CDP and The challenge of hyper personalisation

CDP is critical for both marketeers and CMOs to leverage on and optimise to improve their marketing strategies to remain competitive and relevant, says Sean Valencia, Marketing Strategist, Treasure Data, in this interview with MartechAsia.

In today’s saturated world of marketing data, the customer remains at the centre of what marketers do. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) often face higher expectations from their management as well as the customers in terms of personalisation of marketing data for optimising the marketing dollar.  In this interview with Japan-based Sean Valencia, Marketing Strategist, Treasure Data, explains how personalised customer journeys, better reporting and data-driven decisions are the new normal that is needed for CMOs particularly in a changing digital landscape.

What is CDP (Customer Data Platform)? Why do marketers need it?

One solution that’s becoming increasingly popular across industries, is the Customer Data Platform (CDP). It’s a data management technology that is equipped with the functionality to unify customer data coming from many different data sources. They reduce the time, cost and complexity of consolidating, integrating and modelling data from first-, second- and third-party sources and provide one source of truth for all marketing activities, then allow you to activate seamless, relevant customer experiences.

The best CDPs easily ingest huge amounts of data, unify together a single customer view, and help you automate tailored experiences to appeal to each one. 

Inaccurate personalisation is frustrating for both customers and marketing teams that have invested so much time in building customer trust. It happens when businesses don’t have an actionable, single customer view that connects all of their data and insights across all engagement channels, to truly understand how to best serve their customers. With a Customer Data Platform you can use that understanding to better serve your customers with an experience that is relevant to their needs.

With a CDP for Marketing, you can collect data consent and centralise all data sources including behavioural, offline, and online data to build a complete picture. Marketers can pick up on even the most subtle of cues and decode them to create experiences that recover abandoned carts, recommend future purchases or direct you to the right channels for the right message. With machine learning and data science, these are the keys to scaling to billions of interactions and delivering personalized experiences that meet each customer’s needs and across any channel.  CDP is critical for both marketeers and CMOs to leverage on and optimise to improve their marketing strategies to remain competitive and relevant.

Why is hyper personalisation more important than ever?

According to a survey of marketing executives from 200 global firms, 40% of executives reported that marketing personalisation efforts directly impacted sales, basket size, and profits. Moreover, studies show that personalisation can also reduce customer acquisition costs by 50% and increase marketing spend efficiency by 30%.  This goes to show that personalisation can also reduce churn, improve customer engagement, and increase cross-sell of relevant products. Most people prefer little or no adverts especially when they are online. It is up to marketers to deliver personalised experiences that delightthe customers and deliver value. Most personalisation falls flat because it’s not relevant and provides no value to the customer. Who wants to receive advertisements on products that they are not interested in?

Rising customer demands and the more digitally savvy generation such as the Gen Z generation are expecting more relevant experiences from brands. In a recent study, it showed that Gen Z customers expect retailers to get the product to them. This adds to the pressure to find new ways to grab and hold consumers’ attention. To do so, retailers and brands must authentically connect with Gen Z.

Customer expectations are raising the bar for brands in their demand for relevance. How can we tailor our omni-channel strategies, and deliver consistent messaging to me the customer, across all customer touch points? The challenge is ongoing, and the goal post is constantly being moved further & further out.

Is hyper personalisation necessary for all kinds of businesses?

Most businesses can realise business value from hyper personalisation as it minimises inefficient marketing spend.  Sending the wrong messages to the wrong customers is a waste of marketing cost.  Marketers cannot use one message and expect it to be relevant to all customers.  The marketing approach needs to be precise, honed to perfection and reaching the most appropriate targets.  Sending the right messages to the right customers at the right time. This will allow you to increase conversions while lowering advertising costs.

How does CDP help CMOs deal with their challenges with personalization at scale?

CMOs are always concerned with the various stages that a customer interacts with their brand, the full customer journey. With customer journey orchestration, it helps marketers see whether their marketing efforts are working and it assists in moving customers closer towards a purchase. This enables marketers to plan the best possible journey to progress a customer towards their first purchase, and beyond to become a long term loyal customer.  With customer journey orchestration features, it provides the ability to mark critical stages in the journey to trigger messaging that helps users move from awareness to intent, and from interest towards purchase.

What kind of challenges do CMOs face in the region?

CMOs face similar challenges in the region as the customer journey is becoming increasing more complex across both digital and physical touchpoints.  

They have been facing challenges in tracking both anonymous visitors and known customers across all devices. Difficulties in finding ways to integrate with multiple data sources—including third-party systems, such as data management platforms (DMPs), website and mobile behavioural data, CRM, email, social media, ecommerce, and in-store retail systems, and more.

To gain a true understanding of their customers, CMOs need a solution that is flexible to utilize all data, and provides access to making data actionable. They are also trying to orchestrate omnichannel campaigns and personalized customer journeys in real-time. They need to achieve this with dynamic customer segmentation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for predictive outcomes and advanced analysis, and activation of personalized experiences.

Any advice for CMOs to keep up with the changing digital landscape?

CMOs need to reduce the cost, time and complexity of consolidating data from their owned marketing touch points—including sales, service, email, websites, and offline data—to provide fuel for marketing insights.

CDPs offer this opportunity to address these challenges especially in the changing digital landscape. However, they need to look at the right CDP platform. Here are four tips for CMOs to make the right CDP choice:

  1. Flexible Data Integration
    Look for a CDP that is vendor agnostic and is flexible enough to integrate with all of your technology today, and also into the future.  CMOs also need to integrate offline and online data for better visibility to their data to derive marketing insights. With the right CDP platform, CMOs can achieve a seamless and complete integration across all channels, increasing on-site and off-site targeting capabilities for marketing and promotional campaigns.
  2. Intelligent customer segmentation
    Knowing and understanding your customer in a personalized world is critical.  CMOs need a CDP that creates flexible segments based on customer behaviour and stored information about customers and allows the use of existing segments to create new ones.  The CDP should also include Machine Learning functionality to recommend lookalike segments and help you personalize at scale.
  3. Reporting and Analytic capabilities
    CMOs need easy-to-understand reports and analytics, preferably with a clean dashboard look. They want the capability to extract data easily using a data workbench and use it for various data targets of their choice (such as databases, marketing solutions, spreadsheets, other software).
  4. Privacy and Security Focus
    Responsible data management is essential.  The CDP should be equipped with features to manage consent and permissions, while providing secure data management.

Personalised customer journeys, better reporting and data-driven decisions are the new normal that is needed for CMOs particularly in a changing digital landscape.