The rise in demand for personalized customer experiences has left many marketers struggling to deliver, and unfortunately for them, it’s not something customers are willing to forego. As a result, we’re seeing an increase in the number of marketers turning to Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to help them overcome their struggles. Despite this, there remains widespread confusion as to what a CDP is and how it can help marketers.
What a CDP is…
Gartner defines a Customer Data Platform as “a marketing system that unifies a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modelling and optimize the timing and targeting of message and offers.”
- ingest data from any source
- capture full detail of ingested data
- store ingested data indefinitely (subject to privacy constraints)
- create unified profiles of identified individuals
- share data with any system that needs it
- respond in real time to new data and to profile requests
What a CDP isn’t…
Previously marketers have relied on technologies such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to manage their customer data. However, as customer experience became the focal point for marketers, technologies such as a CRM didn’t provide marketers with the control and flexibility they needed to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and deliver targeted campaigns. Enter CDPs…
Since the introduction of the CDP in 2013, other technologies have been quick to jump on the bandwagon, trying to reposition their capabilities as CDPs. This has caused confusion for many marketers as they believe their existing technologies are CDPs when in fact, they are not.
If you’re not sure whether a CDP is right for your business, here are 4 signs you need a CDP:
1. Your data is fragmented
Customers are now using a plethora of channels to interact with brands, causing headaches for marketers as they try to collate and analyze data from multiple channels. Unfortunately for marketers, there’s no end in sight, and as your biggest asset, you need to ensure you have sight of all your customer data. If your data is held on siloed systems, this becomes a near impossible task as every team and system will use their own databases and store the information in their own way.
As part of our research into the digital divide between marketers and consumers, we found that 84% of marketers agreed it’s a challenge to unify consumers data to individual customers when so many have multiple digital identities.
A Customer Data Platform cleanses, de-duplicates, and unifies customer data from unlimited sources to create a Single Customer View. The Single Customer View houses all information relating to each individual customer, including their personal details, privacy opt-ins, transactions, and interactions, and is stored in one central system. This provides marketers with a 360-degree view of their customers, eradicating any problems caused by fragmented data.
2. Your marketing team relies on other departments
It’s extremely common for marketing teams to rely on other departments, namely IT, to analyze their customer data. In fact, 66% of marketers say their team lacks the skills or knowledge to effectively analyze and segment customer data, suggesting that their customer data is managed by another department. Moreover, when asked what the biggest barrier to enabling their marketing team to fully personalize the offer/content in a marketing message to an individual, 16.5% said lack of data or access to the data they need.
This system is ineffective and makes even the simplest of tasks extremely difficult. For example, if you want a list of every customer who have purchased from you in the last twelve months, you’d need to submit a request and wait for it to be fulfilled. This could take days as IT departments will likely be busy with other requests. Delayed responses mean delayed actions, making real-time personalization impossible.
With a Customer Data Platform, all your customer data is available to you in a matter of clicks. This enables you to analyze and segment your customers and dive deeper into your data to derive granular insight about your customers.
3. You want to improve your personalized marketing
All marketers should strive to deliver hyper-personalized customer experiences, especially as failure to deliver may result in losing revenue. Our research revealed that 55% of consumers said that feeling like a brand is creating a personalized shopping experience for them is important. However, when asked whether the brand they use understand their shopping needs, only 41% agreed. To put the significance of this into perspective, 45.5% of consumers said that the lack of a personalized experience would stop them from buying a product/service, proving the need for marketers to adopt customer-centric strategies as soon as possible.
According to 16.5% of marketers, the main barrier enabling their team to fully personalize the offer/content to an individual is poor data quality and therefore, not being able to trust their data. So, to overcome this issue, superior quality data and a clear understanding of your customers is paramount.
With a 360-degree view of your customers, you’ll get a full view of your customers and will be able to leverage this information to create personalized customer journeys. You’ll know what their interested in, which channels they use to engage with you, and how often they like to be contacted.
4. You don’t know who your loyal customers are
Identifying loyal customers should be your priority, however, if your customer data is held on siloed systems, this won’t be an easy task. If each brand or department don’t talk to each other, you won’t be able to see the bigger picture when it comes to your best customers.
To gain a clearer understanding and to be able to identify not only who your most loyal customers are, but what makes them come back for more, you need a CDP. Whether you’re a single brand or a large multinational group, cleansing and unifying your data across the entire company is a must.
The same principle applies to customers who are churning. Without a clear view of their journey, you’ll fail to identify opportunities to re-engage with them through tailored campaigns. However, if you have all data in a SCV, it’ll be easy to see where in the journey the customer drops off, enabling you to adapt accordingly.
Ultimately, the quality of your customer data will have an impact on all aspects of your marketing which is why it’s crucial that you take the steps to sort it out. To see how Upland BlueVenn can help your business, register for one of our monthly group demos, or book a bespoke demo to speak to a member of our team.