Data Management with a Customer Data Platform
There are several ways to centralize customer data to make it easier to use. Data Lakes are a good example, but they are difficult for marketers to operate. Since 2018, we have been talking more about the Customer Data Platform to better meet the needs of these specialists.
If you would like to know more about this new product category, we invite you to read this article. In general, the CDP greatly facilitates the collection and centralization of customer data as it is designed to increase connectivity to external systems. These systems can be of different kinds (company owned, or SAAS owned), and their number should not be a problem. Its objective is then to generate a centralized database, which recognizes a contact on several channels, whether it comes from CRM, ERP, a website, call center, etc.
From this perspective, the CDP is really the next major marketing evolution, and it will be able to address a major issue surrounding customer data.
2. DDM and Data Analysis
This portion is the most technical and getting to do advanced analysis without the support of an analyst is, in all honesty, rather difficult.
However, you do not need advanced data visualization tools in your first steps with Data Driven Marketing. In the simple actions you can already do, there is the measurement of web indicators, which can already guide many of your decisions.
In the best known, there are:
These KPIs are often collected in the tools you already use, and even if they are rather basic and not very contextualized, they will enlighten you. You could also use paid online tools, or others that are not, like Google Analytics. Obviously, you must set them up, but here nothing is too difficult, or complex compared to other data analysis options. Finally, in analysis mode, do not hesitate to use A / X testing to build different versions of the same action to evaluate what is doing more. In best practices, be sure to change only one variable at a time to identify the real impact, eliminating external variables.
In addition to your basic analysis
In order to enhance the contribution of the previously mentioned KPIs, you could go further with the creation of dashboards. A dashboard is an information management (data) tool that tracks, analyzes, and visually displays KPIs, metrics, and key data points to monitor the health of a business, service, or a specific process. They are customizable to meet the specific needs of a service/business. Contrary to a report, a dashboard is updated automatically when it is viewed, and it is enriched by accumulating information over time.
The reason a dashboard is so relevant is that it does 4 things:
- Simplifies what is complex
- Tell a story
- Express what the data means
- Reveals the required details (no more and no less)
In fact, a figure without context means nothing. The dashboard allows you to add a context, explaining the numbers that are displayed. How?
- Looking at the same period to compare them (e.g. to previous period, previous month or last year)
- Exposing the source of the data, and placing them in the right place of the dashboard
- Expressing the updated data time frame, which is essential.
3. Data Driven Marketing and Data Application
It is not enough to just collect and analyze the data, it must also be used. The possibilities that comes with using data is as endless as your imagination (in a perspective where data is fluid and transparent).
However, from a first step perspective, it is obvious that your decisions will have to be based on what you retain from the previous section. Whether you have dashboards or not, some elements of your marketing actions will have to be modified by the insights of your KPIs. In the notions that are easily modified, and that can be measured according to basic metrics, there are:
- The sending moments
- Design and visuals
Sending times may vary between those that are done manually (are you better in the morning or afternoon), or those that are triggered in your automated scenarios (depending on different triggers possible). Content is very variable, since it can be the subject of an email, the address of the sender, the first contents presented on a web page, etc. Finally, design and visuals can be about colors, the layout of the contents, the calls to action that stand out, and so on. If you have never tested these elements, then it could be a great starting point. If you have already done multiple tests at this level, I would say it’s time for you to move on to the next step.
Orchestration of Omnichannel Campaigns
Silo data application (on a single channel) is one thing, and that’s the beginning, but where you need to lead your marketing is the use of omnichannel data on all your communication channels. To go back to the notions of the Customer Data Platform presented above, the true value of the data lies in using engagement data, preferences and much more. Not just on one channel at a time, but on all your channels simultaneously.
With a CDP, it is possible, since everything can be done on the platform, or by taking advantage of the multiple tool connections. This way, you can enjoy all the recorded historical data, on all the channels, for each of the contacts. This can lead to real time marketing, distributed marketing, and other even more personalized approaches to customers.
Honestly, analytics and metrics are within your reach. There are various tools, free or paid, that you can use to study the behavior of your contacts. Wherever your stages with DDM is at, start by planning the first actions you will take, one channel at a time. Then you can move on to the next steps, but your foundation will be strong. Good luck!