In the data race, customer data platforms are the head startby
The world of marketing has witnessed a surge in data utilisation. However, effective data use remains a challenge for retailers. Greg Blazewicz highlights the overlooked potential of CDPs in improving data quality and delivering personalised experiences.
The realm of marketing has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the utilisation of data in recent years. As technology continues to advance, businesses have recognised the immense value of data in understanding consumer behaviour, optimising campaigns and driving growth. The proliferation of digital channels, social media platforms, and eCommerce has resulted in an exponential increase in the volume and variety of data available to marketers.
By harnessing this wealth of data, marketers can gain valuable insights into their target audience, identify emerging trends and tailor their messaging and offers with remarkable precision. Advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms enable marketers to delve deep into customer preferences, helping to predict future behaviour and deliver personalised experiences that resonate with individuals on a more profound level.
Or at least this is what it should be doing - effective data use still remains a key issue for retailers. According to Retail Touchpoints, 34% of retailers highlight “non-centralised” customer data as a key obstacle. Additionally, 30% of retailers expressed that accessing this data is not convenient for those who require it.
Retailers now need data, but data is useless if not used effectively. So, how can retailers make the most of their data? One way is through a customer data platform, something that 59% of marketing leaders think is currently overlooked.
54% of marketing leaders say CDPs lead to improved quality data, here’s how…
The modern eCommerce world encompasses a growing number of customer touchpoints, from website activity and emails to social media and apps. Treating these channels independently can create data silos — the enemy of any marketing department — and, of course, hinder the overall quality of data on customer habits and trends.
A CDP is a single source of truth, collecting and unifying customer data from across a company’s touchpoints and sources.
A CDP is a single source of truth, collecting and unifying customer data from across a company’s touchpoints and sources — and even legacy systems like CRMs — into one central database. The platform is then able to create individual 360-degree customer profiles using zero- and first-party data to provide a unified and detailed overview of each customer.
Zero-party data is provided voluntarily by the customer and gathered using devices such as surveys, pop-ups and preference centres. This way, brands can hear first-hand what types of information the customer wishes to receive in return for incentives such as discount codes. First-party data details customer activity across a retailer’s website, apps and social media, illustrating traits such as what products customers are looking at, what posts they are liking and how long they are looking at said items.
By having oversight of this actionable data in customer profiles, marketers can then deliver far more personalised, relevant and ‘in touch’ campaigns on both an individual and audience level.
86% of retail leaders are confident in measuring the quality and impact of CDPs once implemented
The coveted holy grail for marketers is to position themselves as a trusted revenue partner for their CEO — there is often a demand and expectation placed on them by the senior leadership team to prove the return on investment (ROI) of campaigns, content and, crucially, the technology being used to facilitate this.
Through having a central hub of data, marketers have the stats and evidence at their fingertips to analyse conversion rates and determine ROI on every marketing activity. The CDP, for instance, can provide marketing attribution analytics, which essentially set out a detailed timeline of events of the factors that have led a customer to any given conversion point. This helps marketers to measure conversion at both specific points and for the entire sales and marketing process.
Through having a central hub of data, marketers have the stats and evidence at their fingertips to analyse conversion rates and determine ROI.
Powered by AI and combined with human intelligence, the platform can also provide guidance and predictive analysis on what strategies are working and what can be improved, helping to outline customer loyalty, churn and conversion rates in the process. This all allows the CDP to prove its own ROI at the same time.
39% of senior marketers don’t know what a CDP is, and 59% think they are overlooked — retailers must act fast to make the most out of their data
As CDPs make their mark on eCommerce and marketing, competition could grow rapidly in this space. Customer expectations are constantly changing, with personalised emails and targeted social media posts now becoming a formality in marketing communication (especially by the top brands).
This is all being driven by CDPs. Without access to the necessary customer data to tailor communication and measure its impact, or the technological capability to carry this out, marketers are hindered in their ability to carry out effective campaigns.
Likewise, if marketers aren’t aware of a CDP’s capabilities or companies are shunning its use, this is simply allowing competitors to pull further away. With the insight and automation capabilities a CDP offers, it’s pretty much an unfair playing ground if a company doesn't have one. And if they’re late to adopting the technology, they’re playing catch-up with the leading pack.
A CDP gives marketers a centralised platform of quality data that enables them to gain a much deeper understanding of their audience.
A CDP gives marketers a centralised platform of quality data that enables them to gain a much deeper understanding of their audience. It provides the evidence that allows the marketing department to show its worth, proving the ROI of both its own strategies and the technology itself.
It’s telling that nearly two fifths of marketers aren’t even aware of a CDP. As the data race picks up, getting to know a CDP could give them a head start in turbocharging their campaigns and, ultimately, driving growth.