Real-time Integration of Customer Data With Your Marketing Technology

5 min read

Keep guessing. Do you know what exactly runs in your customer’s mind? It is like a young woman stepping into your confectionary store with an intent to purchase a red velvet pastry, but she ends up purchasing a brownie or a basket of mint chocolates. If you were to find out her intent as a store owner, you may not know ‘why?’ she changed her preferences.

Which is why marketers rely on data that reveals subliminal information about customers. Data that describe mood, preferences, and sentiments of customers changes at every step of a customer’s journey. 

Let’s say you were one of those smart tech-savvy marketers who rely on technology and tools to track every marketing channel. But, yet you lose your customer’s identity when she hops from one channel to another.

With scattered data of millions of customers, you would be looking for answers that tell you ‘what were the touchpoints that brought them to your store?’, ‘what motivated them to purchase something different?’, or ‘are there other options in your store that you could sell?’. Marketing technology augments your efforts to know your customers better, but not in wholesome.

That’s when customer data platforms come to your rescue to stitch the data together and build a unique identity for each customer.

Why should you know as much as possible about your customers?

Businesses are managed by people. And, people stick around with each other based on their relationship. The strength of each relationship is driven by how well you know the other person. This is where local mom-and-pop store owners perform as better marketers than a T-shaped marketing veteran seated in a cabin inside a tall building.

Loyal relationship between your brand and each customer is the answer to better business.

It is more important now than ever to integrate marketing technology with your customer data. Because you need to thrive in an omnichannel environment with ever-increasing channels. And, this is already made a priority by the most successful marketers. Top-performing marketers in North America are 1.6 times more likely to prioritize the integration of marketing and advertising technologies.[1]

Note: Defining terminologies before we dive deeper.

What is Customer Data? What is a Marketing Technology Stack?
Customer Data includes every little detail about your customer that influences directly or indirectly in the completion of a purchase, all through the customer’s journey across any marketing channel of interaction and information. Marketing technology stack is a structure that brings together any technological tool, platform, or software that solves the problems of a marketer in deriving customer data or perform different marketing operations before, during, and after a customer journey.


Google
confirms that “Businesses that understand how to interpret potential customers’ intent with contextual information can better identify the right consumers for their products, gaining a competitive edge and increasing sales.” 

After auditing technology infrastructure of some of our banking, retail, and real estate customers, FirstHive provided recommendations of marketing stack integration with their customer data. This led to the creation of unique and unified customer identities for all their customers. It also helped in tracing anonymous tertiary data of those influencers who determined the success of a purchase.

Integrating real-time customer data with their marketing technology stack resulted in a 40% to 60% increase in revenues. The conversion rates increased at a low cost.

I have gathered from statistics that confirm the advantages of integrated data and technology platforms seem obvious—and yet research shows that only 6% of marketers worldwide report having a single view of the customer across online and offline channels. 

This led my team and me to learn more about how integrating customer data with the marketing stack can have a positive impact on your business. And here are our learnings that we have summarized.

We divided this into two parts. The first part is about how customer data transformed into a unique and unified customer identity impacts business. The next part is about how any given marketing technology stack improves a business.

Customer Data & its Impact on Your Business

Business is measured by revenues, touchpoint performance, and other minute metrics that compound to a successful outcome. McKinsey quotes that business performance is a direct determinant of customer satisfaction. The more you create better customer satisfaction, the higher is your ROI, LTV, and so on. Some functions of marketing and product development that use primary, secondary and tertiary customer data to enhance customer satisfaction are as below. The quality of your real-time customer data is what adds more value to these functions.

Behavioral and Personalized marketing

Research tells us that organizations that leverage customer behavioral insights outperform peers by 85 percent in sales growth and more than 25 percent in gross margin. A leading salon retail chain in India that also sells cosmetics gathered PII data of its end consumers using FirstHive. 

We eventually went on to help them build a database of unique customer identities that could be tracked in real-time. Most of their engagement happened on Facebook and the mobile app. This leading brand used customer behavioral data such as product preferences, salon visits, type of services used and so on to the target and engage customers on different channels. 

Most of all, they built a customer loyalty program using the platform, customized coupons conjoined with a personalized context of salon experience. The brand collected customer data onto FirstHive from different marketing channels which positioned them as a better choice of salon and nail color among its target audience. 

Omni-channel experience

The tricky part for marketers is to find out what happens before the customer journey begins and after it ends. Simply stated, the customer’s intent is your problem until they say they do not want to associate with your brand any longer. Apart from the channel mix that you choose, marketers need to watch out for their customers round-the-clock. 

In an insight by McKinsey that states “Only by looking at the customer’s experience through his or her own eyes—along the entire journey taken—can you really begin to understand how to meaningfully improve performance.”

So, for marketers it is no longer about just planning across multiple online channels of interaction, it includes offline and other dimensions that pan out from family, habits, behavior, social life, new adoptions, and a lot more!

Here is an illustrative representation from McKinsey that we intend to share.

 

If you are managing more complex diagrams, we know you need more horsepower and a magical crystal ball that predicts the future. The technology adopted by FirstHive’s CDP platform is no less than magic. 

Instilled with artificial intelligence and machine learning, you can automate cohort segmentation which is a huge pain point during the pre-targeting stage. You receive campaign recommendations, predictive behavior analysis, and channel performance. These capabilities help you optimize how and where would you spend your money!

Better product development

It is not just with technology brands, but even otherwise, real-time customer data is a validated and authentic source of ideas for new product development, building road maps, creating personas and other information that become a part of the winning strategy.

For instance, we were able to support the creation of a mobile app using primary customer data of a leading real estate company in India. This led to the brand being able to capture third-party influencer data in real-time that enriched their resident community and commercial projects. The data helped them build newer services and real estate models that were saleable with a perfect product-market fit.

These are just a few ways in which real-time customer data can create long-lasting business value. We have witnessed growth in other areas such as customer loyalty, business scale-up, acquisitions, etc.

You can reach us at marketing@firsthive.com to begin your first conversation with us. Now, getting back to your topic of interest, the next section showcases some interesting ways in which a ‘collaborative marketing technology stack’ provides real-time customer data and improves business growth.

Marketing Technology Stack and its impact on your business

Do you have the right marketing technology stack? It is difficult to answer this question at any point in time. Marketers need to redesign the combination of marketing technologies deployed at every stage of their business. 

This is when you need to start choosing the marketing technology that matters to your business.

Stage wise use of customer data platform

This table helps you choose your marketing technology stack and the appropriate tools.

Why a Customer Data Platform becomes a single platform of integration of customer data and marketing technology?

A CDP provides a seamless transition from one business stage to another. Once, you build your integration plan, a CDP implements it by letting your tools talk to each other. So, you may be curious about what happens on ground zero.

Share your integration plan with your engineers, tool customer support teams and the CDP service provider. With a standalone CDP like FirstHive, marketers are independent to get started with integration. There is little coding involved which is handled by our team, relieving the marketer of any hassle.

Once, automation kicks in, machine learning enhances the data enrichment process with every little update. 

This entire effort helps you transition from building campaigns to creating customer experiences which matter most to your customers.

We are always busy finding easier solutions to integrate customer data with different combinations of a marketing technology stack. Feel free to drop in a note to us at marketing@firsthive.com