From Data Silos to Customer Insights: Why you need a Customer Data Platform
How much do you know about your customers, their preferences and needs? In this blog post, we look at how, by eliminating data silos and unify customer data, you can increase profitability by driving customer value, retention and revenue.
Over the last few months we have considered the merits of an Open Digital Experience Platform and a Personalisation Strategy that have become especially poignant with the almost wholesale move to digital brought on by the recent pandemic. Key to understanding both, is the data that they are, or should be, predicated on.
Marketing professionals have become aware that siloed data sources lead to incomplete customer experiences and disparate marketing channels lead to asynchronous communications, ultimately damaging customer satisfaction and revenue.
This is where a relatively new technology comes into play: a Customer Data Platform (CDP).
What exactly is a CDP?
The CDP Institute defines a Customer Data Platform as “a packaged software that creates a persistent, consistent customer database that is accessible to other systems.”
To go further, a CDP unifies and centralises disparate customer data, making it available in real-time for segmentation, campaign automation and personalisation. By using an intuitive user interface, segments and cross-channel campaigns can be created without reliance on IT.
Why should you consider a CDP?
People are increasingly using digital channels as their first port of call when it comes to interacting and transacting with companies and brands – this has further become the norm rather than the exception this year as people limit their social interaction.
One of the foremost authorities on CDPs, David Rabb, points out: “[Consumers] simply assume that your company knows – and remembers – who they are, what they’ve done, and what they want, at all times and across all channels.”
But there is a problem of sorts. Rabb continues: “A unified customer experience is impossible without unified customer data. Most data originates in separate systems that weren’t designed to share it with anything else. Traditional methods for collecting that data into unified customer profiles, such as an enterprise data warehouse, have failed to solve the problem.”
A CDP heralds a new approach that puts marketing professionals in the driving seat. It negates information silos, a reliance on IT and uses AI to automate real-time personalisation that people want and expect.
What are the benefits of a CDP?
At a high level, a CDP:
- Unifies customer data from multiple systems
- Becomes the bedrock of your personalisation strategy and efforts
- Matches multiple data points about a customer, giving you a 360° view
- Gives marketing professionals insights, enabling them to make better decisions
- Is integral component of your DXP, allowing you to create a better customer experience
- Builds real-time behavioural segments and analyses your audience
- Gives transparency in your marketing efforts, you can see exactly what marketing campaigns are working
- Ensures no reliance on your IT department, a CDP is an intuitive platform for marketing and campaign execution
Is there an Open Source CDP Offering?
In 2019, our partner, Acquia, acquired the open source CDP company AgilOne. This was a strategic move to add to its Digital Experience Platform (DXP) offering and now forms an integral part of their Marketing Cloud.
As I previously mentioned in a recent blog post: “[Acquia's] open DXP enables companies unlock content and data to accelerate digital transformation, deliver digital experiences that engage consumers while also growing revenue.” AgilOne, now called Acquia Customer Data Platform, serves as the unifying data source that dovetails with other DXP offerings such as Acquia Personalization and Acquia Campaign Factory.
"What sets AgilOne apart from other CDPs are its machine learning capabilities, which intelligently segment customers and predict customer behaviours (such as when a customer is likely to purchase something). This allows for the creation and optimization of next-best action models to optimize offers and messages to customers on a 1:1 basis.”
Dries Buytaert, CTO, Acquia and Drupal Project Founder
Unlocking customer data to gain insight and discover true customer intent has become the holy grail for marketing professionals.
Not only does a CDP give you detailed 360° customer profiles along with the ability to leveraging data-driven personalisation, but ultimately it should increase revenue and a more focused customer experience.
A single source of the truth for customer data should now be there kernel of your marketing endeavours.
Do you want to learn how to activate your customer data?
Annertech can help you make sense of the customer data journey and how it can reap real business benefit.
Gary Cosgrave Commercial Director
Gary is Annertech's Commercial Director and over the last 20 years has advised clients in both the public and private sector in digital adoption and achieving meaningful ROI.