Holding the keys to a brand’s greatest engine: effective customer data management


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Most brands communicate digitally on a regular basis with customers through their websites as well as through their customers’ mobile devices, emails, and social media accounts. A well-run customer data management (CDM) program enables brands to keep track of and use customer information collected from every digital and offline customer touchpoint to fuel a more effective communications strategy that results in positive customer experiences.

While good customer data can be a brand’s most valuable asset, managing a massive amount of information that is constantly in flux isn’t an easy task. Obtaining and maintaining clean customer data, building unified customer profiles, and strategically approaching personalization are all critical components of effective CDM. Below, I’ve outlined my top tips for managing and using customer data to its fullest.

Starting with the right data

What makes data the “right” kind of data? We can think about good data as having two main components: it’s accurate, and it’s complete. The more data fields you have filled in for your customers, the better. And, the more data you have collected from a customer, the more complete picture you have of them, allowing for personalized communications.

Because customer behavior is fluid, it’s also important for brands to have robust cleansing practices in place to ensure information is always current. Too regularly, brands will do an initial data upload, configure data feeds, enrich and update records, and then leave the files and processes unattended indefinitely. However, incorrect data can result in dull – or even worse, negative – customer experiences, which can damage a brand’s reputation and put a serious dent in its revenue. Once you have the right data in place – data that is accurate, up-to-date, complete, and clean – you can then build out your customer profiles.

Building unified customer profiles to drive loyalty and revenue

The epitome of effective CDM is having unified customer profiles, which is a summary of every interaction a brand has with a customer, including things like website browsing, email clicks, mobile contact, and in-store visits. Brands must be aware of all these interactions individually along with how they relate and work together to influence a sale. Tracking these engagements across channels helps to create greater understanding of a specific audience segment, at which time it can be further optimized to encourage loyalty. When profiles are set up to their maximum potential, marketing campaigns will perform better, and you’ll increase your ROI. It’s simple to create unified customer profiles with the use of a customer data platform that keeps customer data all in one place. This gives you the ability to identify actionable insights for each customer that can then be used across multiple marketing campaigns.

Using automation to create a personalized customer experience

Once you can be reassured that you’re working with clean data and you’ve built unified customer profiles, true one-to-one personalization for customers is possible at scale through the use of AI-enabled marketing technology. This technology can enhance CDM and the individualized experiences for customers in real time.

Without the use of data, brands can do little to create real value in their communications with customers. Interactions are meaningless, uninformed, dull, and uninvolving. Implementing a successful CDM program should be a chief concern since doing it correctly with authenticity and constant refinement, represents a massive opportunity. By obtaining the right data at the outset, building customer profiles, and creating a true one-to-one personalized experience for your customers, you can be well-equipped to succeed in driving increased revenue through your marketing campaigns. The enormous generation of quintillions of bytes of data from multiple sources and our increased ability to collect, manage, and make use of it is, indeed, a miracle of modern-day marketing.

Sean Brady
Sean Brady is the President of the Americas for Emarsys. In his role, Sean works to deliver the most innovative marketing technologies, helping to drive business results for Emarsys’ North and South American enterprises. Prior to Emarsys, Brady served as Vice President at ExactTarget where he helped grow the multi-million-dollar company into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise.


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