Customer Data Platform

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Wonder why after you search for a particular product on the internet you’re bombarded by recommendations almost every time you’re on the web? Or, after you add a product to your cart but leave without making a purchase, it keeps showing up before you every time you’re surfing the internet? 

There’s no Math. Rather, it’s quite simple The brand that you just interacted with just integrated all your touchpoints on a customer data platform (CDP) and is trying to sell their product to you based on your actions.

Now, if you run a business that offers goods & services, you might want to learn more about CDPs. That’s what we’re going to help you with. Let’s start with the basics before we delve into the specifics.

Exploratory Research Guide

Conducting exploratory research seems tricky but an effective guide can help.

What is a Customer Data Platform

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a software that combines data from multiple sources to create a single centralized view of the customer containing data on all touch-points and interactions with your product or service. That database can then be segmented in a nearly endless number of ways to create more personalized marketing campaigns.

What is Customer Data?

Customer data is information consumers leave behind as they use the internet and interact with companies online and offline: through websites, blogs, e-commerce portals, and in-store interactions. 

There are four main kinds of customer data that Customer Data Platforms collect and organize.

  • Identity Data

Identity data builds the foundation of each customer profile in a CDP. This type of data allows businesses to uniquely identify each customer and prevent costly replications. Identity data includes: 

    • Name information, such as first and last name
    • Demographic information, such as age and gender
    • Location information, such as an address, city, and zip code
    • Contact information, such as phone number and email address
    • Social information, such as Twitter handle and LinkedIn address
    • Professional information, such as job title and company
    • Account information, such as company-specific user IDs and account numbers
  • Descriptive Data

Descriptive data expands on identity data and gives you a fuller picture of your customer. The categories of descriptive data will vary based on the type of company.

For example, a car dealership may collect lifestyle details about their customers’ cars, whereas a diaper company would collect details about the number of children in customers’ families. 

Descriptive data includes:

    • Career information, such as previous employers, industry, income, and job level
    • Lifestyle information, such as the type of home, vehicle, and pet
    • Family information, such as the number of children and marital status
    • Hobby information, such as magazine subscriptions and gym memberships
  • Quantitative or Behavioral Data

Quantitative data allows businesses to understand how each customer has engaged with their organization, whether through certain actions, reactions, or transactions. Quantitative data includes:

    • Transaction information, such as the number and type of purchased or returned products, the number of abandoned carts, and order dates
    • This information also includes RFM analysis — recency (How recent did this customer make a purchase?), frequency (How often does this customer make a purchase?), and monetary value (How much does this customer spend on a purchase?)
    • Email communication information, such as email opens, email click-throughs, email responses, and dates
    • Online activity information, such as website visits, website click-throughs, product views, and social media engagement
    • Customer service information, such as communication dates, query details, and service representative details
  • Qualitative Data

Qualitative data provides context for customer profiles; it gives customer data personality. This type of data collects any motivations, opinions, or attitudes expressed by a business’s customers — whether relevant to the company or not. Qualitative data include: 

    • Motivation information, such as How did you hear about us? Why did you purchase this?, or What made you choose this product over others?
    • Opinion information, such as How would you rate this product? How would you rate our customer service?, or How likely are you to recommend us?
    • Attitude information, such as favorite color, animal, textile, or food 

As you can see, CDPs collect and organize a wide variety of data. It’s important to note that much of the specific data and data categories will vary based on your business and industry.

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What are the benefits of a Customer Data Platform?

  • Single View of the Customer

CDPs are purpose-built to collect data from a wide range of sources, unify it together to form a comprehensive view of the customer across devices and channels, and then make that data available to other systems. That view of the customer can move with your business and customers to wherever it needs to be.

  • Agility

A CDP provides organizations a tool to build and connect a flexible technology stack that adapts to ever-changing consumer behavior and changing technology trends. By focusing on the data foundation, CDPs give businesses tools to collect data from everywhere and use it anywhere to drive better customer experiences.

  • Democratization of Data

The value of customer data extends throughout any business. Marketing, business intelligence, customer service, and beyond all depend on the availability of data to drive the business forward. A CDP democratizes access to and the ability to leverage customer data across organizational departments and customer touchpoints.

  • More Effective Customer Experience and Marketing

Customers are using more channels and devices than ever and have high expectations for being delivered a consistent customer experience. Customers do not like when they have advertised a product online that they’ve purchased in-store. With a CDP in place, organizations gain a complete view of customer behavior that can be used to drive the most comprehensive customer experience possible without blind spots.

  • Operational Efficiency

The task of integrating point solutions and setting up new technologies and tools used to be resource-intensive, while also not being very reliable as custom solutions can be hard to maintain. CDPs centralize customer data with maintained turnkey integrations saving hours of integration work. Also, audiences and business rules are set up centrally in one place and can be applied across various tools saving huge amounts of duplicated effort.

Without customers, there is no business. They truly belong at the center of all that you do, especially your marketing, and in order to place them front and center, you need real customer data.

Customer Data Platforms deliver the immediacy, accuracy, and unity that you need to keep aligning your organizations, inspiring your marketing, and engaging your customers.

Read more

Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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