As we hope you all know by now, the beating heart of our Customer Engagement Suite (CES) is the Engagement Data Platform (EDP). The Cheetah Digital EDP is where we ingest as much customer information as possible in order to create a foundational data layer — a single view of each customer — which brand marketers can access, analyze, and act upon.
In this episode of Uncaged Wisdom, Jon Duch (#DemoDJLegend #Signals19) — after setting things up with his excellent description of the EDP — reveals 8 ways marketers are benefiting from using it TODAY.
1. Visually Interrogating Data
By using the EDP themselves, marketers are able to glean a better understanding of customers, which can then drive optimal engagement and deliver value. By being able to visually interrogate a vast array of data points, drilling down into audiences and audience subsets, marketers can discern who exists within each segment, and how large a particular segment is in relation to the overall population.
READ: Why the Engagement Data Platform is More than a CDP
This in turn helps to reveal items such as the relative importance and relative reach of one segment over another. As a simple example, marketers can easily see which email campaign is performing best, e.g. do males or females have better click-through rates when the creative is personalized to their gender? Such an exercise often ends up revealing more however, as it can shine a light on missing data points.
Back to the example, our marketer can now see that they don’t actually have the gender identifier for a significant part of their audience. Empowering the marketer to visually interrogate their data using the EDP can help to inform their next set of actions too. In our scenario, this could see them launching a campaign with a sweepstakes or another kind of interactive experience that reveals gender for the rest of the original audience.
2. People Explorer
This visual interrogation of the data — looking for these audience insights — is made easy in the EDP thanks to People Explorer. People Explorer allows for the real-time charting and analysis of data, all on a marketer-friendly interface sitting on top of the entire customer database. In just a series of clicks those gender segments described above come to the fore.
Take as another example clicking around to see how different age personas have engaged with your email sends over the past six months. People Explorer also makes it easy for marketers to create new audience segments based on the data interrogations they have completed. It is at this point worth noting that the data being interrogated using People Explorer can come from a range of systems and sources, both external and native to the Cheetah Digital CES, including any Machine Learning models that may have been applied.
3. Joining Systems Together
The reality for the brand marketers we work with is that they are managing multiple large systems. Tech stacks have only grown, not shrunk! In fact a typical marketing team has access to over 20 tools to perform their various roles; systems for email, mobile, loyalty, segmentation, analytics, etc., tools that in many cases have been around in their business for 10-20 years.
READ: Why the Engagement Data Platform is More than a CDP
Again all these systems were set up as they have a specific, unique, and important role to play, but they are typically disconnected and the data itself can’t easily be shared and actioned. Increasingly then marketers have turned to Cheetah Digital to consolidate many of these tools with us as a single vendor. We make life easier by powering multiple solutions (e.g. Messaging, Loyalty, Experiences, Personalization) that all can run off of a single data layer provided by the EDP.
4. Removing Replication
The only real alternative to a single data layer is the replication of data across systems. We are all familiar with giant martech vendors comprising products assembled through the acquisition of other martech companies. It is very challenging though to create a single data layer across these stitched-together solutions, so instead the same data is replicated for each. Now, there is a place for replication, but it also comes at some big costs. In removing replication, the EDP is daily helping our clients in the following ways.
5. Saving Time
When we focus more on the finer practical details it is well known that data replication takes time. The consequence of marketers reliant on systems that take this approach is that they are typically only able to access their data daily or hourly. Anything quicker can require a larger amount of effort (see ‘Save energy’ below).
Once again, the EDP makes a major difference for our marketers. The single data layer allows them to see in real-time all the many interactions and behaviours generated by their customers in one place; from purchases, to website browsing, to opening an email. This data is also actionable in real-time; for reporting, personalization, triggering, and dynamic content, to name but a few.
6. Saving Energy (& Money)
Brand marketers will always have multiple vendors in supporting roles to help them achieve their goals — but we can all agree that the fewer the vendors, the better. When there are only a handful of vendors, it means fewer phone calls and fewer support requests. It can also mean that less time is spent with IT, figuring out how to integrate multiple technologies and how to get marketing data transferred between them. Being reliant on fewer vendors also costs less too, money that can be invested elsewhere in the marketing department.
Our marketers using the EDP know how it feels not to have to work with multiple vendors, because the EDP combines those necessary technologies into one platform. With a single provider and one single data layer, all the extra time and effort it takes to manage a vendor is suddenly regained, with the freedom to spend that time focusing on what’s important.
7. Making Rules & Actions Easy
The power of the EDP to be open to the vast array of data handling requests has meant that marketers have been able to move existing business processes, with complex rules calculating customer scores and metrics, onto Cheetah Digital. Some of the key benefits to this move onto the EDP have included the freedom now afforded to update and tweak these rules themselves, and to see the performance of such rules and actions. Previously the results of this necessary business process was hard to uncover and even harder to change.
8. Calculated Attributes for Individuals
Key actions, such as triggers, dynamic content, and personalization, many based off of the rules described above, can be achieved at an individual level, in real-time, using the EDP. Any new data brought into the EDP in real time, such as updated CRM records, can be immediately used to recalculate the attributes on individuals. If, say, a customer now qualifies for something e.g., they’ve reached a premium tier in a loyalty program, a complete set of actions can be set, a message sent via email or SMS with appropriate reward, a personalized message lined up for next time they are on the website.
Our marketers stress again how much having all these benefits living in the same place has been a game changer for them. Calculated attributes available in the EDP are what make this possible, attributes that can be as complex as they need to be and trigger any action based on the results at the individual level happening in real-time.
The Engagement Data Platform
Using the EDP to interrogate the data, and then action on the meaningful insights revealed, is helping marketers move towards better personalization, which is shown to positively impact the metrics that matter most. Or in the words of Jon Duch, “The EDP and the entire CES offers better data acquisition and analysis, leading to better personalization, and ultimately better results.”
Everyone has a wish list — we made one for data platforms.
Julian is the Senior Director of Pipeline Dev & Marketing Content for Cheetah Digital. Prior to this Julian was the Head of Customer Success & Account Management for Experiences in AMER. Over the past 10 years, he has been focused on making strategies and software work for brands and the digital marketers trying to implement them. Once an Englishman in NYC, now a Cornishman in Coppell, TX. The line is a dot to him. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Kayla Siegmeier manages Cheetah Digital’s client-related content and strategic communications along with client advocacy and analyst relations. She has spent her career in B2C marketing with a focus on the development and execution of strategic loyalty programs, direct response, and brand marketing. She now brings that experience and passion for analyzing member behaviors to drive loyalty and engagement to Cheetah Digital, helping showcase the value of the Customer Engagement Suite to leading marketers through the stories of our clients. When not discussing the value of developing emotional loyalty, Kayla can be found enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two children.