Updated: Jan 10
As marketers, we are under increasing pressure to find ways to reach our customers more meaningfully and effectively. But how can we deliver experiences that stand out from the rest? Through the power of a customer data platform (CDP). A CDP allows you to understand your customers better, track their interactions with your brand across devices and channels, leverage insights from their behaviors and preferences, create targeted campaigns based on those learnings—and much more. This blog post will explore foundational use cases for a CDP that enable marketers like you to increase customer engagement and quickly get real business value through powerful first-party data insights. Let’s dive in!
When you are early in your customer data maturity, your objective is streamlining data procedures, and deploying cutting-edge marketing technologies is paramount to success.
In your business, it's not only the marketing team that will be affected by creating and connecting unified customer data to relevant BI, analytics tools, and marketing platforms. All staff members must come together to ensure the successful execution of this task.
The basic use cases you require for your business are based on the value sought. Customers now have higher expectations than ever; more than 60% say they expect companies to meet their needs, so you better have that centralized view of the customer. Here are three examples of how CDP can accomplish that goal.
1 Effectiveness and efficiency from utilizing new tools while providing access to data for everyone
Nowadays, marketers have high expectations to remain up-to-date with the ever-changing needs of their businesses and customers. However, they face difficulty achieving these goals due to limited technical resources to implement new tools successfully. A strategically-implemented CDP helps democratize unified access to data, delivering and preserving clean and comprehensive feeds for different business stakeholders' systems through pre-built connectors or APIs without engineering assistance. A CDP's capabilities should be fast, precise, and efficient in creating, updating, and deploying targeted audiences to advertising/marketing platforms. This eliminates the manual list pulls that have been a requirement in the past!
Use case: Improve data availability and performance of mobile apps
Many modern beauty retailers have realized that their customer base prefers to shop online but only if it feels like they are a part of a larger community where they can get advice and recommendations and see other users’ reviews. Creating a community and giving them ways to pay via an app is the best way to deliver a great experience as customers go about their day, but launching an app can require significant engineering resources and the implementation of many third-party vendors, including the payment processors themselves.
Using a CDP helps retailers streamline the process of launching and maintaining a mobile app by providing integration with leading marketing, analytics, and BI tools. With a CDP as a mobile data layer, brands can create and launch stable applications and provide customers with the features they want while minimizing lag and downtime. The last thing you want is for your app to feel sluggish.
Improving agility within the organization, democratized data access allows cooperation between teams without slowing down the development cycle. Each team can use customer data to create the best customer experience or journey.
2 Improve efficiency and sales effectiveness by enhancing the existing analytics and attribution capabilities
Internet users primarily engage with content through browsers, making it indispensable for marketing companies. Consequently, web analytics are essential to measuring the success of any digital strategy; however, due to the surge of mobile and connected device use, organizations need to consider collecting data from each touchpoint across a customer's journey to understand how these interactions shape their behavior. This can be tough because legacy systems are not built with mobile in mind, but a CDP can help; using mobile-specific SDKs to collect data from apps and then delivering it to web analytics platforms creates a complete view of the customer’s journey and enables further analysis and attribution.
By comprehensively understanding the customer journey, marketers no longer have to depend solely on last-click attribution. With a CDP at their fingertips, they can experiment and combine various methods for assigning importance to each interaction to identify which works best. Marketers can utilize data from this platform as input into these tools without needing to separately instrument every attribution tool out there. A CDP can also track the long-term performance of customers acquired through advertising by associating campaign membership with full customer lifecycle events and attributes with acquisition sources to inform strategic resource allocation decisions or direct systems that programmatically calculate bids to reflect each value opportunity. This means the customer journey doesn't end at purchase; rather, there are opportunities for sales and retention throughout the customer lifecycle.
Use case: Better marketing attribution
Analyzing customer data from various channels and devices can be incredibly daunting for online retailers, making it hard to determine which engagements were most impactful in fostering conversions. Fortunately, attribution providers are here to assist - but only after companies accurately assess the level of sophistication needed and find the right vendor with the proper methodology. Engineering teams expend energy and resources integrating customer data to what seems like the ideal attribution vendor, only later to discover that this vendor lacks the necessary capabilities.
A CDP can solve this issue by simplifying the data integration and connecting appropriate information from other third-party vendors. Pre-made connectors to key attribution providers make integrating customer data from your CDP effortless and require minimal engineering resources. With the swift and effortless integration of attribution systems, marketers can try out diverse vendors and techniques in contrast to each other without getting concerned about growing engineering debt. Secondly, a CDP serves as the cornerstone of customer data for all systems connected; connecting internal warehouses and CRM data with the records from attribution vendors allows marketers to identify which sources yield high-value customers. With this understanding, they can invest more in campaigns that will increase conversions while reducing unnecessary costs.
3 Ensure the roadmap’s accuracy and deliver a top-notch product.
To ensure their customers receive the most optimal product, brands must create an efficient roadmap that never compromises the user experience. For core apps specifically, this calls for reducing reliance on third-party code which can add to maintenance strain and potentially obstruct the customer journey. Consequently, engineering teams can concentrate more energy on creating a better service instead of focusing solely on upkeep tasks.
Acting as the primary data repository, a CDP can effortlessly accumulate first, second and third-party data from one endpoint and provide it to multiple systems without burdening your application with additional technical demands. With a centralized data layer, users will remain unaffected as new tools and updates are added or existing schemas get modified. By reducing our reliance on third-party code, engineering and product teams can avoid unexpected SDK implementation and upkeep projects demanded by marketing or other stakeholders, thus allowing them to focus their energy on developing the most unique and advanced products.
Use case: Improve end-user app experience
For retailers striving to cultivate a deeper connection with their customers beyond the classic in-store purchase, apps can be an ideal way to carry on that association. Crafting an app that functions efficiently and allows customers to view products, communicate with other shoppers, or even share their experiences on social media is no trivial matter. Merchants must use cutting-edge third-party tools for a successful adoption rate, but the SDKs of each tool need to be integrated individually, which can take its toll on your app's stability. Instead of juggling multiple vendors' standalone SDKs, merchants should opt for a centralized mobile data layer like CDP, where all necessary features are available in one place.
By utilizing a CDP to share data among vendors in the app's stack, apps can benefit from top-notch performance while staying secure and swift. As a bonus, limiting third-party SDK integration lowers the maintenance time, freeing up engineering resources for other tasks.
If you want to increase customer engagement, a CDP is a tool for you. You can create targeted campaigns that drive real business value by understanding your customers better and leveraging powerful first-party data insights. Contact us today to learn more about how a CDP can help your business. We'll work with you to create a roadmap to the right customers for your brand.