Personalization has become a vital component of the marketing landscape. Brands that are able to deliver fully relevant, contextualized experiences to their prospects and customers are in a much better position to convert leads into sales and build strong, lasting relationships.
However, research has shown personalization is a common and considerable challenge for marketers. With more data to manage than ever before, brands need tools that help them bring all of their customer information together for maximum visibility and convenience.
One highly effective way of doing this is with a customer data platform (CDP) - a single system that can help you sidestep the pitfalls of silos and drive your personalization efforts.
The benefits of a CDP
A CDP can give you a more complete, coherent picture of your customers and their various behaviors, choices and preferences. It does this by integrating data from all of the marketing, sales and customer service channels at your disposal, creating a single location where you can view information like:
- Demographic details
- Online activity
- Email engagement
- Social media interaction
- Online transactions
- In-store purchases
Bringing all of your buyer data together into a single repository gives you the clearest and most comprehensive view of your customers and their biggest priorities and pain points. This is an invaluable resource as far as personalization is concerned.
Another key benefit of a CDP is that it helps you save time - a huge plus for busy marketers. A CDP allows you to unify your data, removing the need to go through the laborious process of collecting and analyzing customer information from various channels and systems.
Research has shown that more than half (53%) of organizations already using a CDP want to be more responsive to customer preferences and market changes. A similar proportion (47%) of marketers have said it can take more than a week to analyze the results of campaigns or changes designed to improve the customer experience.
Other benefits of a CDP include:
- Greater ease in working with large data sets
- Lower risk of duplicated or inaccurate customer details
- The ability to segment your audience based on real-time behavior
These are crucial advantages if one of your top marketing objectives right now is to achieve high standards of personalization.
The case for data unification
For many businesses, there's no denying that moving away from old-fashioned, silo-based working methods and embracing the consolidation of customer data in a CDP will be a big challenge.
But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that embarking on a project to unify marketing data and remove barriers between teams will be worth the investment of time and resources required.
From a marketing perspective, unified data helps you better understand your customers and makes it easier to track the results of your projects and campaigns in real time.
It also offers advantages for the HR department, including stronger employee engagement thanks to a better-connected, more collaborative workforce, and greater appeal to job candidates looking for broad and varied roles.
Leveraging your CDP for personalization
When it comes to personalization, a CDP can enable you to achieve the crucial goal of gaining customer intelligence and insights at the most granular level. Once the data at your disposal has been integrated from various channels into a single platform, you can analyze it more easily and use it to create highly detailed, responsive profiles.
There are many real-world examples of how brands have utilized a CDP to fuel personalization.
For example, NBA basketball team Utah Jazz made the decision to combine a CDP with a tag management system after finding that its marketing efforts were falling short, particularly on personalization. The franchise was experiencing issues like season ticket holders receiving the same marketing messages and promotions as one-off buyers.
Data and analytics projects enabled by the CDP meant Utah Jazz's marketing team could start to send out more effectively personalized communications. People who had previously come to watch the team play on a weekend, for example, would receive offers for future weekend games.
This sort of targeted, relevant marketing helped the Utah Jazz achieve significantly higher lead conversion rates than other NBA franchises.
As marketing continues to evolve, one trend that could have a big impact on the sector in the near future is the integration of CDPs with AI and machine learning. These cutting-edge technologies can take on some of the work required to maintain accurate, constantly evolving customer profiles, leaving human marketers free to put data insights and intelligence to the best possible use.