Adrienne dropped her phone for the hundredth time, and as expected, it fell into pieces. It was time to purchase a new mobile phone. However, the process was tedious. Adrienne was bustling between social media posts, Google search, and Amazon, before making a footfall in the store, itself.
Adrienne’s path to purchase was anything but linear. And that’s so true for all shoppers out there. It’s common to find potential customers zig-zagging between a brand’s e-commerce site, blogs, product listings, and others before making a purchase.
But, how can your brand keep up with several of these customer touchpoints, and importantly, keep them engaged throughout their buying journey?
Thanks to Customer Data Platform(CDP) that makes this process easier!
While your customers are imprinting a million touchpoints and interactions with your brand, with a CDP, you can garner unique and unified views into your customers’ minds and needs.
Let’s delve deep to understand how your brand can benefit from a unified customer data platform. Bookmark this for future reading and use the section links to jump to your favourite part.
Table of Contents
CDP is a database Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite that helps you create persistent and unified records of all your customers. An ideal CDP is one that integrates with your existing data and facilitates easy retrieval of the same.
You can build the complete picture of your customers on an individual level with the CDP. What’s more, with such 360-degree customer profile views, you can endorse marketing personalization in all your campaigns.
To illustrate this, let’s present a case in point.
Say Brand X is trying to get a better understanding of its customers. It could use its CDP to collect data from touchpoints like social channels, website, e-mail, and all other places of potential interactions.
Then, the CPD would unify all the collected data to fabricate an easily understandable customer profile and make it usable to other systems that might need it – like the Google Ads or Facebook Ads platform.
This process allows Brand X to segment, and formulate more personalized marketing campaigns like the disruptive giants - Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Netflix that are revolutionizing the way they do business by constantly getting to know their customers on an individual level.
Thus, Brand X could easily create an advertising audience based on those who have visited a specific page on their website. Personalization marketing accomplished!
Just like Brand X, the multitude of brands with limited resources and tech talents could also compete in the market by leveraging CDP.
“How does CDP work in improving personalization?”
The question is ringing in your mind, right?
Well, in the retail industry, especially, CDP takes personalized marketing to the next level. Here’s how: It unifies all data silos to ensure that your customers are engaged with your brand, at the right time, every time.
Let’s see this in action.
CDP for Intent-Based Targeting
Let’s imagine that a new user comes to your retail brand’s website with an intent to buy a particular product but abandons the cart. Now, to track this anonymous user and re-engage him with your brand, your marketing team has to get his identity.
And how can they achieve this?
Via a unified customer data platform, they can track the anonymous user’s cookie, and voila, you are good to go with your personalized marketing campaign!
CDP for Behaviour-Based Targeting
Another means of enhancing your customer experience is by mapping your retail customer’s online shopping behaviour with offline purchases. With your CDP, you can keep track of customer journeys and assist your marketing team in engaging prospects with the right offer in real-time.
For instance, let’s say that Adrienne visited the brand’s website and added the mobile phone to the cart. However, let’s assume that she didn’t complete the purchase and dropped off. Later, say, she visits the store and gets a mobile app notification with a customized offer for the mobile phone she had earlier selected online. Adrienne would immediately buy the phone from the store.
So, what are all the technicalities involved?
The CDP working in the background has basically recorded Adrienne’s geofence trigger in real-time. And by looking at her past activity online, through CDP, Adrienne’s experience is enriched in-store.
These are a few examples that mark how CDP translates marketing to sales. Now that you understand how important this technology is, let’s walk you through the components that make the ideal Customer Data Platform.
The staple modules of a customer data platform include the following:
· Data Collection
· Data Unification
· Audience Segmentation
· Campaign Activation
The CDP collects and loads data from multiple customer data sources in real-time. This includes server data, websites, CRM, e-mail, etc.
Once the platform collects data from different touchpoints, it consolidates them to unify the customer profiles of a single person.
Through its web-based user-interface, CDP empowers your marketing team to segment customers into custom audiences.
This module is designed to push segmented data out to other platforms and external systems like the web, social media, e-mail, to facilitate personalized marketing campaigns.
Enlightened by the components of a CDP, are you now wondering what kind of data it collects? Let’s get you in the know.
The prime reason why you need to have a CDP in place is because of the cruciality of customer data. It is indispensable for both business and marketing operations. Andideally, there are four kinds of customer data that a CDP collects and organizes.
· Identity Data
· Descriptive Data
· Behavioural Data
· Qualitative Data
In a CDP, itis the identity data that builds the foundation of each customer profile. This form of data will help your business to uniquely identify each customer and prevent costly silos. Name, demographics, contact, and professional information are some examples of identity data.
This is an expansion of identity data. So, with the descriptive data, you can get a fuller picture of your customer. Subject to the kind of industry you serve, the type of descriptive data you ought to collect would differ.
For instance, if you are a diaper retailing company, you would want to collect details about the number of children in your customers’ families.
And in principle, information about your customers’ career, lifestyle, family, and hobby would constitute the descriptive data.
By gathering behavioural data, you’d be able to delineate how each customer has engaged with your brand. This could include information on customer transactions, e-mail communications, online activities, and information gathered during customer service.
It is qualitative data that provides the context for your customer profiles. It gives a persona to the raw collected data. This includes information on customer motivations, opinions, and attitudes.
For instance, getting to know how your customers heard of you or bought your product would bean example of motivation information.
Getting to know how your customers would rate your products or services is opinionated information. And lastly, gathering inputs of your customers’ favourite colour, animal, etc. would curate the attitude information.
Both CDP and CRM are useful tools that collect customer data to offer value to your organization. However, there are tangible differences between the two. In its crux, CDP autonomously creates unified customer profiles with the data gathered across a variety of online channels. But a CRM tracks only your customer’s intent with your brand through manual entry.
The following are some of the key differentiators of CDP and CRM.
CDP: Collects data on anonymous visitors.
CRM: Reports only on known and potential customers.
CDP: Analyzes lifetime customer behaviour and buying journeys.
CRM: Analyzes sales pipeline and forecasting.
CDP: Tracks both online and offline data.
CRM: Cannot track offline data unless manually entered.
CDP: Built to handle multiple data points from a large number of resources. Chances of data silos and replication are slim.
CRM: Collects individually entered data. If mishandled, data can get lost or mislabeled.
Just like how a CDP and CRM are similar yet so different in their functionality, another data platform that you can get CDP confused with is the Data Management Platform(DMP). Here, you need to understand that CDPs work with both anonymous and known individuals. On the other hand, DMPs work solely with anonymous entities.
Their differences do not stop there. Find out more on customer data platform vs data management platform through the differentiating features below.
CDP: Collects and manages first-party data via the company’s digital properties.
DMP: Leverages third-party data such as website, social channels, etc.
CDP: Can be verified, so data is more accurate.
DMP: Cannot be verified, hence, data is inaccurate.
CDP: Acquired data can be retained as per business needs.
DMP: Data is generally retained for a shorter duration (typically 60 to 90 days).
CDP: Makes real-time database updates possible.
DMP: Makes only scheduled database updates possible.
CDP: Using all the acquired information creates a 360-degree view of customers.
DMP: Based on the cookie IDs and demographics, helps in customer segmentation.
CDP: Not possible to create cohorts without a DMP.
DMP: Possible to create cohorts without a CDP.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
CDP: Collects PII
DMP: Does not collect PII
With a CDM, your marketing team can save plenty of time. When taking customer data points from various marketing and customer service channels, the process can become cumbersome and time-consuming.
However, integrating the CDP with your CRM will bring all your data together, automatically. This way, you can garner a single customer view instantly.
Even at the best of times, working with large datasets is tricky. And in some instances, it’s impossible to achieve what you hope for without a CDP. Because, if you’re working with small datasets, spreadsheets, would do fine. However, it’s going to be extremely difficult to do even basic filtering while working with bigdata.
Into the bargain, excel has its limits on the number of rows and columns you could have. So, you’d have to split your database numerous times to repeat the same tasks over and over again. And if you’ve got over a hundred thousand contacts, aka, big data, upgrading to a CDP is your only go.
When you try something clever with personalization, without a CDP, it can fail momentously. This is because you’d get your key information wrong and then the relationship that you’ve been trying to nurture for so long would sour.
For instance, imagine sending Adrienne an e-mail product recommendation, including the mobile phone she had just bought.
Big fail, right?
Now that’s just a hypothetical scenario. But without a CDP, there exists a real risk of this happening.
The catch? Your customers would realize that your messages were automated. And it would not only irritate them but would also lessen the momentum with which they’d engage with your business. Here’s where by leveraging a CDP, you can get an accurate view of your customers’ purchase history across in-store and online channels.
There is a high probability that you’d land up with duplicate records for the same customer when you work with disparate data sources. You’d be left with pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that have to be solved to curate personalization in your marketing. And CDP joins the dots for you by weaving customer identities from various touchpoints.
With a CDP, you can analyze your customers’ behaviours and answer vital questions about your clientele base. Thanks to the CDP’s instant access to consolidated cross-channel data that makes this feat possible.
And here are some of the insights you can garner through your CDP:
· List of churning customers
· List of loyal customers
· List of popular products
· List of customers nearing the end of their subscriptions
…and so on
Do you believe that your business can benefit from a CDP? We agree! It has countless benefits, and can surely take your marketing efforts from good to great.
For your small to mid-sized retail business, try leveraging Ingage, an AI-driven automated customer engagement platform integrated with CDP features.
Ingage helps you unify customer data from multiple touchpoints to use them in your segmentation and personalized marketing campaigns.