As brands are forced to go all-in on their digital efforts in light of COVID-19, the need to tie-together customer data is more urgent than ever.
“The current environment is one of the most challenging and interesting times for managing customer experiences,” said Elizabeth Marshall, director of solutions consulting for the CDP solution Tealium. According to Marshall, customer expectations are high and traditional consumer engagement trends are changing rapidly — forcing brands to adopt a digital-first approach.
“This is clearly been exacerbated by the COVID-19 world we’re all living in, and we’re seeing a dramatic escalation of human behavior dynamics,” said Marshall, “Another major accelerator: People are figuring out how to do things digitally that they were uncomfortable with previously.”
During her Discover MarTech presentation, Marshall addressed all the ways a CDP can help brands better engage with their audiences — delivering personalized experiences in real-time — in the middle of so much disruption.
The disconnect between markerters’ challenges and the tools they’re using
Before digging into the specific ways a CDP elevates a brands marketing efforts, Marshall highlighted how the real benefit of a CDP is its ability to create a unified data set that offers a holistic view of your customer behavior.
“If all you did was run your data-driven efforts on this one unified data set, your insight and understanding of your customer gets deeper and that makes all of your communications better and stronger. Getting that underlying data foundation is key,” said Marshall.
It’s no secret that siloed data systems continue to be the proverbial thorn in the side of most martech stacks, making it difficult to create a unified, holistic view of the customer journey. Engaging customers in real-time, creating cohesive customer journeys across channels, unifying customer data sources — and sharing that unified view across business units — are among marketers’ top challenges according to Salesforce’s recent State of Marketing report.
But, when the nearly 7,000 marketers surveyed by Salesforce for the report were asked to rank their most popular marketing data management solutions, the top three were: CRM platforms, email service providers and advertising platforms. Customer data platforms (CDPs) ranked number five, after data management platforms — underscoring a disconnect between the challenges marketers are facing and the technology they are using.
“An automated central source for all customer data really gives organizations the ability to build that comprehensive customer profile, as well as deliver real-time customer experiences across any touch point,” said Marshall.
Three ways a CDP can impact business efforts
Marshall outlined three specific marketing use-cases for CDP deployment: Creating cost-saving measures, delivering revenue growth and building trust with your customer base. To reduce costs, Marshall shared how a CDP allows marketers to suppress audience segments from ad campaigns — eliminating ad dollars from being spent on non-relevant customer groups.
“For example, companies commonly want to exclude customers who have purchased an item in-store from their retargeting campaigns, but the system collecting the point-of-sale data is commonly separate from the system serving the ad or tracking that user’s movement on the website,” explained Marshall, who took the audience through a series of steps demonstrating how, through integrations, a CDP can connect offline-and-online behavior, “We want to take the offline point-of-sale data and create an action rule to remove offline purchases from the online retargeting campaign list.”
The second use-case outlined during Marshall’s presentation centered on the ways CDPs can generate revenue growth via personalization and real-time marketing efforts. According to Marshall, a CDP allows you to orchestrate customer acquisition campaigns across multiple channels, scaling the value of your customer data and ensuring you are running campaigns based on advanced customer segments.
The third use case — building trust with your customer base — has been a growing concern among brands for some time now. “It’s not only marketers who benefit from this single view of the customer, data privacy practitioners also want a view of their customer data or the customer data across every channel to more easily comply with emerging privacy regulations,” said Marshall. Using a CDP to create a sing source of customer data can help ensure the customer’s privacy preferences are maintained.
A customer data foundation is key to creating more opportunities
Marshall ended her presentation emphasizing how a CDP can deliver the necessary foundation when building a unified source of customer data — making it possible to pivot when massive changes are happening.
“A data foundation is going to give companies options. It’s going to help create opportunities — even in these uncertain times, specifically when your customer base is shifting to digital at a fast rate than ever,” said Marshall, “The data foundation really gives you flexibility to pivot quickly, which is so key to capitalize on opportunities as they present themselves. And when those opportunities do present themselves, you’ll have the ability to interact with that customer in real-time across channels.”