Editor’s note: This is the third part in a series that discusses the value of identity and third-party data for any Customer Data Platform.
“It’s a common misconception that if you just acquire a ton of data, then you’re all set and good things will happen…”
An executive from a leading content delivery and analytics company shared this sentiment at an industry conference late last year. His message resonated then and has only risen in relevance since: Data acquisition is only part of the battle.
Brands understand that a CDP should first help them unlock the power of their first-party data while delivering third-party data that fills in the gaps. They also know the value intelligence provides in creating a granular view that shows who a consumer really is in their everyday life — their lifestyle preferences and behaviors that drive purchases.
But brands understand that they must go beyond acquisition, and find a partner that will help put the data they’ve accumulated into action.
They want to invest in a solution that helps their marketers take action on their valuable data to empower the best customer experiences possible and choose a partner based on their end goals. Brands ultimately select a CDP that helps them realize their vision for utilizing their powerful data in real-time as well as measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.
In Part 3 of our series, we discuss how identity enables activation of data and attribution.
Identity Drives Data Activation
As a CDP provider, your platform ties everything together for brands, providing access to robust, normalized and linked customer data as the foundation. To meet expectations, a CDP should be capable of putting brands’ data into action to let it work for them in each channel leveraging the same unified source of truth.
Built-in and seamless data activation capabilities are something that brands demand from leading CDPs. It provides clients with a single platform to reach consumers in every significant channel including direct mail, phone, in-store, email, online, social media, display, mobile, and more for a consistent customer experience. By providing relevant and personalized messaging, they’ll reduce waste and significantly increase marketing ROI.
Accurate campaign activation drives significant marketing benefits:
- Maximizing customer lifetime value: Help brands leverage first-party data to create engagement that optimizes customer retention and upsell and cross-sell efforts, while reducing costly churn. Empower personalized messaging that helps brands prove they truly understand who clients are as well as what their specific needs are.
- Finding more new customers: Help them leverage third-party data to prospect and create promotions or offers that target consumers based on demographics, past behaviors, interests, lifestyle preferences and buying propensities. Promote the identification of lookalike consumers and prospect those who behave like their best customers.
First- and third-party data are incredibly valuable. With so many channels now in use by consumers (online and offline) for the data to be activated against, consistent cross-channel activation is a more urgent need than ever for brands from a single execution point — the CDP.
Identity is the Link to Cross-Channel Activation
Consumers use 10-plus channels, while more than 50% of brands use at least eight channels for marketing. And a staggering 62% of consumers who engage their favorite brands on 10+ channels make weekly purchases.
This number of avenues for customers to interact is likely to only grow with time. And leading CDPs should be the hub for brands’ execution of interaction with its consumers via each channel. Interactions through any single channel should help marketers strategize messaging on each of the others.
This is done by leveraging an added source of truth to link consumer identity data to create a powerful, single consumer profile. By eliminating data silos, brands will be able to recognize and reach consumers across every channel. They’ll be able to suppress irrelevant messaging, repeat communications in a channel, and other wasteful initiatives that might alienate consumers. Instead, for example, they’ll be able to email a discounted offer on a product that was viewed in-app or via display advertising.
A consumer shouldn’t have to waste a moment thinking about which channel they have interacted or should interact with a brand through for the best experience. A CDP should leverage identity data to ensure that no matter the touchpoint, the consumer will have a cohesive buyer’s journey that maximizes conversions and ROI — and it should be done in real-time.
Real-Time: Activation at the Speed of Consumers
As mentioned above, leading CDPs first must create a single source of truth to inform brands’ marketing in every channel for a cohesive experience. They must provide the capability to recognize a consumer and the intelligence to execute the right offer at the right time by tying relevant foundational information to the first party data. But in order to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency in each channel, brands must also have unified consumer identity data in order to activate their data at the speed of the consumer.
A message can be extremely relevant and delivered in the preferred channel; and it can still be entirely ineffective. If the ideal email or banner ad is delivered after a consumer has lost interest in the product or has turned to one of the brand’s competitors, even the best offer will be completely irrelevant.
Real-time activation means that a message is delivered at nearly the exact moment of engagement. Being able to execute a personalized offer while they’re interacting with a brand will exponentially increase the likelihood of a positive experience and a conversion.
A leading CDP will empower real-time identification and data analysis through machine learning for segmenting consumers or engaging a customer nearly instantly.
Support Attribution Through Identity
We’ve spoken about how the leading CDPs should help brands leverage first- and third-party identity data to activate across channels and in real-time. But the final step is measuring results through omnichannel attribution. Attribution is one of the hardest things to measure for any marketing organization, and the most critical. Measurement of a campaign dictates every aspect of future campaigns including channel, spend, velocity, and even creative. It’s the foundation on which success is built. Accurate measurement is based on a comprehensive foundation of first and third-party data assets.
How does this work for the top CDPs? Understanding who a consumer is regardless of channel is the key to successful attribution. As a simple example: A brand’s consumer is targeted through digital messaging through a specific hashed email connector. This same consumer responds from a different device, logged into a different app and under a different email address. Because these two connectors do not match, the consumer enters the CDP as a net new individual, and the connection between the campaign and consumer is lost, thus the attribution to that campaign does not occur.
A CDP must focus on linking as many online and offline identity markers as possible to a single individual or household, enabling campaign attribution to happen regardless of channel. By leveraging digital identity markers such as mobile ad IDs and hashed emails as well as name, address, phone and email, a CDP can ensure the highest degree of attribution accuracy.
Your CDP Must Be a Singular Solution
To be a holistic solution for your clients, your CDP must help unlock the power of their first-party data and deliver the third-party data and intelligence that fills in the gaps from the moment of ingestion all the way through campaign deployment.
But it also must enable the activation of that data and help brands understand attribution as accurately as possible. This is done by leveraging a single source of truth that empowers cross-channel activation that can be performed in real-time. By checking all of the boxes above, your CDP can become the leading choice for any brand.
Learn more: Read Parts 1 and 2 of our CDP series to see why identity is the constant in the evolution of the CDP and how identity and intelligence are the smart way to separate your CDP from the pack.
About The Author: Jason Ford
Jason serves as vice president of partnership development for Infutor. He is a strategic technology leader who has worked in both early/late stage start-ups and established organizations with an extensive history of understanding online media products, analyzing their performance, communicating value and building out partner revenue streams.