If marketers were to write a customer data wish list, a single view of their customer would be sitting in the top three.
With the use of a Customer Data Platform (CDP), all their dreams have been answered. You may have heard this term used around the Slack channels, so we are here to delve deeper as to what a customer data platform is and, more importantly, how it can help your business.
Customer data platform definition
This software collects and organizes customer data from a range of different touch points on a customers’ digital journey. This real-time data creates individual, centralized customer profiles, and then saves its very own copy of this data.
The data can be further segmented in an unlimited number of ways, and these segments can be used to develop personalized marketing campaigns.
Think of the last time you made a big purchase, say it was a new TV. Your research journey may of looked a little something like this:
Googled ‘Best TV’s at the lowest cost’
Checked out a few TV review sites, articles or forums
Clicked on a number of retail websites - scrolled through their products and compared prices
During this process, there were several touch points where you had interacted with the brand that you ultimately decided to purchase from. Including google ads, website visits, social media ads and even email.
After engaging in each one of these digital touchpoints, a more personalized experience forms. The Facebook ads you see are now focused only on TVs you were looking at. The follow-up emails received seem tailored just for you.
This is the beauty of a Customer Data Platform.
Customer Data Platform Data
Altogether there are four types of data collected and stored within the customer data platform.
First-party data - takes priority within the collection of data, as it is straight from your customers, with their consent. This data is your customers' interactions within your channels.
This would include activities like making purchases, website activity, customer service calls, sales calls or email engagement. First-party data is highly reliable and accurate.
Second-party data comes from a trusted partner, meaning the quality of the data is still considered to be quite high and accurate.
What defines a trusted partner is the data they share complies with data privacy regulations, so its collection has been consented to.
Third-party data is purchased by companies or shared with other businesses, it is usually the most popular data collected.
Typically speaking, your third-party data is used to target potential new customers or personalize website content for new users.
Zero-party data is the new kid on the block. There are many similarities with first-party data so it can be slightly confusing. Basically, zero-party data is intentionally shared by a customer to the brand.
They have communicated their preferences with the brand, for example how they want to be contacted - email vs SMS. Or what interests them and what type of content they want to receive.
Benefits of a customer data platform
From what you know so far, a customer data platform collects a huge amount of customer information. Which is true! But let’s explore some of the other purposes.
Gather and consolidate data
There are numerous touchpoints customers visit, email, website, social media, just to name a few. Without a CDP to consolidate all this data, it can create data silos. This is where the availability of specific data can only be seen individually, or by one department, causing data isolation.
Basically, you’re unable to see the complete picture. This can be extremely detrimental. Not only can it jeopardize your customer profile’s accuracy, but it can reduce productivity and departmental collaboration.
The use of a customer data platform means all your key marketing data can be brought together to be one source of truth, making it much easier to analyze and gain a better picture of your customers.
Manages customer data
There are specific rules and regulations linked to collecting first-party data and providing consent for consumer privacy.
Don’t worry, your customer data platform is there to manage this and streamline the flow of data between the various marketing systems, all while complying with the numerous global regulations.
Activating customer data
Once consent has been granted to collect first-party data, and the data has been gathered and consolidated, it’s time to put this data-rich knowledge to work.
The use of a CDP will allow you to essentially see what your customers want and how they want to interact with you, to then create tailored customer segments to be used across all your marketing platforms and channels. Providing a personal experience along the way.
For example, it’s coming up to Valentine’s Day and you have a lingerie sale on at the moment but you’re really looking to re-engage customers who have not purchased with you for a while.
Your CDP has collected all this information so you can build a personalized experience for the following customer base - women, who have not shopped with you in the last 60 days. With a CDP that includes marketing automation like Ortto, you can then set up a campaign offering them a discount code or offer to get them back on board, rolled out over email or SMS (depending on your customer’s preference). Then you can re-target them through social or website ads.
Did we mention that Ortto has the functionality to do all of this plus more. The combinations of creating individualized customer experiences are limitless.
With so many acronyms flying around, sometimes CRM can get mixed up with CDP. They are, however, very different.
CRM is technology that assists in managing the relationships and interactions companies’ have with their current and potential customers. The other difference being CRM’s are not typically known to consolidate and analyze data from various sources.
A CRM system is more sales based than a CDP, which is more marketing based.
The goal of a CRM is to help companies and customers stay connected, nurture relationships and overall boost profitability.
Customer data platform vs data management platform (DMP)
A data management platform has a more skewed focus towards advertising, and acquiring new customers. The difference between the data collection of DMP and CDP , is DMP data will most likely be anonymous, and only retained for a short period of time, usually three months.
In other words, DMP collects data from cookies. That’s right, every time you click on ‘accept cookies’ this is where your data is headed. That prompt in itself, is somewhat of a new barrier for digital marketers.
It’s all part of these new-ish privacy regulations, where browsers like Google, Safari and Firefox will no longer be supporting data collection from third-party cookies. This was classified as the easier method for attributing ad spend and determining the identity of users across the different devices and domains.
Why will a Customer Data Platform help my business?
Whether they know it or not, customers provide a little snippet of detail about themselves each time they visit a different digital touchpoint.
By collecting all this data from each interaction, a strong customer profile is built that becomes very valuable to your marketing team.
We’ve narrowed it down to 6 key benefits your business will encounter when using a Customer Data Platform like Ortto.
A unified customer profile
View all of your customer data through a single customer profile. CDP’s are designed to consolidate data from a wide range of digital touchpoints across devices and channels, then unify it.
Ortto’s customer data platform brings together your customer, transactional and behavioral data from all of your data sources. This will unlock complete visibility into your customers to then create unique and truly remarkable customer experiences.
Flexibility and agility
People change. Whether it's their online behavior or personal preferences, half the battle marketers face is keeping up-to-date with their customers’ preferences. Using a CDP does all the hard work for you, as it continually updates the new behaviors and learnings from your ever-changing users.
If conditions or the market changes overnight, your business can leverage your CDP to pivot and transform your customer experiences quickly. Beating your competitors to it.
Improved customer experience
Customers expect brands to have flawless, consistent experiences across all their channels and devices. Nothing is more frustrating than being targeted by an ad of the product you have just purchased! Using a CDP will provide a single view of the customer and their behavior, and you can use this data to drive a remarkable customer experience.
Efficient cross-channel marketing communications
More likely than not, your business is partaking in multiple marketing activities. Using a CDP breaks down the barrier of communication, education and sharing between all these channels, it will unify all data systems across your business. Resulting in more detailed modeling, targeting and personalization within your marketing activities.
The CDP will also automate any manual tasks like updating any new data, so you can focus your time on the bigger, strategic tasks at hand.
Understanding of your audiences
By segmenting your data your business can have a much better understanding of your customers. Ortto’s CDP will easily segment your customer data and funnel it down over devices, channels across demographics, firmographics, geographical, behavioral and transactional data. With 80% of consumers more likely to purchase from a company that has provided a personalized experience, using this segmented data and creating a hyper-personalized experience will only positively impact your business and therefore, revenue.
Unleash the power of CDP for your whole team
A customer data platform sparks collaborativity. Your data is not siloed when you’re using a CDP as it gathers data across the enterprise and numerous customer touchpoints.
This consolidation of data allows your business to ensure consistent and comprehensive customer experience as every department is working with the same customer profiles. It empowers your whole team to make better, data-driven decisions.
Want to explore using a customer data platform? Or have more questions of integrating your business with one? Visit Ortto to sign up for a free 14-day trial or request a demo. Once you experience the full capabilities of Ortto’s CDP, there’ll be no turning back.
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“We were looking for a solution that was really easy to use, didn’t require a tech team, and would have a robust integration with Salesforce so we could trigger sales communications in a smarter way. Nobody else out there has what Ortto has.”