Collecting data about customers is a burgeoning field as the new customer-centric market takes off amid technological and data collection advances. It is clear that knowing your customer better is not just an advantage, it is now an essential component of successful marketing.
As companies strive to deliver meaningful material that draws in potential customers, platforms for collecting customer data are a hot commodity.
Customer Data: Empowering Marketing Professionals
The main source of information about customers is now being packaged and sold as a CDP (Customer Data Platform). Largely executed by AI, these platforms powerfully collect data from numerous sources or touch points, which can then be broken down and analyzed to deliver relevant and personalized ads, emails, apps, and more to customers.
This tool is quickly becoming an indispensable component in every marketer’s toolbox, providing real-time customer information that can be used to power more relevant and productive marketing.
No two CDPs are the same, with some emphasizing customer insight and others emphasizing the engagement aspect of customer data. However, separating these two modes of using customer data creates an incomplete picture.
Without data insight effective engagement is less likely, and without engagement systems in place it becomes more likely that data insights might not be utilized to the greatest effect. CDPs that perform only one or the other of these functions are more likely to fall short when it comes to turning customer information into actual new customers.
A deeper look at both insight and engagement will help you to understand how a seamless data platform that incorporates both of these tools will lead to more effective customer activation.
Insight: Knowing Your Customers
Data provides insight, and insight into customers strengthens a marketer’s position. Approaching customers blindly or with impersonal or irrelevant offers and information will more often than not lead to customer disinterest at best and irritation at worst, which can be damaging to a company’s reputation as well as result in customer loss. But, for a lot of marketing professionals access to such data has been historically limited and relegated to the confines of the IT department if it was available at all.
Opening the data up to anyone in the company who can use it towards company growth is a process called data democratization. Data democratization goes hand-in-hand with the trend towards more transparent company operations in general and provides everyone in a company equal access to information that can help them excel in their positions.
CDPs take customer data a step further by aggregating and analyzing it in a way that enables powerful analytics and activation. An effective customer data platform will not only collect and organize data but will include powerful data analysis that allows marketers to perceive important insights about customers at-a-glance.
Instead of waiting on siloed data to emerge from the bowels of an IT department, CDPs allow powerful information to be at a marketer’s fingertips in real-time.
Engagement: Activating Your Customers
Being responsive to customers using real-time data allows for more effective customer engagement. Rolling the insights gained from a data collection platform into personalized customer experiences on websites, mobile apps, and even with company personnel allows customers to feel known by a company, which engenders trust and leads to retention.
While customer data is certainly valuable it doesn’t equate to growth unless it is funnelled quickly to the most appropriate channels to engage customers. An engagement system therefore is an indispensable part of customer data platforms.
Whether sending the insights to automated customer experience delivery or to people in the company who are in contact with customers, the engagement with customers is enhanced by fully-functional CDPs that streamline engagement processes.
Insight without the real-time personalized engagement it can provide is like passing the basketball around without ever taking a shot.
Failure to process customer insights in a timely fashion can lead to missed opportunities. Having a seamless connection between insight and engagement in a unified system ensures near-real-time responsiveness to customers.