Marketers need to be more data-driven, but some key challenges prevent it
Ecommerce can be difficult to succeed in, with many challenges that marketing teams must fix. Among those challenges are building an effective customer relationship management strategy, acquiring and retaining customers, and understanding the most effective marketing efforts. A Customer Data Platform (CDP) can help eCommerce marketers tackle all these challenges.
With a CDP, eCommerce businesses can collect and connect data from various sources to create a single view of each customer. The individualized customer journey allows businesses to understand their customers better, develop targeted marketing campaigns, and improve overall sales. While some challenges still need to be addressed when using a CDP for eCommerce marketing, the benefits far outweigh them.
Customer Data Platforms
Before diving right in with problems marketing teams face. Let’s define the software we will talk about and where it fits among your business tools. A Customer Data Platform (CDP) has your company’s capabilities to transform customer data into optimized shopping experiences. From a marketer’s point of view, CDPs complement the features you can find in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for sales representatives and a Data Management Platform (DMP) used for advertising. These software platforms are bought or built, but if you have a growing e-commerce or saas business, you often need all three.
While a CRM helps you collect data from customer interaction, and a DMP helps you organize second and third-party data, a CDP unifies customer data and allows you to act on it by making it available for optimizing the customer experience.
Trust me; a CDP is not just another application that will cost you money. The cost isn’t even small, but buying a CDP means the vendor takes care of compliance and compatibility issues and gets you up and running quickly.
Here are the challenges a CDP solves for your go-to-market team.
1 Gain the ability to segment, manage and operationalize data
The point of a CDP is the ability to get richer information about your customer. Not only can you build segments and more sophisticated target audiences. Segments are a powerful tool for understanding your audience and sending targeted messages. But building them becomes difficult when businesses start adding different applications as they keep us with Millenials and Gen Z. Data consistency and quality are not guaranteed- this is where a CDP comes in.
Data activation means scheduling campaigns directly into your marketing applications based on those segmented audiences. Automating the data flow for these campaigns frees up a marketer’s time to articulate and dictate personalization strategies. More personalized campaigns effectively deliver more revenue from repurchases, and using target audiences prevents wasted dollars.
Overcoming the problem of recognized customers across systems allows marketers to offer the most relevant upsell option with a simple phone call. Recognized customers are those who are not new customers.
In today’s world of targeted marketing, knowing at what point in the customer lifecycle you mean to speak or interact is key—understanding what might best suit that particular consumer. Also, eliminate by offering only appropriate products/services at each stage- whether renewal time is coming around again!
2 Stop manually consolidating reports from selling on multiple eCommerce Platforms
53% of CMO surveyed regard customer intelligence as business-critical, yet only 4% consistently leverage business intelligence (BI) to identify what customers want. We found this particular statistic alarming because reporting technologies are ubiquitous in business. Marketing teams are still manually merging reporting numbers on the spreadsheets to load into a BI tool- very inefficient and subject to errors.
With your CDP dashboards, the teams have access and can build 360-degree views. 360-views means you have customer views from each aspect of your business and at the different stages of the customer lifecycle. With all the unified customer data, marketing and customer success teams can access detailed analytics on all aspects of customer purchasing, including behaviors. You can use this information for strategic decisions that will help shape the future course and improve business processes in real-time!
3 Increase time to value of go-to-market strategies
Buying, connecting, and configuring a CDP is a significantly faster go-to-market strategy. The increased speed to market comes from the control the marketing team has in making adjustments, adding more customer data fields into the content, and the ability to set rules based on specific business exceptions and custom criteria. Depending on the complexity, a customer experience specialist can deliver a given use case in weeks versus the months/years it can take to build one. Be ready to host consultants for years if you choose the build option. Conversely, markets have control once a purchased CDP is put in place.
A customer data platform keeps the data centralized and available to the marketing applications that run different go-to-market campaigns. This centralization means data is accessible to the marketer. You don’t have to keep repeating the wheel of setting up the integrations and normalizing the data before you can even get a campaign started. Cutting out the repetition saves months of upfront work on each project, program, or campaign your business teams need to run.
4 Build with more marketers, not IT resources, so you have control over updates and changes
Revenue growth is the core component in measuring marketing effectiveness. So when 49% of CMOs say content decisions’ main drivers are budget, time, over customer demands. More should be done to try to meet the need of the customer. A lack of ROI in campaigns and a lack of budget to make quality data force marketing teams to go with assumptions on campaign effectiveness. Per the points above, a leader wants their team to have the control they need to make money and can adapt to the market’s ever-changing needs.
Leaving your marketing data at the hands of an IT team means constantly begging for prioritization over operations and support rather than meeting the customer’s needs. Gamechangers will come from big projects instead of agile campaign iterations. The structure is not impossible to conduct business. However, the ability to innovate will take longer.
*The resources you need require technical and marketing experience when buying a CDP. Contrast this to building a custom CDP that requires experts or a specialized partner. You may also need customer support, technologists, or a data scientist who knows custom analytics.
Despite eCommerce’s challenges, your team can still deploy many strategies to increase success. A Customer Data Platform is one such tool that can help with customer segmentation, understanding marketing efforts, and more. Schedule a virtual meeting with our team if you’re interested in learning more about how a CDP can benefit your business. We would be happy to discuss how we could work together to improve your eCommerce marketing strategy. Thanks for reading!