September 27, 2023
Authored by Kunal Aman, Head of Marketing & Communications Indian Subcontinent SAS, India & Japan
The perfect storm: More privacy concerns, less cookies
As consumers worry more about the privacy of their information, brands face greater regulations that make data harder to come by. Most notably, third-party cookies are becoming a thing of the past – while enhanced privacy protections (such as Apple’s App Privacy Report) represent the future. To complicate matters more, organizations and decision makers continue to deal with data silos, aging legacy applications, disintegrated MarTech stacks.
However, the one thing that isn’t going away is the expectation of today’s customer to be delivered proactive service, have personalized interactions and a connected, seamless experience across offline and online channels.
As brands modernize technology, systems and develop solid first-party data strategies as they attempt to meet these expectations, often, they are turning to customer data platforms (CDPs). If your organization is in midst of this journey, then this article may be of value.
Let’s look at the four key components found in best-in-class CDPs:
• Data Ingestion. Brands must be able to collect data from across channels, devices
and points in time to develop a complete customer view. To achieve this, the data collection needs to be detailed and specific - including information down to the mouse over and form field. It should encompass essential data attributes directly obtained from customers, as well as behavioral data that sheds light on both current customers and potential prospects. Furthermore, organizations should have the capability to gather this data from a wide range of branded technology platforms. These may include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, mobile applications, contact centers, and various other devices.
Second-and third-party data assets such as demographic or psychographic data also need to be supported by the CDP. Collecting zero- and first-party data often involves a concept known as the "value exchange” where brands entice customers to share their information by offering something of value in return. These could be rewards, exclusive discounts, special services, or any other attractive benefits. This mutually beneficial transaction enables brands to gain access to valuable data while customers receive something valuable in return. If you haven’t started considering how to execute this value exchange to collect and ingest data, now is the time to begin.
• Identity Management. Once the data is collected, what’s done with it? Identity
management and resolution involve creating a system or processes to join new
data with existing customer profile data. Real-time data integration is essential, often with the help of deterministic matching to link the data. Both online and offline profile information must be combinable and joinable, while maintaining the ability to manage data appending, deletion, and merging of customer identities.
• Audience Segmentation. Customers often are grouped into audiences when executing
against Marketing or advertising business cases. These audiences could be comprised of both on-site and cloud data sources and should be dynamically updated with digital customer activity as it streams into the CDP. Audience creation should ideally go beyond simple segmentation and include advanced techniques – such as modeling, clustering and targeting capabilities – as well as marketing and advertising data sources. Being able to use auto-generated insights and AI enabled insights against these audiences is a major plus.
• Customer Journey Activation. Finally, In MadTech business cases, the ability to provision and activate data is a must. The created audience segments should be capable of supporting omnichannel journey orchestration efforts. Moreover, the customer data platform must maintain a real-time record of event transmission and reception in third-party applications like the contact center. Activation within the wider MadTech ecosystem, including decisioning engines, content management systems, digital commerce, and advertising and display media solutions, should also be facilitated. To gain valuable insights, understanding the outcomes of customer journey activations is crucial, and this can be achieved through techniques like multitouch attribution and other customer journey insights.
MadTech in action
With more than 38 million loyalty members, 1,300-plus stores across the US and 7 million Instagram followers, Ulta Beauty relies on SAS Customer Intelligence 360 to manage a variety of marketing and customer engagement programs – from credit to loyalty, customer insights and surveys. To date, the company has seen significant results in three core areas: automation, participation and retention. By automating aspects of creation and execution, multilevel customer journeys that used to take days now finalize in minutes or hours.
SAS works with a Tier 1 US/UK bank to monetize audience data through a partner
portal, where bank partners can book offers and next-best-offer-style personalization
engagements. The volumes pushed through the MadTech-style solution from SAS are impressive, with 2 billion multichannel personalized offers served to current and potential customers. The solution is increasing uplift by 60%, speeding offer deployment times from one week down to one to two days, and has resulted in US$130 million in new business. This equates to 25 times higher ROI over the next five years.