer experience by using the seven skills of marketing that empower their CDP.

Watch the presentation “7 Skills of CDP-powered Marketing” and discover how Rockwell Automation brought first- and third-party data together for more actionable insights.