Marketers live in an era where data is oil and soil. But the biggest challenge isn’t a lack of data, in fact, it is the inability to analyze and draw actionable insights from it.
Modern marketers use less than 5% of all the data available to them. That’s a dangerous decision-making position to put yourself in, especially if your customer-related data continues to exist in silos, compromising its actionable usage.
Having a robust CRM system is no longer sufficient. For brands with a heavy focus on digital and mobile, it is important to unify all this customer data on a comprehensive platform. This is where Customer Data Platforms (CDP) come in, driving intelligent decision-making through the use of smart data. The CDP market continues to gain greater momentum, valued at $903.7 million in 2018 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 29.3% over the next 5 years.
What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?
Coined by noted US-based MarTech analyst – David Raab – in 2013, who defines CDP as “a marketer-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.”
Simply put, a CDP pulls together all your customer data from various online sources (including your CRM) through uncomplicated data integrations to develop a holistic 360-degree view of individual customers. This data stitched together on a single platform, helps you gain the best possible understanding of your customers.
Once you have these detailed customer profiles in place, you can leverage the power of advanced analytics to slice and dice the collected data, identify actionable insights, develop complex segmentation models, and eventually craft and deliver highly personalised, relevant, and timely multi-channel engagement campaigns. This is where you marry CDPs with the power of marketing automation.
Also Read: Dark Data, A Marketer’s Gold Mine?
What Kind of Data Points Does a CDP Unify?
Whether you have a website or a mobile app in the e-commerce, food delivery service, ride-hailing, travel, OTT, payments industry, a CDP becomes critical by capturing diverse data points.
Demographic and Geographic Data: These are basic details such as your customers’ name, gender, age, and geolocation. Contact details such as their email addresses and mobile phone numbers are also captured to provide depth to the personal data.
Psychographic Data: Over a period of time, you can enrich your customer profiles and personas by gaining greater clarity on their likes, dislikes, preferences, and intent. For instance, if you happen to be a food delivery platform when times of the day do various customers prefer placing an order? What are the kinds of cuisine that they most order
Cross-Channel and Behavioural Data: This captures data cross your customers’ various interactions across both website and mobile channels. What time do they launch the app? How do they navigate across your app before making a purchase? How much time do they spend browsing products on your website? Where did they click and how many times before adding items to their carts? This data forms the foundation to build analytical models around and eventually create a degree of predictability around your customers’ actions and inactions.
Technographic Data: We exist in a cross-device environment, where the average digital consumer possesses almost 2 connected devices.A robust CDP is capable of capturing details such as smartphone manufacturers and models, OS versions, web and mobile browsers in use. This data becomes critical in creating relevant user segments and crafting personalised push notification, in-app message, email, or SMS campaigns suited to these devices and browsers.
Product Data: These data points reflect what products, categories, genres, etc. individual customers are browsing, adding to cart, or purchasing over a period of time. Tie this back to your sales and inventory systems to ensure demand-supply gaps don’t arise.
What Else Can a CDP Capture?
CDP is the building base on which your MarTech stack is constructed on. It is also capable of interacting with your delivery platforms – systems through which you can send hyper-personalised, meaningful, and timely multi-channel engagement campaigns. Campaign data across channels can be sent back to the CDP, further enriching individual customer profiles. Do certain customers respond better to your email marketing campaigns or are you able to drive greater conversions through your app-specific push notification campaigns delivered on their smartphones? If you want to promote a time-bound sale or limited time offer, do emails or SMS work better? Campaigns sent at what time produced higher open rates and conversions?
How Can the True Potential of CDPs be Realised?
While a CDP enhances understanding of your customers at an individual level, adding a layer of intelligent marketing automation can help you maximise the impact of your CDP.
Marketing automation allows you to create and orchestrate versatile customer journeys based on pre-defined parameters at various digital touchpoints. This depends on your campaign objectives, target customer segment, and marketing budget. Also, remember that this allows you to engage with customers, through triggered, scheduled, or real-time campaigns.
For instance, when shopping online many users add items to their carts and abandon or postpone the purchase. In fact, e-commerce stores lose almost 75% of their sales due to cart abandonment. In such cases, an automated push notification within 30 minutes of a card abandonment, serves as a timely reminder to check-out. There will be some users that follow-through and complete purchase but others who ignore the message. This segment can then be targeted with a triggered email message, encouraging a transaction by offering a promotion. That’s the power of automated journey orchestration, it can be customised to serve a variety of use cases across industries.
CDPs – The Present and the Future of MarTech
At the end of the day, better customer understanding means consistently delivering differentiated and satisfactory customer experiences at scale. Employing a CDP that fits your marketing strategy and budget is central to that objective. While traditional mass marketing is still alive, hyper-personalised marketing that places a premium on building sustainable customer relationships is the way forward for brands.
And delivering the right message to the right customer on the right channel at just the right time – consistently – will help you move the needle of your marketing KPIs in the right direction.