The number of data sources is rapidly increasing, and brands need to determine a way to harness information to bring value to their customers’ experiences. This is where a customer data platform (CDP) can transform a brand’s marketing abilities. John Massie, Product Marketing Manager at Sitecore, met with Modern Marketing Today to discuss the value a CDP can bring to any brand. #marketing #martech
Modern Marketing Today (MMT): Can you tell us about the value of a customer data platform?
John Massie (JM): The amount of data that is accessible to marketers continues to increase rapidly. Because of this deluge of data, companies struggle to sort through, understand, and apply the data to achieve their goals. Data is also often stored in silos, making it very difficult for companies to provide consistent customer experiences across channels. A customer data platform helps companies centralize data management so that data can be turned into meaningful actions that serve customers and drive business outcomes.
I like to think of CDPs as a dynamic multi-tasker that is tirelessly working behind the scenes to manage, process, and convert data into meaningful customer experiences. One of those core jobs is ingesting data from all different sources – web, email, mobile apps, service tickets, and even offline interactions — and unifying customer profiles to give businesses a more complete picture of who is interacting with them. By doing this, brands can deliver a holistic, consistent customer experience. The CDP develops a 360-degree view of the customer no matter the channel they use to access a brand.
With third-party cookies set to be phased out by the end of 2022, the case for investing in a CDP couldn’t be stronger. Businesses will need to rely on first-party data (data you collect directly from your customers and audiences through interactions with them) more than ever. This is where CDPs really shine. They let organizations get the biggest band for the buck out of their hard-earned data assets.
MMT: How can organizations use this platform to gain valuable insights about their customers?
JM: It starts with connecting the dots between the different data points. Since the CDP creates a unified source of visitor and customer intelligence through integrating data sources, companies can view their customers holistically, rather than in channel-specific vacuums. This single source of truth is immensely valuable. It can serve as a foundation for AI-driven recommendations for the next-best-action, offer, or experience that will delight the customer wherever they are in their customer journey. A CDP platform can fuel smarter analytics that help marketers develop campaigns with pinpoint accuracy. Additionally, these platforms can serve as the foundation for product releases, enabling product teams to reduce risk and incorporate more real-time feedback. There are so many benefits to businesses that leverage CDPs and get data right.
MMT: Are there any use cases you would like to share with us?
JM: Jetstar, one of the Asia Pacific’s largest low-fare airlines, operates over 4,000 flights a week to more than 75 destinations. Over eight months, a CDP helped them recover almost $7 million in additional revenue from one implementation of intelligent cart recovery emails. When customers search for flights and start to check-out but abandon the process, intelligent cart recovery allowed Jetstar to communicate to these customers with highly personalized emails. The content and imagery in these emails were customized to match customer behavior and the context of flight location. For instance, if a customer were interested in flying to Paris, the email would remind them of the flight and show images of the Eiffel Tower. This type of valuable customized imagery requires many data systems to work together to develop a highly personalized message. Urgency messaging and recommended check-out upgrades are two other ways CDPs can increase revenue and the customer experience.
MMT: Why are solutions like this important today?
JM: It really comes down to how much data is out there. On average, every human created 1.7 MB of data per second last year, and that number is only growing. CDPs help businesses make sense of this incredible amount of noise. Secondly, with the decline of the third-party cookie, brands need to ensure that they are being smart and transparent in how they’re using customers’ first-party data. CDPs allow brands to work with the data explicitly given to them by customers, building trust rather than eroding it by following them around the internet with cookies.
MMT: Do you have any final thoughts to share?
JM: At the end of the day, data simply represents what your customers are telling you. The smartest companies are those that have figured out how to listen effectively, in a way that is transparent, secure, and respects privacy. And once they have their ear to the ground, companies need to formulate their response and meet customers where they are, regardless of what channel they’re using. CDPs serve as the foundation for this conversation.