The use of smart devices is accelerating, leading to multiple consumer touchpoints. This has placed greater expectations on marketers and brands to provide a more seamless and efficient marketing experience throughout various channels while complying with privacy regulations.
These factors are behind the growth in customer data platforms (CDPs). This sector is expected to surpass $10 billion by 2025, which is equivalent to a compound annual growth rate of 34%. In this article, we’ll look at these factors, while also discussing how a CDP can enable email marketers to address some of today’s most vexing marketing challenges.
How Data Platforms Help Email Marketers Manage Multiple Streams of Data
Two of the most notable problems faced by email marketers are the number of devices consumers now use, and the resulting fragmentation of data. By 2030, researchers predict that each person will have fifteen different connected devices, further fragmenting information.
Data management platforms, or DMPs, can help resolve this issue by gathering, organizing, and sharing data. In addition, with a DMP you can collect data (both online and offline) through CRMs, point-of-sale units, mobile platforms, and other channels.
Once collated, you can then segment data based on various demographics and behaviors. This then allows marketers to create targeted outreach campaigns, seek new prospects, and improve personalization as a whole.
Further, a DMP allows you to deepen your understanding of customers, find your best customers/prospects, create more of the content your list responds to, and discover the best channels to connect with your consumers. All of these factors together will help you to run a more efficient online marketing campaign overall.
While there are many business owners and professionals that can benefit from DMPs, they are especially useful to the marketer. By utilizing a DMP, a marketer can dig deeper into their various data streams to gather fresh insights about their buyers. The kind of information gained from this will be very useful for including in your marketing plan, as it can be included in all aspects of your strategy from describing your target audience to developing your SWOT analysis.
Forming a marketing plan with this kind of data makes it much easier for online business owners to discover and target potential buyers. A DPM also allows marketers to connect to their target audience, and at a specific time and on a specific device to further promote sales.
And this improved understanding of your customer base and prospects is not the only benefit of a DPM. These platforms allow you to develop a more sophisticated, targeted marketing strategy. We’ll discuss this in more detail in the following section.
Using Data Platforms For Personalization and Better Target Customers
Ask most consumers, and they’ll say one of the aspects they value most from a marketing campaign is personalization. However, today’s environment, with multiple data streams, doesn’t always lend itself well to the personalization that your customer list craves.
And there are many reasons a marketer would want to focus on this element, such as improved customer loyalty, and better profits. This is where a CDP can assist.
There are three primary ways CDPs enable personalization. The first element is the customer journey. Effectively, the CDP provides a unified platform that connects all the dots (or in this case, the consumer’s various touchpoints). Marketers can then tailor the experience for each individual prospect, depending on what stage they’re at in the customer journey.
The second element is the ability to create accurate customer profiles. Instead of mass emailing the same message to every consumer, you can tailor the content depending on the data you hold about specific customers. This tailored, automated approach means your message is more likely to resonate with the consumer and it has an increased chance of converting.
Finally, the last element is real-time communication in your messaging. A major challenge for marketers is the identification of trends. Without some form of automation, the efficient targeting of campaigns is out of most marketers’ reach. However, with real-time personalization made possible through a CPD you can send your customers suitable content at the time they are actively looking for it.
How Data Management Platforms Help Solve Data Privacy
A further way that a CDP platform can benefit marketers is by improving data governance and compliance. As marketers will be aware, consumers are increasingly protective of their data.
As breaches are continually in the news, consumers’ concerns over privacy aren’t likely to subsideIn fact, 97% of online consumers have data privacy concerns. The survey also showed how consumers feel they lack the experience or time to better educate themselves about privacy.
This puts the onus on email marketers and brands, as they must ensure the data they store complies with all the relevant regulations. While all data privacy acts may have their differences, they still all point to the same reality.
Online businesses need to manage customer data the same way that our customers would expect them to manage it so they can do business believing they are safe. Examples of what business can and should be doing is requiring that all employee and customer traffic is encrypted through a VPN, the best of which come with proven security protocols such as IPSec or IKEv2 to truly hide customer information, storing all information within CSPs (cloud service providers), and fundamentally educating employees on cybersecurity measures that need to be practiced everyday.
A CDP platform addresses compliance issues because they fulfill regulations such as SSAE 16 and ISO standards. Bsides better-protecting consumers’ details, a CDP platform means data is also well-organized and accessible, thus making it easier to manage.
There are three predominant factors that are contributing to the surge in CDPs use: the fact consumers are using multiple devices, the fragmented interactions this leads to, and consumers with greater expectations.
Consumers expect their interactions to be seamless, while marketers and brands want their data to be more manageable. Marketers also want to target and reach as many consumers as possible at the optimum time, while consumers require reassurance their data is safe.
A CDP addresses these concerns, which is why their use is forecast to grow as the ownership of smart devices increases, and customer interactions become increasingly fragmented.
Guest Post by Dan Fries
Dan Fries is a freelance writer and full stack Rust developer. He looks for convergence in technology trends, with specific interests in cyber security, micromobility, and smart cities (🛴💨). Dan enjoys snowboarding and is based in Hong Kong with his pet beagle, Teddy.