With a new season of mountain biking almost upon us, I find myself daydreaming about a new bike. I love to explore different models online, as well as product specs and videos, which tempt me to make the purchase. More often than not, I am not ready, whether it be because of my current budget or the fact it’s still mud season. A way to remind myself of a recently browsed bike is to add it to a wish list.
From a marketing perspective, we know wish lists are a saved collection of desired products where, at one point, a customer expressed interest but didn’t complete the purchase. It is an effective way to remind customers of a product or service they were interested in down the road.
As you and your team hunker down and plan your marketing strategy for the second half of this year, there may be many things on your “marketing wish list” that you might not be ready to invest in now, but could be soon. It is a good idea to plan and make that list, so you are prepared to go when it comes time to make proper investments.
Investing in an engagement data strategy
Something you should be thinking about are strategies to better engage with customers, build deeper relationships, build loyalty, and realistically, regain loyalty. It is essential to ask, do you understand your customers? Can you anticipate what they are likely to do next? Can you provide meaningful and engaging experiences, when and where they engage?
The answers to those questions begin and end with data. In today’s climate, you need to think through how you can use data to inspire new and creative ways to engage, and in many cases, re-engage with your customers. This builds on what you have done in the past, as well as future loyalty. How you start this will, in most cases, be by choosing a data platform.
"Data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result." — McKinsey Global Institute
A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a logical technology to consider, which is a holistic solution for gathering data, presenting a unified view, and providing meaningful insights. Take it a step further and think about how to act upon insights by driving customer engagement and personalizing experiences across all touchpoints.
In my colleague Patrick Tripp’s blog post Why the Engagement Data Platform is More than a CDP, he mentions that if marketers want to evolve from being a data-centric marketer to a customer-centric marketer, what you need is the Engagement Data Platform (EDP). If you and your team are considering investing in a data platform that drives engagement, it might be time to consider starting a wish list for your data needs.
6 must-have capabilities
As you think through your wish list, a great resource to consult is the CDP Institute and their must-have capabilities for customer data management. I am excited that the Cheetah Digital Engagement Data Platform (EDP) is included in their list of vendors. The Cheetah Digital EDP consists of a single, accessible view of the customer, machine learning, native omnichannel touchpoints, and solutions that drive customer acquisition, loyalty, and retention. Together, these capabilities provide marketers with solutions to create value throughout the customer lifecycle.
If you are looking to deliver personalized and meaningful experiences across all touchpoints, here are the six items you should have on your wish list.
Wish list item #1: Customer profile
You need a single or holistic view of your customers that is accessible as well. A customer profile should easily bring together data in real-time, including behavioral, event, and purchase data for audience creation, analysis, and activation. This view, or profile, should be at your fingertips.
Wish list item #2: Real-time data ingestion
We know data isn’t stagnant and, more often than not, comes at us in many different forms, as well as in real-time. As consumers engage in mobile apps, social media platforms, chat applications, and other touchpoints, it is critical to include real-time data in your customer view. For this, you need configurable data exchanges for event data, transactional systems, advertising platforms, and third-party ecosystems.
Wish list item #3: Data transformation
Data can be in many different varieties. To make better sense of data, data transformations can help for reporting, modeling, segmentation, and audience creation. Ideally, there is less reliance on IT, and you can optimize data with transformations, such as metrics and calculated attributes, custom transformations, bucketing and binning, all of which helps with reporting and analytics.
Wish list item #4: Accessible analytics and reporting
You shouldn’t have to ask another team or department, “how are my campaigns performing” or “what should I do next.” Instead, you need attributes, metrics, and dashboards, as well as other analytic capabilities at your fingertips. This will help with audience creation, segmentation, decision making, and course corrections, as well as helping others understand marketing performance.
Wish list item #5: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
You need to go beyond guessing what’s going to be most relevant and engaging to your customers. Understanding customer behavior helps you engage with customers in a personalized, meaningful way; anticipating customer behavior enables you to keep ahead of the competition by delivering the right experiences at the precise moment a customer engages.
If your data platform incorporates AI and ML, you can use data to understand behavior and anticipate what they are likely to do next. This includes algorithms for propensity scoring, clustering, and send-time optimization.
Wish list item #6: Native activation
Lastly, what good is any of this if you can’t immediately act upon insights gained through a data platform and accessible analytics? Having access to native touchpoints, without the headaches of costly integrations, will help you orchestrate omnichannel experiences on a single platform. This is most easily achieved with an engagement data platform.
This is just the start
There are additional items to consider adding to your wish list, like data connectors to third party systems (CRM system or DMP), triggering engine, operating at a global scale, and flexible APIs, but six is a good starting point. And besides, according to Numerology.com, the number six is considered the most harmonious of all single-digit numbers, and what better way to create harmony with your customers than to use data to understand them better and provide meaningful, engaging, and compelling experiences.
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Bruce is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital. He focuses on the go-to-market strategies for solutions within the Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite, as well as creating and delivering thought leadership at industry events. Before joining Cheetah Digital, Bruce worked at Adobe for over five years as a Group Product Marketing Manager supporting the Adobe Experience Cloud. Bruce lives in Bozeman, MT, with his wife and three children.