Marketers have more data at their disposal than ever before. But actually collecting this wealth of data from disparate silos into one usable platform is a hurdle for many brands, resulting in a series of missed opportunities. Fortunately, an enterprise customer data platform (CDP) solves your customer data problem so you can focus on your business. Below Rob Glickman, CMO, Treasure Data, gives us insights on five most essential functions of an enterprise-grade customer data platform to help simplify the must-haves
Marketers have more data at their disposal than ever before. But actually collecting this wealth of data from disparate silos into one usable platform is a hurdle for many brands, resulting in a series of missed opportunities.
As we are constantly reminded, true competitive advantage for brands lies in creating an engaging customer experience, but most are not quite sure how to get there. The explosion of customer data has created opportunities to adapt your business to meet the needs of your customers and a few big players, such as Amazonand Netflix, successfully use customer data to deliver personalized, unique and delightful customer experiences. The gap between those who have achieved a data-driven, customer-centric business and those have not is growing rapidly. In order to close the gap, unifying data from disparate silos in a way that is relevant, timely and actionable becomes an imperative — not a nice-to-have.
Fortunately for you, an enterprise customer data platform (CDP) solves your customer data problem so you can focus on your business. Below, I’ve put together the five most essential functions of an enterprise-grade customer data platform to help simplify the must-haves.
1. Unite Your Data for Personalization: Integrate and unite your data for a single, complete view of your customer to provide the best profile possible . Your customer data platform must integrate with all available data sources, including point of sale, IoT, web, CRM, billing, and mobile, including offline, batch and streaming. Not only is this crucial in collecting the growing volumes of data generated across channels, but it also makes it easier to understand each and every interaction with your brand.
We know from our own daily experience as consumers that people are increasingly impatient, and expect a branded app or website to save us time, cater to our needs and interests, and create a seamless experience across channels. Netflix, Spotify and Amazon have the personalization factor nailed down. And only by creating a complete, unified customer profile across all touchpoints can this become a reality for the rest of us.
2. Make Your Data Work for You: Your data should be making your job easier, not harder — and you shouldn’t have to go to IT or any other team to have access to your customer data. Beyond being at your fingertips, you should be able to drill down on certain data sets without extra effort to define the set. That means that you need a platform that allows for “schemaless ingestion” to aggregate data from different sources with ease. Why? Because this gives you access to data that you didn’t know existed, even as your available information develops and evolves over time, and allows you to analyze it after you’ve bought it in, rather than you being forced to understand and be aware of the format and structure of the data in detail before your system receives it. May sound like a technical footnote but it’s super important.
3. Never Purge Your Data: You should be able to maintain a persistent view of all the customer data available without a pending expiration date or limitation. Many martech applications purge data after 90 days – but in order to best understand your customer, the ability to query your data for insights without limitations of scale or data history is key.
A great example for retailers is utilizing customer insights from past holiday seasons to design campaigns for the upcoming year ahead. What worked and what didn’t? Engagement strategies can only be improved upon if there’s something to reference.
4. Insist on Proven Scalability: The worst thing you can do is get stuck with a CDP that can’t grow with your company or handle scale and complexity. Being able to invest billions of events daily sounds neat, but what does it really mean for marketers? Scalability allows you to achieve deeper insights and greater effectiveness because you have access to more data, quickly and without the need for IT resources.
5. Ignore the One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Let’s face it, there’s complexity involved when you do business at scale. Only you understand what’s best for your brand. With a CDP, demand the flexibility and adaptability that your business requires. You need a platform that enables you to conduct your business in unique ways, grow, and adapt with change. A one-size-fits-all will not drive competitive advantage and will probably get you further in the hole of fragmented martech that us marketers already find ourselves in.
At the end of the day, your martech stack is only as good as the data going into it and your ability to access that data. A Customer Data Platform that is built for any data set that a marketer can dream up can dramatically improve the results and act as an engine of growth for you and your business.