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Customer Data Platforms: Unifying Data For Enhanced Marketing Success

Customer Data Platforms in Marketing

The broad availability of data about customers has changed how marketers operate. Today, marketers have a wealth of data and the opportunity to put that data to work. 

Data-driven marketing decisions lead to better campaign results and better return on investment. Without data and analysis, even the top marketing teams wouldn’t be able to make optimal marketing decisions at every turn. 

Marketers need the right software tools to help them collect and analyze their data. Customer data platforms fit in that category. In this article, we’ll review what exactly these platforms are and how they can help marketing teams succeed.  

What are Customer Data Platforms?

Customer data platforms, or CDPs, are digital software solutions that aggregate data from various sources. When you use a CDP, you connect the platform to your company’s data sources. Some examples of possible data sources at your company include customer relationship management (CRM) software, digital ad managers, customer service software, email marketing software, and website tracking software. 

The CDP will then pull real-time data from all connected sources and bring that data together in a central, unified database. You can see all your customer data in one place instead of toggling from application to application, tool to tool. Especially as companies incorporate more and more data sources into their marketing decision-making, customer data platforms are invaluable. 

How can CDPs Drive Marketing Efforts?

Businesses can use CDPs in many different ways and many different departments. In marketing, there are several key applications of these platforms, including the following:

Improving Personalization

Customers today want and demand personalization from brands, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to McKinsey and Company, 71% of consumers expect brands to provide personalized customer interactions. Even more customers feel frustrated when brands don’t offer that personalization. In other words, personalization should be a priority for all brands, specifically their marketing teams. 

So how do you personalize experiences for your customers? By understanding who your customers are and what they want, thanks to customer data. 

You learn different things about a customer through various channels. For example, you may learn that a customer engages most with promotions for a specific product through your email software. Through your CRM, you learn what kinds of products that customer actually purchases and how often. Separately, all this information is useful but hard to use for deep personalization. 

Together, however, you’ll have in-depth customer profiles right at your fingertips. The details from all of your data sources should give you all the information you need to personalize experiences for each customer

Predicting Customer Behavior

Companies don’t just want to know what customers have done in the past—they also want to know what customers will do in the future. These future actions will impact the business’s success for better or worse. Brands need to prepare now to be ready, but how can they when no one can predict the future?

The unified data set in customer data platforms allows brands to run predictive analytics. The analytics looks at all the information about past customer behavior, and uses that information to predict what consumers will do in the future. Marketers can examine how likely customers are to interact with the business, to complete a purchase, to churn, or other similar key metrics. Then, they can use that information to make important decisions in the present. 

Improving Multichannel Messaging

Modern marketing operates across many different channels all at one time. Brands can run digital ads, send promotional emails, launch influencer marketing campaigns, and run print and radio ads, among many other options. Managing all these different channels can be challenging, especially as brands try to keep their messaging consistent. 

Without a data platform, it’s very hard to keep track of a customer’s actions across all these various channels. Maybe you have a customer who consistently opens email promotions and clicks on digital ads for one of your products but doesn’t complete a purchase once on your site. Traditionally, you would have to compare data from your email marketing software, digital ad manager, and CRM to figure this out. 

However, that information is all together and readily available with a customer data platform. All you would have to do is send a targeted message to the customer to persuade them to purchase. You’d have all the details you need to send the right message to the right customer through the right channel. 

Why Data-Driven Marketing Is The Wave Of The Future

Even experienced, highly-skilled marketers have to make difficult decisions while developing and executing their marketing efforts. What’s the best use of our marketing budget? Which marketing channels currently have the best conversion rates for our brand? How can we effectively target certain consumers to encourage them to make a purchase?

Questions like these are essential and yet very challenging for marketers to answer alone. Luckily, data can help, especially comprehensive data sets like those the CDP creates. With data analysis, marketing teams can better understand what’s happening inside and outside their business. The insights they derive from their data help these marketing teams make better, more informed marketing decisions. 

Modern data analysis doesn’t just look at historical data, either. Many tools also help marketers make predictions about the future, allowing them to tailor today’s marketing decisions accordingly. Simply put, data-driven marketing leads to more accurate, more reliable decision-making. Data analysis is a tool that brands shouldn’t overlook when trying to create and maintain a competitive edge. 

Build Stronger Marketing Efforts with a CDP

If you’re going to invest in one more tool to create a data-driven company and marketing team, make it a customer data platform. These platforms aggregate all your customer data from various sources to create a unified, reliable database.  

Use your CDP to segment your customers, improve your multichannel marketing efforts, and offer customers more personalized experiences. Don’t waste valuable marketing opportunities by neglecting to invest in one of these data platforms. And if you have any questions about using customer data platforms for marketing, feel free to contact Live Earth

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